Saga Dawa is the most significant “merit multiplying month ” for Vajrayana Practitioners and Tibetan Buddhism in general.
In Tibetan, “Dawa” refers to the whole “month” and “Saga” is the name of a star in the sky which appears especially brighter during the fourth lunar month. Saga Dawa begins on May 23 through June 22, 2020. The 15th day of this fourth lunar month which is the full moon is called Saga Dawa Duchen. June 5th is the full moon in 2020. This is the most important day of the year for all Vajrayana practitioners. It commemorates the birth, enlightenment, and parinirvana of Lord Buddha Shakyamuni.
Any positive actions like doing month long retreats, meditation, making lamp offerings, prostrations, animal liberation, the six paramitas or any other form of virtuous Dharma activities made by the body ,speech and mind during this whole month will be multipled 100,000 times. In the same way, any unwholesome or negative activities will also be multipled 100,000 times.
A beneficial opportunity during this special month might be the motivation for all of us to renew or re-energize our practice. During this time, one might do such practices as committing to reading a Buddhist book on a topic you have wanted to explore in more depth, spending a bit more time each day on your meditation cushion, and trying ways in which you can express more kindness and compassion for all beings around you.
Lord Buddha was born on Saga Dawa and the 15th day of the full moon also commemorates his birth, parinirvana and enlightenment. That is why it is very important that we do good practice during this time to strengthen our faith and commitments on the path by remembering all the qualities of Lord Buddha.
So everyone please do create more positive & auspicious actions and avoid the ten non virtuous actions during this period of Saga Dawa. The ten non virtuous actions are as follows: Three harmful physical actions such as killing, stealing and sexual misconduct; non virtues from speech such as lies, divisive speech, harsh speech and meaningless talk. Lastly the negativities created through the mind through covetousness, malice and distorted philosophies.
Stepping up your activities by creating a more structured practice period for yourself during this month will result in the creation of great merit, benefiting yourself and others. Please don’t miss this opportunity to advance your practice during the most auspicious month of the entire Tibetan year.
Taken from two previous posts: May 26, 2018 and June 10th, 2019, both written by Khenpo Karten Rinpoche, and updated with 2020 dates by the editor.