Buddha Poornima, also known as Vesak, is an important day for Buddhists all around the world. This is the day of three important events in the life of Lord Buddha:
- The day in which Lord Buddha was born
- The day in which Lord Buddha achieved enlightenment
- The day of Lord Buddha’s passing away
The auspicious day was marked by SSIO Australia by a special virtual devotional session at 8:00 pm on 7 May 2020.
The program aptly began with a guided light meditation, with meditation being a key spiritual practice that was undertaken by Lord Buddha. This was followed by the chanting of the Sai Gayatri.
A talk on the significance of Buddha Poornima was given by Ms Deependra Udugama who is currently the SSE Coordinator for Homebush Centre in NSW. Ms. Udugama commenced her talk with the well known Buddhist prayer of “Namo Tasa Bhagavato” and went on to explain the significance of the prayer as paying homage to the blessed one, the worthy one and the fully enlightened one. Ms Udugama went on to share some key buddhist principles, buddhas teachings, values in Buddhism, the alignment of Swami’s teachings with Buddhism and her experiences as a Buddhist Sai devotee. Ms Udugama also shared a recent dream which she had in which she and her family were with Swami in the interview room where the Australian National Devotional Coordinator, Sridhar Subramonian was also present. In the dream Swami blessed a speech that Mr Subramonian had written which for Ms. Udugama to use. She then shared that Swami enquired to her “Do you need anything else” for which Ms Udugama replied “No Swami, I have everything”. Ms. Udugama woke up from the dream energised and inspired. Just three days later received a call from the NSW Devotion Coordinator saying that a request was received from the National Devotion Coordinator, who had no knowledge of the dream at that point, for Ms Udugama to talk at this year’s virtual Buddha Poornima celebrations. This was another clear example of Swami’s omniscience, omnipresence and omnipotence.
Ms. Udugama also shared the spiritual significance of the Bodhi tree under which Lord Buddha achieved enlightenment after meditating for 49 days. She shared that when Lord Buddha was once asked “Who is the richest man in the world” Lord Buddha replied “He who has contentment with what he has is the richest man”. When Lord Buddha was asked “Who Is the poorest man in the world” Lord Buddha said “He who has many desires”. The program then went on to a twenty minute vibrant and energetic devotional singing session.
This was followed by a presentation by the SSE students of the Western Australian Region on the significance of Buddha Poornima. The presentation of the students touched on some significant incidences in Buddha’s life. The students provided a fascinating storytelling of the birth of Buddha, an incident in the young Lord Buddha’s life in which he shows compassion towards a swan, Lord Buddha’s retirement into the forest leaving behind life in the palace and his eventual achievement of enlightenment through meditation. The SSE students presentation concluded with Swami’s teachings on Buddhism with a particular emphasis on the concept of ceiling on desires.
This was followed by another twenty minutes devotional singing session which was followed by a video excerpt of Swami’s discourse on Buddha Poornima. In this talk Swami talks about the true meaning of spirituality and explains that the transformation of human qualities into divine qualities is the true meaning of spirituality.
The uplifting, inspiring and informative online celebrations of Buddha Poornima concluded with the Mangala Aarathi.