Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Tibetan Lamas celebrate CNY with Sai Baba

Chinese New Year Celebrations At Puttaparthi
Chinese New Year CelebrationsFebruary 23-24, 2007
Chinese people in thousands from six South East Asian countries of Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Taiwan and Hong Kong assembled at the Lotus Feet of their Beloved Lord Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba to begin their new year on an auspicious note. The whole ashram was beautifully decorated with many festoons, traditional Chinese red buntings, photos of Bhagawan and sayings of Bhagawan. Large colourful hoardings contained many quotes on the theme of the New Year celebrations: ‘Filial Piety’.

Chantings by Lamas of the Four Major Orders: February 23, 2007: Evening
The festivities began on the evening of 23rd. On this holy occasion, 36 Buddhist monks from the four major sects of Tibetan Buddhism namely Nyingma, Kagyu, Sakya and Gelug assembled in Prasanthi Nilayam to pay their obeisance to Lord Sai Buddha. After Bhagawan granted Darshan, He was seated on the dais and permitted the programme to commence. After two children offered flowers to Bhagawan, a monk from each of the sects presented ‘Kata’ to Bhagawan. The Kata is a sacred cloth and an auspicious symbol that is presented to Lord Buddha praying for His grace in successful chanting of mantras. They also presented other sacred and auspicious symbols like ‘Dharmachakra’ (symbolising the wheel of transformation wrought by Buddha Dharma), ‘Amitayu Tanka’ (a painting of a deity who bestows long life), ‘Stupa’ (a replica of the religious monument that is in the shape of Lord Buddha seated in a meditative posture) and ‘Chenrizig Mandala’ (a three-dimensional geometrical representation of the universe).

Then the monks commenced the chanting of the sacred mantra “Om Mani Padme Hung”. This six-syllable mantra is supposed to contain all aspects of the 84,000 sections of Lord Buddha’s teachings and is believed to generate love, compassion and positive feelings that will uplift the world. The second mantra that was chanted was ‘Samantabhadra’ or the ‘King of Prayers’. This mantra helps in awakening the mind and prodding it on the path of enlightenment towards Buddhahood, and also for universal peace. Following this, the monks chanted a special mantra dedicated to Bhagawan composed by His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje. The mantra seeks to have an eternal vision of the beautiful form of Lord Sai. This was followed by Gayathri Mantra recitation. At the end of the chanting session, as is the Buddhist custom, the merits accrued by the chanting of all the mantras and all the good deeds involved in the holy activity were dedicated for the greater health and happiness of all beings in the universe.

Following this, Capt. Ong, a devotee from Singapore addressed the gathering. Elaborating on the significance of the mantra ‘Samantabhadra’, he said that it is a compilation of teachings received by a person named Sudana, as he progresses on his spiritual journey through 52 masters culminating in his finding the realized master Samantabhadra. Captain Ong said that perhaps he too would have passed under the tutelage of 52 such masters in his past lives, as a result of which he has now found refuge at the Lotus feet of his Samantabhadra, Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. The evening programme concluded with Bhajans and Bhagawan graciously granted photographs to all the monks and participants of the programme.


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