Monlam Festival. Virtuous aspirations will be fulfilled.
BW Monastery organized a 5-day Monlam Festival (27 Feb - 3 Mar) where over three thousand students attended. The hall was filled to its capacity especially on the last night where more than a thousand students attended the making of offering to the Guru (Teachers).
One of the excellent aspects of Monlam Festival is the virtuous and yet vast aspiration - wishing for the Dharma to always stay to help all beings to achieve ultimate happiness, and where almost all virtuous wishes would be accomplished!
However, whether or not the Dharma can stay, it depends on the excellent teachers to have a long life to remain in this world. Thus, with the wish for all lineage masters to stay for a long time, the offering to the Teachers became an extremely auspicious session to plant the right cause of achieving teachers’ guidance in future lifetimes.
The daily programme was divided into morning and afternoon session. In the morning of the 5 days , the presiding master (104th Ganden Tripa) would give discourse, highlighting the essence of The Stages of the Path to Enlightenment; focusing on the precious human life of leisure and opportunity, Eight Verses of Training the Mind, Three Principal Aspects of the Path, Summary of the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment, and Jataka Tales. In the afternoon, it was mainly recitation comprising prayers, repentance, ceremonial aspiration, which got everyone closer to the Buddhas, Bodhisattvas and lineage masters! Each day then ended with blessing supplication for the world!
During noon rest time, students made good use of their time by offering all kinds of items such as flowers, light, water, incense and many other dried food. In addition, during the 5 days, students could make offering to the Sangha for their meals. Why did everyone make offering so diligently? Because when one makes offering during the Monlam Festival, the merits accumulated are manyfold!
Like to also specially introduce the star beverage of the festival- butter tea. Everyday during the recitation, everyone would follow the presiding master to offer the tea and taste the butter tea which had a little sweetness. The butter tea is a specialty in Tibetan culture where the tea and butter are mixed together that produced a unique flavour with a salty taste. However, what everyone tasted here in Singapore was fragrant and flavorful ginger milk tea - the one and only!
Before the end of the Puja, the Venerables earnestly dedicated the merits for the Dharma to remain in the world, the excellent teachers to have long life, all beings to be safe and happy, and a peaceful world. Lastly, the Dana Offering to all venerables and all beings.
Did you miss this year’s Monlam Festival? The Monlam Festival usually takes place during or after the lunar new year. So do remember to attend the festival in the following year!