Vesak in Tibetan Culture

Updated: May 17

By Phurpa Tsering,


Vesak is known by the name (Tonpe thrungkar duechen), it means the birthday of Lord Buddha. In certain places of North East region Monpa, Tibetan, Tamang, Sherpa, Hyolma and the whole Himalayan region are celebrating this day on 4th month(ས་ག་ཟླ་བ) "Saga" is the particular name of 4th month and "Dawa" is the common month name according to Tibetan calendar. During this period, people are more aware to follow amass virtue and abstain unvirtue. They believe those virtues will become double by the power of this auspicious day of the Buddha's birth.

During this month you can hear Sounds of prayer in every monastery, people are fasting and the monks in monasteries are attending different prayers as per their dharma activities of the monasteries. People encircle stupas and monasteries often with the rosary(འཕྲེང་བ་) in their hand. Every village has different religious activities where they invading Dharma gurus to bless them (ཚེ་དབང་)which mean Initiate. According to the Tibetan religion, Shakya muni buddha is the 4th spiritual preceptor which might be the same in all Buddhists.




Hail lord Buddha and his teachings with dedication.

ཕྱག་འཚལ་བ་དང་མཆོད་ཅིང་བཤགས་པ་དང་། ། chaktsalwa dang chö ching shakpa dang What little virtue I have gathered through my homage,

རྗེས་སུ་ཡི་རང་བསྐུལ་ཞིང་གསོལ་བ་ཡི། ། jesu yi rang kul shying solwa yi Through the offering, confession, and rejoicing,

དགེ་བ་ཅུང་ཟད་བདག་གིས་ཅི་བསགས་པ། ། gewa chungzé dak gi chi sakpa Through exhortation and prayer—all of it

ཐམས་ཅད་བདག་གིས་བྱང་ཆུབ་ཕྱིར་བསྔོའོ། ། tamché dak gi changchub chir ngo o I dedicate to the enlightenment of all beings.

Vesak is known by the name of (སྟོན་པའི་དུས་ཆེན་བཞི་) four big holidays of the lord Buddha entering the womb. Maya Devi dreames of an elephant with a white forehead with six fangs entering her body. When Maya devi wander at Lumbini, Buddha was born on her armhole. Enlightenment, Buddha meditated six years at Niranjana and enlighten under a Bodhi tree at Bodh Gaya Bihar. Death (Mahaparinirvana) of Gautama Buddha.

ཕྱག་འཚལ་བ་དང་མཆོད་ཅིང་བཤགས་པ་དང་། ། chaktsalwa dang chö ching shakpa dang What little virtue I have gathered through my homage, རྗེས་སུ་ཡི་རང་བསྐུལ་ཞིང་གསོལ་བ་ཡི། ། jesu yi rang kul shying solwa yi Through offering, confession, and rejoicing, དགེ་བ་ཅུང་ཟད་བདག་གིས་ཅི་བསགས་པ། ། gewa chungzé dak gi chi sakpa Through exhortation and prayer—all of it ཐམས་ཅད་བདག་གིས་བྱང་ཆུབ་ཕྱིར་བསྔོའོ། ། tamché dak gi changchub chir ngo o I dedicate to the enlightenment of all beings.....



Author: Phurpa Tsering, Practicing Monkhood in Nepal

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