The ritual of bathing the Buddha is conducted every year on Buddha’s birthday. This practice has been inherited from the Buddha times and is still observed by Buddhists around the world The Origin Of Bathing Buddha One of the main activities of the festival is the “bathing Buddha” ritual.
Legend records that when Prince Siddhartha was born, there were extraordinary and auspicious signs heralding his birth. They describe the sky as being clear with brilliant sunshine, flowers blooming and birds singing – dragons appeared in the sky spurting two streams of purified water (one cool and one warm), that gently cascaded down to bathe him.
At his birth, seven lotus flowers sprung up beneath his feet as he walked – pointing one hand to the sky and ground he said “in the heaven above and earth below, I vow to liberate all who suffer in these three realms”. Since that time Buddhists all over the world celebrate his birthday by using fragrant water to bathe the image of Buddha.
There is great significance in the act as the fragrant water is poured over the statue of the infant Buddha three times. It symbolizes the cleansing of our body, speech, and thoughts to eradicate anger, greed, and ignorance in order to purify our minds to cultivate merits and wisdom.
1. Purification of The Body included: -No Killing -No Stealing -No Sexual Misconduct
2. Purification of The Speech included: -No Lying * No Slander * No Harsh Speech * No Gossip
3. Purification of The Mind included: – No Covetousness * No Hatred * No Delusion
One of the most profound teachings given by the Buddha is his gentle reminder that we all have the Buddha nature inside, a Buddha within waiting to manifest when conditions are sufficient.
The universal message is that “It’s easy to wash away physical dirt, but much more difficult to cleanse one’s inner impurity of greed, anger, and ignorance”. This is the true meaning of the Bathing of the Buddha Ritual.
“The future Buddha is a community.” A four-fold community of monks, nuns, laymen, and laywomen will come together for this special occasion to support one another cultivating the Buddha within, celebrating the baby Buddha in each one of us with joy and happiness.
Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike are welcome to partake in this significant ritual.
The procedure for the Bathing of the Buddha ritual is as follows:
Scoop a ladle of fragrant water and with all sincerity, say quietly as you pour it over the shoulder of the infant Buddha statue 3 times:
1. 1 st pouring: “May I eliminate all evil thoughts”
2. 2nd pouring: “May I cultivate good deeds”
3. 3 rd pouring: “May I help save all living beings”