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Saka Dawa Duchen – Chenrezig Institute’s Celebration of Lord Buddha’s Birth, Enlightenment, and Parinirvana

23 May @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm AEST

SAKA DAWA is the most important Tibetan Buddhist festival day, celebrating Lord Buddha’s birth, enlightenment and parinirvana.

Buddhists around the world engage in many auspicious and merit-making activities such as sponsoring or engaging in beneficial pujas, practices, and prayers; and making extensive offerings to teachers, holy objects, and auspicious charitable activities. This year, Saka Dawa takes place on Thursday, 23rd May.

This is an incredible day of celebration and offerings when, through the FPMT Puja Fund, skies of merit are created for the entire FPMT organization, including all centres, projects, services, students, benefactors and those serving the organization in any way, as well as all beings.

The main practice that the community of Chenrezig Institute supports over this period, including the celebration of Saka Dawa, is the annual Nyung Nä retreat. We rejoice greatly in being able to host this retreat every year.

But for those of us who aren’t doing Nyung Nä’s this year we have put together a program of alternate merit making activities that we are catchily calling “Chenrezig Institute’s mini pilgrimage, with family pet blessing and stupa cleaning in the Garden of Enlightenment during the day, followed by Medicine Buddha puja in the evening

Please see the schedule below for the full details but the general idea is that there are five main parts to the activities; offerings and prayers in the Nalanda Masters Garden, the blessing of the beautiful thangkas now installed in the Prayer Wheel House, the family pet blessing and the stupa cleaning in the GoE, and Medicine Buddha puja in the evening. With the final Nyung Nä happening in the Gompa it will be a busy holy day. 

We will all gather in the Nalanda Masters Garden at 9:30 am to make offerings to Great Chenrezig and bless the Prayer Wheel Thangkas, then walk down to the GoE to recite other prayers and mantras for the welfare of our pets, each other and all sentient beings. While the stupa clean volunteers are getting organised there will be a chance for pets and owners to circumambulate the stupas on this holy day. 

If you can arrive early to help with setting up the offerings for the Great Chenrezig thangka then please come for 7:30 am.

If the weather is inclement we will scale back the day but there will still be an opportunity for your pets to receive blessings in the NMG. In this event please still arrive for 9:30am. 


07:30 Setup of big Great Chenrezig thangka

08:00 Setup of offerings in front of the big thangka

09:30 Making offerings in front of the big thangka with Geshela

09:50 Blessing of the Prayer Wheel House  thangkas with Geshela

10:10 Begin our pilgrimage to Garden of Enlightenment

10:20 Recitation of prayers and mantras with Geshela

10:30 Circumambulation of stupas

10:30 -16:00 Cleaning of GoE stupas

12:00 – 1.30pm Lunch at the Big Love Cafe (please make sure you book in 24 hours ahead here:

18:30 Medicine Buddha Puja in the Tara Room 

Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche has also provided advice on the specific beneficial practices which we can do individually at home on the holy day of Saka Dawa. He says that any beneficial practice can be done and specifically mentioned:

Taking the eight Mahayana precepts

Of course, any other meritorious activities often advised by our teachers are also good to do on these days, such as recitation of the Sanghata Sutra, the Sutra of Golden Light, etc., with extensive dedications. These texts are available on FPMT’s sutras page.

And it is of course very auspicious to practice generosity by making donations on this holiest of days! If you wish to make a donation please use the form below and indicate what your donation is for.



23 May
8:00 am - 5:00 pm AEST
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Chenrezig Institute
33 Johnsons Rd
Eudlo, QLD 4554 Australia
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