On April 8, over 2,500 years ago, Queen Maya of Kapilavastu gave birth to Prince Siddhartha under an asoka tree in Lumbini Garden. He was to become the Buddha after leaving worldly life behind and attaining enlightenment. After his birth, with one hand pointing to the heavens and the other to the earth, the prince said, “Heaven above and earth below, I am the World-Honored One” which meant in all the universe, only realizing our own Buddha nature is the most noble and the most valuable. At that moment, the Four Heavenly Kings and nine dragons rained fragrant water from the sky, bathing the body of the prince.
Therefore, on this day every year, Buddhists prepare a sweet tea from fragrant herbs and spices and bathe statues of the Buddha in celebration of the Buddha’s birthday.
- The Significance of Bathing the Buddha
- As we hold the ladle of pure water in our hands facing the statue of Prince Siddhartha, we should sincerely pray for the merits of bathing the Buddha, purifying our afflictions and defilements of greed, desire, anger, and hatred. We should pray for peace in the world, and an end to violence, deceit, and evil . We should pray for our troubled world to be transformed into the pure land and all minds to be guided onto the bodhi path. This is the true meaning of bathing the Buddha.
- The Benefits of Bathing the Buddha
- In the Sutra on the Merit of Bathing the Buddha, the benefits are as follows:
- 1. You will have wealth, happiness, good health, and longevity
- 2. All your wishes will be fulfilled
- 3. Your relatives, friends, and family will all be at peace
- 4. You will bid a long farewell to the eight difficulties and forever escape the conditions of suffering
- 5. You will attain quick enlightenment
- What Kind of Mind Should We Have When Bathing the Buddha?
- 1. Faith–we should give rise to a joyful mind and have deep faith in the merit of bathing the Buddha. When we pour water over the Buddha, we are also cleansing our own minds.
- 2. Sincerity–When we bathe the statue of the Buddha, it is as if the Buddha is before us and we have cultivated the greatest merit in the world. We should transfer this merit to all sentient beings, grow in wisdom together, and create positive conditions.
- 3. Righteousness–We wish to be rid of karmic obstructions and to purify our minds. We wish for the merits of bathing the Buddha, and pray for peace in world and happiness for all humanity.