Prayers to the Buddha Sakyamuni  

en he entered successive stages of deeper and deeper medita-
tion from which he passed into parinirvana. us ended the life
of Buddha who is known to the world as Sakyamuni Buddha,
the Sage of the Sakya Clan, the Historic Buddha who founded
Buddhism that gave mankind the way to supreme Deliverance.
It was the ful -moon day of the month of Vesakha.
His body was then cremated and the relics divided into eight
portions and sent to the various kingdoms where they were en-
shrined in Stupas.
rayers to the uddha akyamuni
Daily every Buddhist should pay homage to the Buddha by re-
citing any of these prayers:
which means `Hail Our Original Teacher Sakyamuni Buddha'.
which means `Homage to the Great Compassionate Completely
Enlightened One'.
As the Buddha is endowed with numerous qualities, various
epithets have been bestowed upon Him. He is therefore also ad-
dressed as:

JINA -- Conqueror
TATHAGATA -- One gone to `suchness'
SUGATA -- Wel -gone One
BHAGAWAN -- Blessed One
ARHAT -- Capable One
ATULYA -- Matchless One
Buddhists are also required to Take Refuge in the ree Jewels
each day as a commit ment to practising the Buddha's teaching
for the benefit of all sentient beings. e ree Jewels consist of
the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha and the Buddha's way
of life requires one to live wholesomely by adhering to the Noble
Eightfold Path. ose who do so will successful y avoid these
ten non-virtuous actions:
Kil ing, stealing, sexual misconduct, lying, slandering,
malicious speech, idle speech, covetousness, malevolence
and erroneous views.
e most holy day for all Buddhists is the celebration of WESAK
or Buddha Day which general y fal s in the month of May. is
is a thrice blessed day which celebrates the three major events:
the Birth, Enlightenment and the Passing-away of Gautama
the Buddha. On this day Chinese Buddhists make their way to
the temples to pay homage to the Buddha and to reaffirm their
faith in the Buddha Dharma. It is truly a religious day and many
people will spend it in meditation or prayer-recitation for the wel -

being of others. Precepts are adhered to very strictly and only
vegetarian food will be eaten. On this day too loving-kindness is
practised in various manners as many people will set free birds
and animals as a symbolic act of liberation, of giving freedom
to those who are in captivity, while others choose to give alms
to the poor, make donations to temples and institutions or visit
the unfortunate ones who are at the Old Folks Homes, Orphan-
ages or similar Centres, bringing with them gifts of every kind.
Wesak brings to mind, the Great Compassion of the Buddha
which should move us to be more determined to lead noble lives,
to develop our minds, to practise loving-kindness and compas-
sion so as to bring peace and harmony to all mankind.