Tibetans-in-exile observe Buddha Purnima in Dharamsala

     Tibetan Buddhists in Dharamsala observed their 'Saka Dawa' festival on Thursday. The festival has a special significance for the followers of Lord Buddha as all three stages of his life -- birth, enlightenment and death -- are witnessed during 'Saka Dawa'. These three events form the key to Buddha's life and the day therefore is of great significance to the followers of the religion. According to the Tibetan calendar, Saka Dawa is celebrated on the 15th day of the 4th lunar month. The celebration, which began with morning prayers, involved the taking of vows from the Eight Mahayana precepts, which are not to kill any living being, not to steal and not to lie. "Buddha is born today, he got his enlightenment today and he died today. That's why it's so important for us. For fifteen days we offer prayers and give money to the poor people," said Tenzin Pema, a Buddhist nun. "We believe in next life. If we give money to the poor people then may be in our next life we get help from other people," Pema added. Buddha Purnima falls on the Full Moon day. This day holds special significance for followers of Lord Buddha as all three main events of his life took place on the same day. The message of Lord Buddha inspires to follow the path of truth, peace and compassion and serve humanity to affirm our faith in the eternal values of non-violence and universal brotherhood.

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