Every year since the foundation of the Ashram Brindavon in 1999 we have been celebrating the Vesak festival in honour of Gautama Buddha who left behind the royal family he was born into 2500 years ago to find a way for himself and all human beings of overcoming the eternal cycle of human suffering. With the Vesak celebrations we thus honour the divine nature that resides in us humans. The Buddha achieved liberation and since then humans have been following his footsteps.
On her journey to enlightenment, Sri Durgamayi Ma also read the teachings of the Buddha and today we may sit at her feet as students to receive her blessing and guidance. As an expression of our gratitude and reverence, we laid a large flower mandala at Mataji’s feet during the Vesak celebration depicting a lotus flower, the symbol of purity and perfection. We also sang and recited Tibetan mantras and in our hearts honoured the living Buddha in our master.
It is a tradition in Tibet to present a white silk prayer scarf to a revered teacher or master. Every student and guest had the opportunity to approach Mataji with such a scarf. Mataji received the scarf and laid it around the shoulders of the bearer as a blessing. For many this developed into a moment of a deep connection with the master.
I greet the Buddha in you! Were Mataji’s words at the beginning of the darshan during which MA read the chapter The Alchemy of Devotion from The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying to us and commented on it, encouraging and appealing to us to take our spiritual growth into our own hands.
During the closing darshan on Sunday morning Mataji broke up the mandala with the words
Everything emerges, manifests and dissolves!
In the evening, some students of the ashram spread the flower petals on the river Danube.
After the celebrations anybody who wanted to write a prayer for the world onto a prayer flag could do so. This, too, is part of the tradition of the Vesak celebrations. The flag written by Mataji and all the others are strung onto a piece of string and suspended outside the ashram so that the wind can carry the prayers out into the world. For the Vesak celebration 2015 Mataji wrote:
You have to remain hungry in the midst of all the abundance – then you will live like the *Buddha* whose hunger was only stilled when he reached enlightenment – and that is also the only way all our overabundance becomes meaningful!
Sri Durgamayi Ma