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Saga Dawa

Saga Dawa is one of the four most sacred periods within the Buddhist calendar, and marks the birth, enlightenment, and parinirvana of Buddha Shakyamuni. This year this sacred period runs from May 30 to June 28 , culminating on the full moon of June 14.

It is said that during the Saga Dawa period, virtuous actions are accumulated exponentially.

Take advantage of this period of great multiplicity to engage in the practice of meditation and generosity with the intention of bringing benefit to all beings.

We will soon give more information about the practices during Saga Dawa.

During this period we will have a practice session from 7pm to 9pm (UTC-3) every day, unless there is a teaching or tsog.

The session will open with contemplation of the Four Thoughts that Turn the Mind, and then each practitioner will proceed with their own personal practice.


1) What is Saga Dawa?

Saga Dawa is a sacred period for Tibetan Buddhism, celebrating the birth, enlightenment and parinirvana (passage into nirvana) of Buddha Shakyamuni. It is also called the "month of merit ", a period dedicated to generating merit through virtuous actions and positive thoughts.

It is said that during Saga Dawa virtuous actions are accumulated exponentially. So, practitioners make an extra effort to accumulate merit during this period, such as practicing generosity, virtue, and compassion, and then dedicating it for the benefit of all beings.

2) How long does Saga Dawa last?

Saga Dawa takes place during the 4th lunar month of the Tibetan calendar. This sacred period begins on the new moon of that month, reaches its peak after 15 days, on the full moon, and extends until the next new moon.

All the days of Saga Dawa are sacred, but some are even more so, that is, those commemorating the birth, enlightenment, and parinirvana of Buddha Shakyamuni.

Saga Dawa Düchen takes place at the peak of this period, the day of the full moon, which is considered the most important holy day of the year for Tibetan Buddhism. It commemorates the parinirvana and enlightenment of Buddha Shakyamuni.

Saga Dawa 2021:

May 30 – Start of the period

June 06 – Tampei Düchen (birth of Buddha Shakyamuni)

June 14 – Saga Dawa Düchen (enlightenment and parinirvana of Buddha Shakyamuni)

June 28 – end of the period

Düchen means “great occasion”

3) What does multiplicity of actions mean, and how are they multiplied?

It means that all positive or negative actions of speech, body and mind are accumulated exponentially. During Saga Dawa, it is said that every action, positive or negative, is multiplied 100 million times. Therefore, it is important to engage in virtuous actions.

4) What are the ten negative actions that should be avoided and abandoned?


Taking life

Taking what is not given

Sexual misconduct



Sowing discord

Harsh speech

Idle gossip




Ill will

Wrong views


More details about each of these actions can be found in the book: "The Words of My Perfect Teacher" by Patrul Rinpoche.

5) What are the positive actions we should cultivate and engage in?

"What makes an action positive or negative?

Not how it looks, not whether it is big or small,

but it is the positive or negative motivation behind it."

Excerpt taken from the book, "The Words of My Perfect Teacher"

Therefore any act done with a motivation to benefit beings becomes a positive action.

During Saga Dawa it is also common for practitioners to engage in activities cultivating the 6 Paramitas, which are:







More details about each of these actions can be found in the book: "The Words of My Perfect Teacher" by Patrul Rinpoche.

6) How do I make a vow?

A vow is a commitment. There are very elaborate ceremonies for taking a vow, but it can also be done simply. It is not necessary to have an empowerment to make one or more vows. The most important thing is to make the vow with the pure motivation to benefit all beings until they are free of suffering and achieve immediate and definitive happiness.

The simple way is to stand in front of your altar (or anywhere) and visualize Buddha Shakyamuni or your chosen deity in whatever way you are able and inseparable from your Lama, and proclaim your vow before them, as witnesses.

You can make vows for one day, for many days, or even for the entire period of Saga Dawa.

7) I am a beginner - can I take part?

Yes, you can take part in the Saga Dawa celebration, even if you are a beginner, by doing the concise Red Tara practice, which is performed in Portuguese and broadcast on Zoom daily. Besides this practice, you can also participate by watching Lama Tsering's teachings on Sundays. If you don't have empowerment, you cannot visualize yourself as a deity, but this doesn't prevent you from attending Tara practice in Tibetan, and the Tara and Guru Rinpoche Tsogs, and receiving the blessings of these practices. That is, in the more elaborate meditations, you can listen and accompany the practice by visualizing the deity in front of you. Check the schedule here: bit.ly/2RZQba2

8) What is the difference between Vesak and Saga Dawa?

Vesak, which is followed by some Buddhist traditions, is the commemoration of the birth, enlightenment, and parinirvana of Buddha Shakyamuni on the same day, on the full moon of May.

For Tibetan Buddhist practitioners, the equivalent of Vesak takes place during the period of Saga Dawa. Within this period, there are also specific days for the commemoration of the parinirvana of the Buddha, called Saga Dawa Düchen, and his birth, called Tampei Düchen.

Important dates during Saga Dawa

Tara Day
June 7 and 21

Birth of Buddha Shakyamuni
June 6

Guru Rinpoche Day
June 9

Parinirvana of Buddha Shakyamuni
June 14

Saga Dawa Full Moon - Saga Dawa Düchen
June 14

Dakini Day
June 23

Saving Lives

On the full moon of Saga Dawa (June 14), we will do a Saving Lives practice!

Find out more and make offerings: bit.ly/3NqO475


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Odsal Ling
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