The Buddha Bathing Ceremony
By Hạnh Thuần (Minh-Thư)
Every year, Buddhists gather at the temple to celebrate Buddha’s birthday. An important event during the celebration is to bathe Prince Siddhartha when he was a baby. This bathing event has become a traditional ritual in commemoration of Buddha’s birthday.
This event originates from the legend in which nine celestial dragons came to wash and bathe the baby prince with fragrant pure water. It was said that this water helped purify the body and mind of the baby prince. He took seven steps and as he walked, a lotus flower was blooming under each step.
Today, Buddhists around the world consider and conduct this bathing ceremony as a central element during Buddha’s birthday celebration. Water, which is prepared with fragrant herbs and spices, is poured over the shoulder of the Buddha statues to signify the act of purification of the mind from greed, hatred and ignorance.
Bathing the Buddha will bring everyone great merits. Each Buddhist, who takes part in the bathing ceremony, needs to pray for purification of his or her mind and uses this water as a means to wash away greed, hatred, and anger. Most of all, performing this bathing event with a greatest reverence will empower each of us to increase wisdom, good fortune and well-being.
Namo Sakyamuni Buddha.