‘Dawa’ means month in Tibetan and term ‘Saka’ is an astrological term associated with the Full Moon of Fourth Lunar Month.. Saka Dawa-the fourth month according to Tibetan Lunar calendar- the holiest month observed as the one in which the Buddha Shakyamuni displayed the deeds of birth, enlightenment, and Parinirvana. The Buddhist of different countries, India, Chinese and Tibetan have their own respective calendars to follow and observe this holy month as per their calendar, do not have a common month of observation. The Buddhist all over the world observe this three deeds as the most important, where ordained monks and lay people observe it with great reverence, with practice of accumulation of merits and purifications on Saka Dawa month.
Full Moon Day of this holy month is on 21st May 2016.
On this holy month of Saka Dawa, from generating the refuge mind and arousing the Bodhichitta as motivation, to the practice of prostration, circumambulation, liberating animals from being killed, and observing vows, all of which are complemented with dedication, people engage themselves in practice with special emphasis.
In the sutra, it says:
To offer to the Buddha in His presence and
To offer to the image of the one who had passed away,
The merit obtained is the same
If it’s done with unstained mind
As is clear from the Buddha’s own words, to offer to the images or representations of the Buddha has the same merit as offering to the Buddha himself in person. On special occasions like Saka Dawa, the merits generated through prayers and practices are considered to multiply into millions more.
This practice should follow not only in this auspicious month but each and every day life of people for well being of all sentient beings.