The Great Wesak Blessing
Bishop Charles W. Leaderbeater a renowned
theosophist and occultist writes:
"The Lord Gautama Buddha,
instead of devoting Himself wholly to other and higher work after His
Mahaparanirvana, has remained sufficiently in touch with our world to be
reached by the invocation of His successor when necessary, so that His
advice and help can still be obtained in any great emergency.
He also undertook to return to the world once in each
year and shed upon it a flood of blessing.
The Lord Buddha has His
own special type of force, which He outpours when He gives His blessing
to the world, and this benediction is a unique and very marvellous
thing; for by His authority and position, a Buddha has access to
planes of nature which are altogether beyond our reach, hence He can
transmute and draw down to our level the forces peculiar to those
planes. Without this mediation of the Buddha these forces would
be of no use to us here in physical life; their vibrations are so
tremendous, so incredibly rapid, that they would pass through us
unsensed at any level we can reach, and we should never even know of
their existence. But as it is, the force of the blessing is scattered
all over the world; and it instantly finds for itself channels through
which it can pour (just as water instantly finds an open pipe), thereby
strengthening all good work and bringing peace to the hearts of those
who are able to receive it.
The occasion selected for this wonderful outpouring is
the full moon day of the Indian month of Vaisakh (Wesak), and
usually corresponding to the month of May, the anniversary of all the
momentous occurrences of His last earthly life—His birth, His attainment
of Buddhahood and His departure from the physical body.
In connection with this visit of His, and quite apart
from its tremendous esoteric significance, an exoteric ceremony is
performed in the physical plane at which the Lord actually shows Himself
in the presence of a crowd of ordinary pilgrims. All Members of the
Great Occult Hierarchy, except the Lord of the World and the
three Kumaras, usually attend this ceremony.
The place selected for this stupendous occasion is a
small plateau surrounded by low hills, which lies on the northern side
of the Himalayas, not far from the frontier of Nepal, about 400 miles
west of Lhasa. This location is commonly referred to as the Wesak
Valley and the occasion is referred to as the Wesak Festival."
Bishop C. W. Leadbeater gave a first-hand account from
his personal participation and the Wesak Festival is described in
great detail in his book The Masters And The Path which was first
published in 1925. Geoffrey Hodson verified the account of the Wesak
Festival, as described by CWL, when he attended it on May 30, 1949
as entered in his occult diary (Light of the Sancuary).
Normally this day coincides with the 15th (full-moon) day
of the Fourth Month in the Chinese Lunar calendar, which is always a
public holiday in Singapore. This year, Wesak Day, as we know it
esoterically, coincides with the official Wesak Day public holiday on 9
May 2009. We shall hold our traditional annual Wesak Day celebration on
the public holiday on Saturday, 9 May 2009 at 11 a.m.
White Lotus Day
Madame H. P. Blavatsky
has always been a tremendous source of inspiration for all students of
occultism. Not only was she well loved and remembered by members of the
original Theosophical Society, she also had many friends and followers
outside of the Theosophical Society. Indeed, many movements were founded
outside the Theosophical Society to study her teachings. Even today,
more than a century after her death, new movements are still being
formed pledging personal allegiance to H.P.B. and faithfully adhering to
her original teachings. This is especially true in the cyberworld of the
Internet. We could almost say that many people are fiercely loyal to our
founder, Madame Blavatsky.
We join all these followers and students throughout the
world to commemorate the passing of Madame H.P. Blavatsky on May
8. This is the 118th anniversary of the death of one of the greatest
occultists in recent history. We call this day White Lotus Day to
remember with fondness the founder of the Theosophical Society.
White Lotus Day was declared by the co-founder and President
Col. H. S. Olcott in 1892 as a Day of Remembrance to "express the
feeling of loving regard for her who brought us the chart of the
climbing Path which leads to the summit of knowledge".
We shall celebrate Wesak Day on Saturday 9 May
at 11 a.m. As we normally do, we will have a talk giving a detailed
account of the esoteric Wesak Festival including a video recording made
by an Australian TV station of pilgrims gathering at the legendary Wesak
Valley. We will then have group meditation for 49 mins. A vegetarian
buffet lunch will be served thereafter.
We are happy to confirm the
choice of venue for the 2009 SLTS Theosophical Retreat. This year
we will be holding our retreat at the Turi Beach Resort in the
Indonesian island of Batam in the weekend of 27/28 June 2009. The
resort is located in the Nongsa area of Batam, Indonesia. Nestled on the
north-eastern side of the island, Turi Beach Resort is a 5 level
resort spread over 18 hectares of land facing the ocean. Balinese
bungalows are conveniently situated and surrounded by natural jungle
greenery with a striking view of the deep blue ocean. For more
information go to www.turibeach.com.
The retreat will incorporate
an appropriate spiritual programme including two workshops cum lectures.
The central theme for the 2009 Theosophical Retreat at Turi Beach
Resort is “Self-realization and Development”.
The retreat is only open to
members and their families. The cost for members is $240 per person for
twin-sharing and $325 for single. Children aged 3 – 11 will be charged
$155 each whilst infants less than 3 years old will pay $42. The cost
includes accommodation at the Turi Beach Resort, two lunches, one
dinner, one breakfast, workshop handouts, two tea breaks, return ferry
tickets from Tanah Merah to Nongsa Point including fuel surcharge and
taxes and two-way transfer from Nongsa ferry terminal to the resort.
Also included are transportation for two excursions, one to a 7-course
lunch and sight-seeing at the Vihara Duta Maitreya Temple and the
second to the Batam Centre Mega Mall for shopping. This is
excellent value for money, considering that it is during a
peak-period—the last weekend of the June school holidays. The Turi
Beach Resort is an up-market resort and we will be staying in the
new Tirta Wing, the long awaited addition to Turi Beach
Resort. Each beautifully designed resort room has a private balcony
which offers a spectacular panoramic view of the sea and the all new
Emerald Pool. For your information, the ferry ticket, surcharge and
taxes alone cost $46 per person.
More importantly, the
workshops will be helpful for the participant to improve his/her life
and gain spiritual progress. A few words about the theme of the
forthcoming retreat — we all know that the purpose of life is evolution.
Evolution implies growth or changes — changes, in the early stages, from
the lowest level of consciousness of the elementals, to that of the
mineral, vegetable and animal, and from the primitive man eventually to
the Perfected Man, and beyond. Simply put, evolution implies changes for
the better. Initially, evolution is concerned with matter, the changes
in form—to a better and ever better form for the indwelling life. At a
later stage, in particular for the human kingdom, evolution involves the
unfoldment of the spiritual potential in man. However, man changes ever
so slowly. This is a fact we all recognize.
Changes, naturally, are
dependent firstly on evolutionary impulses, but significantly augmented
by the will of the individual. Indeed, the will of the man to change
determines the speed of his evolution. But how many of us are
consciously willing ourselves to change for the better? How do we change
when we know no better? Indeed, how many of us even realize that we are
far from perfect? And that there are aspects of us that are far from
desirable? So, firstly, do we know if there is anything about ourselves
that needs changing for the better? If we do not realize or have not
identified any area for improvement, how could we expect to change?
Most of us could readily
recognize the desirable as well as the undesirable qualities in other
people. We often see the shortcomings in others and wonder how we might
change them, especially those who are close to us, because we care and
wish to improve them. But we realize soon enough that we could never
succeed in changing another person without his or her own effort. On the
other hand, there are also people we admire and regard as role models.
These people inspire us, and we wish we might have some of their noble
qualities. But how many of us ever succeed in changing as a direct
inspiration of others? Sadly, it seems easier to admire than to develop
the desirable qualities ourselves. The truth of the matter is, no one
can change us but ourselves and not without determined effort and the
will to do so. Especially, while it is easy to see the faults in others,
it is not often that we could see the faults in ourselves. So the first
step towards progress is self-awareness and self-realization, whether of
our own flaws or the desirable qualities we have not attained. We must
be able to identify the areas where changes must be made in order for us
to make spiritual progress. This is the theme of the forthcoming
retreat—“Self-realization and Development”. The two workshop modules are
intended to take us through the ideals, introspection, identification of
desired changes and the will to change.
Bring your family along, so
that they can be part of our theosophical activities. Children above 12
will benefit from the workshops. We will have time for work and play.
There are optional sea sports and city tour/shopping. More than 60 of us
were at our last retreat in Sebana Cove in 2005. We hope to see a larger
group this year, the more the merrier. Because of the peak period and
another group intending to go to Turi Beach during the same weekend we
have to pay our deposit soon to secure the rooms in the Tirta Wing. As
such, we need your registration and 50% deposit to be paid by
Saturday, 2 May 2009. You may send a cheque payable to “SLTS”
or pay by cash on or before 2 May 2009.