May 05, 2012 11:01 AM
by Jeremy Condick
The reference on Wesak, HPB and Col. Olcott CW X 238 in Ceylon which is now Sri Lanka, speaks of the "substantial work done by Madame Blavatsky and Col. Olcott in the cause of Buddhism" and of their "new impulse" given to Buddhism there at that time 1880. As Sri lanka [changed from Ceylon May 22 1972] celebrates Wesak on the time of the full moon and as given today as May 17 for that location also, we might think that HPB and Col. Olcott indeed gave fresh impulse to the Wesak festival still celebrated there to this day at the correct lunar time and month of May, as indicated below.
The Festival of Wesak is the Festival of the Buddha, the spiritual intermediary between the highest spiritual centre, Shamballa, and the Hierarchy. The Buddha is the expression of the wisdom of God, the embodiment of light and the indicator of divine purpose. This Festival is fixed annually in relation to the full moon of May; it is the great Eastern Festival.
The Forces of Enlightenment are active at the time of the Wesak Festival. These Forces emanate from the heart of God; they are related to divine understanding and can reach and strengthen those who love and serve their fellowmen. This energy transmits the second principle of divinity, love-wisdom, of which the Buddha and the Christ are the two outstanding expression. The forces of enlightenement initiate the new world education. The first to be affected by them are the great educational movements, the forums of the people in all lands and the values which can unfold through mass communications media. The press, publishers of world literature, speakers, writers, radio commentators, newspaper men and social workers are all affected by these forces which stream into the minds of men. Their effects are not yet apparent to any degree, but these movements and people are the recipients today of the energies of enlightenment; as they recognise the new emerging ideas they can channel and direct energy to influence the masses of men everywhere.
Full Moon of Taurus
05 - 06 May 2012
Starts at: 22.36
Ends at: 03.36
US EST - GMT
I see and when the Eye is opened, all is light.
Buddhism was indeed reformed in its purest sense in spite of colonial power and indeed HPB and Olcott were known as 'white buddhists" and were honoured as such.
They [HPB and Olcott] made possible the public holiday or celebration recognised by the colonial rule and formed the "Buddhist education fund" also the "buddhist defence committee" of which Olcott was an honorary member and representative for Great Britain. We can but imagine the influence often not seen that such figures as HPB and Olcott had on the Wesak festival and other things throughout the world and indeed inaugurating its resurgence to the time of writing of Alice Bailey with the greatly expanded information on the spiritual festivals including the Wesak festival. JPC.
"The decision by the Theosophists to inaugurate the Buddhist Education Fund on the Wesak Poya (full moon day) of May 13, 1881 is one example of how useful the Wesak festival was as a tool for revitalizing Buddhism (Somaratna 6)."
20 Colonel Henry Steele Olcott was an American who, along with Madame Blavatsky, organized the Theosophical Society in 1875. He landed in Sri Lanka on 17 February 1875 (a day once celebrated as "Olcott Day" in Independent Sri Lanka) and proceeded to form the Buddhist Theosophical Society. He was influential in promoting a Buddhist revival in Sri Lanka (Fields 62).
"Vesak is celebrated as a religious and a cultural festival in Sri Lanka on the full moon of the month of May, for a duration of one week." wikipedia
"The government has declared May 14- 21 as the Vesak Week to coincide with the 2600th Sambuddathwa Jayanthi celebrations."
"The Vesak year declared will be from May 17, 2011 this Year's Vesak Poya Day to next year's Vesak Poya Day."
"All Ceylon Buddhist Congress (ACBC) made elaborate arrangements to celebrate the forthcoming Sambuddhathwa Jayanthi Bauddhaloka Wesak religious festival for the 10th consecutive year, from 17th to 21st May 2011 along Bauddhaloka Mawatha, Colombo 7.
Buddhist schools to participate in Vesak celebrations
The Education Ministry will conduct a series of programmes to mark Vesak Week with the participation of Buddhist schools countrywide.
The Education Ministry has informed Provincial Education Secretaries, Provincial Directors, Zonal Directors and Divisional Directors, Deans of National Education Faculties, Principals and teachers to conduct these programme in a fitting manner.
Shramadana and environment conversation programmes will be held on May 2. Creation of Vesak decorations will be carried on May 3.
A sill observation programme will be held on May 4.
The programme will be held with the participation of schoolchildren and teachers in Buddhist schools. Displaying of Vesak decorations , lighting Vesak lanterns and lamps, participating in religious activities in temples, dansal serving tea, herbal drinks, flower offerings and Vesak Bakthi Gee will be held at school level on May 5 and 6.
The certificate awarding ceremony for participants as well as teachers and schoolchildren will be held on May 8.
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