Friday, May 8, 2009

Wesak Festival

Saturday, April 19, 2008--reprinted from last year:

Today is the high, holy Wesak Festival of the Buddhists and all mankind. The Wesak Legend is a beautiful tale of hope, love and compassion. Whether one considers it a dream, legend or fact makes no difference. All that is required to participate is to open the Heart and Mind to whatever flows through. The legend goes like this--

There is a valley, lying at a rather high altitude in the foothills of the Himalayan-Tibet ranges. It is surrounded by high mountains on all sides except toward the northeast, where there is a narrow opening in the mountain ranges. The valley is, therefore, bottle shaped in contour, with the neck of the bottle to the northwest, and it widens very considerably toward the south. Up toward the north end, close to the neck of the bottle there is to be found a huge flat rock. There are no trees or shrubs in the valley, which is covered with a kind of course grass, but the sides of the mountain are covered with trees.

At the time of the full moon of Taurus, pilgrims from all the surrounding districts begin to gather; the holy men and lamas find their way into the valley and fill the southern and the middle parts, leaving the northeastern part relatively free. There, so the legend runs, gathers a group of those great Beings Who are the Custodians on Earth of God's Plan for our planet and humanity. By what name we call those Beings does not greatly matter.

The Christian may prefer to speak of Christ and His church. The esotericists may call Them the Masters of the Wisdom, the planetary Hierarchy, Who in Their varied grades are ruled and taught by the Christ, the Master of all Masters, and the Teacher alike of angels and men. Or we can call Them the Rishis of the Hindu scripture, or the Society of Illumined Minds as in the Tibetan teaching.

They are the Great Intuitives and the Great Companions of our more modern presentation, and are the aggregate of perfected humanity who have followed in Christ's steps and have entered for us within the veil, leaving us an example that we should do as they have done. They, with their wisdom, love and knowledge, stand as a protective wall around our race, and seek to lead us on, step by step (as They Themselves were led in Their time) from darkness to light, from the unreal to the real, and from death to immortality.

This group of Knowers of divinity are the main participants in the Wesak Festival. They range themselves in the northeastern end of the valley, and in concentric circles prepare Themselves for a great act of service. In front of the rock, looking toward the northeast, stands Those Beings Who are called by Their disciples "the Three Great Lords." These are the Christ, Who stands in the center; the Lord of living forms, the Manu, Who stands on His right; and the Lord of Civilization, Who stands on His left. These three face the rock, upon which there rests a great crystal bowl, full of water.

As the hour of the full moon approaches, a stillness settles down upon the crowd, and all look toward the northeast. The expectancy in the waiting, onlooking crowds becomes very great, and the tension is real and increasing. Through the entire body of people there seems to be felt a stimulation or potent vibration which has the effect of awakening the souls of those present, fusing and blending the group into one united whole, and lifting all into a great act of spiritual demand, readiness and expectancy. It is the climax of the world's aspiration, focussed in this waiting group. These three words--demand, readiness and expectancy--best describe the atmosphere surrounding those present in this secret valley.

The chanting and rhythmic weaving grows stronger, and all participants and the watching crowd raise their eyes toward the sky in the direction of the narrow part of the valley. Just a few minutes before the exact time of the full moon, in the far distance, a tiny speck can be seen in the sky. It comes nearer and nearer, and grows with clarity and definiteness of outline, until the form of the Buddha can be seen, seated in the cross-legged Buddha position, clad in His saffron-colored robe, bathed in light and color, and with His hands extended in blessing.

When He arrives at a point exactly over the great rock, hovering there in the air over the heads of the three Great Lords, a great mantram, used only once a year, at the Festival, is intoned by the Christ, and the entire group of people in the valley fall upon their faces.

This Invocation sets up a great vibration or thought current which is of such potency that it reaches up from the group of aspirants, disciples and initiates who employ it, to God Himself. It marks the supreme moment of intensive spiritual effort throughout the entire year, and the spiritual vitalization of humanity and the spiritual effects last throughout the succeeding months. The effect of this Great Invocation is universal and cosmic, and serves to link us up with that cosmic center of spiritual force from which all created beings have come. The blessing if poured forth, and the Christ--as the Representative of Humanity--receives it in trust for distribution.

Thus, so the legend runs, the Buddha returns once a year to bless the world, transmitting through the Christ, renewed spiritual life. Slowly then the Buddha recedes into the distance, until again a faint speck can be seen in the sky, and this eventually disappears. The whole ceremonial blessing, from the time of the first appearance in the distance until the moment Buddha fades out of view, takes just eight minutes.

The Buddha's annual sacrifice for humanity (for He comes back only at great cost) is over, and he returns again to that high place where He works and waits. Year after year, He comes back in blessing; year after year the same ceremony takes place. Year after year He and His great Brother, the Christ, work in the closest cooperation for the spiritual benefit of humanity. In these two great Sons of God have been focussed two aspects of divine life, and They act together as Custodians of the highest type of spiritual force to which humanity can respond.

Through the Buddha, the wisdom of God is poured forth. Through the Christ, the love of God is manifested to humanity; and it is this wisdom and love which pour forth upon mankind each May full moon.

When the Buddha has again disappeared the crown rise to their feet; the water in the bowl is distributed in tiny portions to the masters, initiates, and disciples, and They they go Their way to the place of service. The crowd, who have all brought their little cups and vessels of water, drink of them, and share iwth others. In this beautiful "water ceremony of communion" we have presented for us, in symbol, an indication of the New Age.

In this ceremony is perpetrated for us the story of the universality of God's love, the need for individual purification, and the opportunity to share with each other that which belongs to us all. The water which has been magnetized by the presence of the Buddha and the Christ, carries certain properties and virtues of healing and helpful nature. Thus blessed, the crowd silently disperses; the Masters and the disciples return with renewed strength to undertake another year of world service.

And so ends the moving legend. For years the Wesak Festival has been celebrated in Tibet and surrounding areas; it is a new concept to the west.
Because the holy observance combines eastern and western spiritual philosophies into one, some predict that one day it will stand as the main global spiritual holiday. When that happens, you can say you saw it here first.

Of Note: Marie did not know that when she took this soul-filled picture of the Rockies years ago, it would be used in place of the mighty Himalayas in 2008. I'm sure mountains have aspirations, too! In this case, the Rockies represent the elder statesman and the Himalayas the new kid on the block. This legend is quoted verbatim from a pamphlet The Wesak Festival: A Technique of Spiritual Contact, by A. A. Bailey. It can be obtained from

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