18.5.11

Making Offerings

The fact of making offerings is almost a daily practice in Buddhist countries for lay people and others. As in Theravada Buddhism practiced in Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar monks (and nuns) cannot cook their own food, every morning at sun rise it is possible to see them walking ot of the many temples, barefoot, in their saffron robe with their bowl and collecting cooked food from households. People willing to offer the food usually set a small stall outside on the roads and the monks collect. This is one type of offering considered a very good deed for 'sangha' the community of lay people who want to support and remain connected with those who have taken vows to follow Buddha's path.


The other type of offerings are usually made directly to the temples by ways of displaying flowers, rice bowl, bananas, coconuts, incense, water, and candles to Buddha's statues, spirit houses, and other concrete representation of Buddha's path.

Here a picture of the left overs of some offerings at a stupa in a temple downtown Vientiane. A stupa is an elevated building said to contains Buddha's relics.The shape of the stupas may vary from Nepal, India, Sri Lanka or Thailand but essentially they all have a pointed top and a large round base.

The Golden Stupa of our picture is located at Central Vientiane Wat That Foun At  which was entirely renovated in 1998.

For the past 3 days, celevrations were held in most temples as all the above mentioned countries celebrate Visakha Buch Day, the day of Birth and passing into Nirvana of the Buddha. It was also Full moon and a day where manypeople gather to temples to make offerings. This year the celebrations were also marked by the fact that the year 2011, corresponds to the year 2555 in Buddhist Calendar, marking the anniversary of birth of Budhha.

Our humble token of offering to the celebrations through the grid of 'The Divine Within Me salutes the Divine Within You" aka "Namaste" or I Shin Den Shin.

In gratitude