Saka Dawa, World Environment Day

Lichen on mangrove tree
Lichen on mangrove tree

June 5th, Happy Saka Dawa! Happy World Environment Day!

Saka Dawa commemorates three of the Buddha’s major life events—the Buddha’s birth, enlightenment, and parinirvana.

World Environment Day 2020 calls for urgent action to protect biodiversity.

Today brings these two special commemorative days together. His Holiness the Dalai Lama regularly reminds us to put more effort in protecting the environment.

“Being attentive to the nature
Of interdependence of all creatures
Both animate and inanimate
One should never slacken in one’s efforts
To preserve and conserve nature’s energy” (HHDL)

Biodiversity describes the variety of life on Earth, like an intricate web, in which each part is interdependent.

It is estimated that it would take 1.6 Earths to meet the demands that we humans currently make of nature each year.

The Buddha advised his followers to refrain from harming other beings and the environment in which they dwell. Saka Dawa is the perfect day to contemplate the state of our planet, to take steps in changing things for the better, helping those who are protecting and enhancing biodiversity and rejoicing in the good works of all. Lama Zopa Rinpoche advises that all actions, including simply delighting in the good works of others, are multiplied extensively during Saka Dawa (so imagine donating…).

During this year’s Saka Dawa, there is also a lunar eclipse. During the actual time of the eclipse, the power of actions is further multiplied by seven hundred thousand, bringing the total multiplying effect of this year’s Saka Dawa to three hundred million seven hundred thousand (300,700,000)! So even if you can’t plant a tree or save a forest, just rejoicing in the work of others will bring you great benefit which you can then share!