By Cyrus Ryan
WESAK occurs once a year at the Full Moon in Taurus, generally at the end of April or the beginning of May. This is a momentous spiritual event that is little recognized in the West. Even many Buddhist religious groups that celebrate WESAK rarely comprehend the significance of this spiritual event for the awakening of the human soul in the hearts of all men and women.
The story of WESAK has been told as follows:
At the exact moment of the Full Moon in Taurus, the Buddha Gautama, the Enlightened One, returns to earth in a sacrosanct ceremony that takes place in a sacred valley deep in the Himalayas. This ceremony is officiated by Lord MAITREYA, the World Teacher accompanied by many Masters of Wisdom, Initiates, and disciples of various degrees of awakening. (The word ‘disciple’ in this context does not connote a follower, but indicates a degree of Soul evolution.) The Buddha appears briefly over a particular flat rock formation at the center of the valley. Lord MAITREYA and the Masters are arrange around this rock in a ritualized pattern and begin to invoke the blessing of the Buddha by chanting the mantram of the Buddha. Surrounding the Masters are the Initiates (Arhats, Lohans, and Maha yogis) while the disciples are positioned on the periphery of this ceremonial event. Soon all are chanting:
“Om Namo Tasse Bhugavato Arrahato Summa Sum Buddha sa”.
The Buddha soon appears as if descending from heaven, his color is radiant gold, his right hand raised in blessing. His blessing is focused on the Masters of Wisdom who then act as a spiritual transformer radiating this blessing through the other participants and then out to humanity. On the rock below the Buddha there is a large bowl of water that receives the blessing and is then passed around to be shared by all those in attendance. The ceremony lasts only a short time. Many who attend do so in their subtle bodies, not always in their physical bodies. Once the ceremony is completed all the participants return to their fields of service and the valley is once again empty and silent.
Why Wesak Is So Important:
WESAK is a spiritual event for Humanity. Lord MAITREYA, the Initiates, and disciples represent the spiritual inner government of humanity which is often referred to as the Spiritual Hierarchy. The Spiritual Hierarchy is concerned with the evolution of the Soul in all mankind. The Hierarchy guides, teaches, and uplifts struggling Humanity. There are many members, some who appear periodically in their physical vehicles and walk among men. When these great beings appear in physical manifestation they make a great and lasting impact on Humanity. To name just a few of these world wonder workers; Moses, Hermes Trismegistus, Lao-Tse, Adi Shankara, Zoroaster, The Buddha, Ezekiel, The Christ, Krishna, and Plato. The Angels and Arch Angels, the Devas also make up the Spiritual Hierarchy as they work closely with the Masters and Initiates.
Taking part in a WESAK ceremony puts you in touch with a yearly effort by the Hierarchy. You now share in the Work of the Great Compassion of the Buddha to uplift humanity. You create an association on the inner planes of Spiritual endeavor with the Schools (Ashrams) of Masters who work unceasingly for humanity. This association is like a seed planted in the fertile soil of Aspiration to Soul awakening, Service to the Schools of the Masters, and service to Humanity. The WESAK ceremony not only has a present purpose but it also helps to speed your own spiritual evolution in the future. Taking part in the WESAK ceremony, year after year, helps build a karmic relationship with the Buddha (Bodhichitta, awakening to the path of enlightenment) and the Masters and Initiates of the Spiritual Hierarchy. This relationship is important because it can guide your future lives and assist with positive rebirths to enable your spiritual growth to continue more rapidly.
“In your effort to help the world at this time there are three things of a practical nature that can be done.
- The active instruction and mobilizing of the known aspirants and disciples of the world, no matter in what group they work.
- The call to participate of all who can be reached advising them of the day of opportunity, mobilizing them for a vast world effort to arouse afresh a spirit of good will, and calling for a united use of the Great Invocation on the day of the WESAK Full Moon.
- The arranging of public meetings on as large a scale as possible, to be held on the day of the full moon of WESAK. I mean by this that meetings should be held for the public at some time during the eighteen hours which precede and include the time of the WESAK full moon.”
“What is it that should be accomplished at each momentous Wesak full moon? I shall state the objectives sequentially and in the order of their importance;
The releasing of certain energies which can potently affect humanity, and which will, if released, stimulate the spirit of love, brotherhood and of good will on the earth.
The Fusion of All Men of Good Will in the World into an Integrated Responsive Whole.
The invocation and the response of certain great Beings, Whose work can and will be possible if the first of the objectives is achieved through the accomplishment of the second objective.
The evocation from the inner side of a strenuous and one-pointed activity on the part of the Hierarchy of Masters, those illumined Minds to Whom has been confided the work of world direction.”
“The next few months are intended to be (for all disciples in all Ashrams) a period of preparation for fuller service. No cost is too great to pay in order to be of use to the Hierarchy at the time of the Wesak Festival; no price is too high in order to gain the spiritual illumination which can be possible, particularly at this time.” (Esoteric Psychology by Alice A. Bailey, pg 629)
“You will note that the Buddha focuses in Himself the down-pouring forces, while the Christ focuses in Himself the out-going demand and the spiritual aspiration of the entire planet. This makes a planetary alignment of great potency. Should the needed work be accomplished at the WESAK Festivals, the needed alignment in the world can be made.” (Esoteric Psychology, pg. 699)
Spiritual workers are needed now, and taking part in a local Wesak Festival unites spiritual workers around the world to help build this most important planetary alignment which helps to construct the ‘rainbow bridge’ (antakarana) between the Hierarchy of Enlightened Minds and Humanity. This is more than wish fulfillment, it is an ideal that we can all strive for making a strong effort to be part of this world spiritual event. The ‘forces of light’ wait patiently to be called into activity on earth by the aspirations of a united spiritual invocation by a waiting humanity. First meditate on the importance of the WESAK Festival, and then ask yourselves from your ‘inner-most-self’, do I truly want to serve on the ‘upward lighted way’ for the benefit of mankind.
Cyrus Ryan is a Canadian Zen Theosophist that frequently visits to lecture and lead events for MCNJ. He has traveled and studied extensively in India and Tibet.