Since ancient times, Buddhists all over the world celebrate Buddha’s birthday by using fragrant water to bathe the image of the infant Buddha. There is great significance in the act as the fragrant water is poured over the statue of the infant Buddha three times.
It symbolizes the cleansing of our body, speech and thoughts to eradicate anger, greed and ignorance in order to purify our minds to cultivate merits and wisdom.
The universal message is that “it’s easy to wash away physical dirt, but much more difficult to cleanse one’s inner impurity of greed, anger and ignorance”. This is the true meaning of the Bathing of the Buddha Ritual.
Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike are welcome to partake in this significant ritual which involves kneeling in front of the baby Buddha with sincerity and pouring water over the shoulder three times by saying:
- “May I eliminate all evil thoughts”
- “May I cultivate good deeds”
- “May I help save all living beings”