Samyak dan

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Image by Monika Deupala

Samyak dan is an annual event for the Bhaktapurians which takes place in Na pukhu each year during Maghe Sankranti. But, this Samyak dan or Mahadan is done once in five years and 12 years in Lalitpur and Kathmandu respectively.

Samyak here literally means doing things in the right way. Samyak dan often called Samyak Panchadan or Samyak Mahadan has relatively a greater significance and has aesthetically a lot more impact on Buddhism.

Especially for the Buddhists, it is an eminent opportunity to convey the message of doing dan (donation).

The event takes place at Jayakriti Mahavihar (Thathu Bahi) which lies at the western ground of Na: Puku. However, there are more interesting acts that abide to happen before the samyak dan like the gathering of Pancha Buddhas (Five Dipankar Buddhas) at Bhaktapur Durbar Square.

The festival especially honours Dipankar Buddha who predicted lord Shakyamuni Buddha’s enlightenment in a previous lifetime. In Bhaktapur, the Shakyas and Bajracharya gather in a samyak ground near the Na pukhu pond accompanied by Panchbuddha and Samyak Buddhas that are offered Chaku balls and rice as a grant.

There is no exact information regarding when and how the Samyak Dan start-up of, however, there is a sort of word about how it started in Bhaktapur. As per the available resources, Samyak panchadan first took place in N.S. 787 in Bhaktapur all arranged by Jayaratna Bajracharya.

He was fulfilling his father’s (Jayadeva Bajracharya) wish to do a grand donation to the Bajracharyas and Shakyas. With his capacity and supervision, he also renovated the current Jayakriti Mahavihar and held the first Samyak Mahadan over there.

During Samyak dan, all the five Dipankar buddhas are gathered at Jayakriti Mahavihar. But before that, a series of actions take place like the act of La: Swa Wanegu, which means to go to the roadway to welcome the guests.

In this event, the two buddhas from Jayakriti Mahavihar and Bauddha Samakrit Vihar go to Bhaktapur Durbar Square to welcome the other three buddhas who comes from Prasannasheel vihar, Mangaldeep Vihar and Chatur Varna Mahavihar.

After the conjunction of all these buddhas, they directly go to the Thatu Bahi, where the priests welcome them by washing their feet. This act is marked as Tuti Lichaayekegu. Thereafter, the buddhas are placed in a row to begin the Samyak dan.

With the Buddhas, the other four Samyak Buddhas, the priests and then the other Shakyas and bajracharyas take their place to get the dan.

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