Panch Daan Program in Vancouver, Canada

Posted 3 years ago by Sandeep Bhattarai

Panch Daan Program in Vancouver, Canada

Hindu Buddhist Foundation of Canada (HBFC), a Canadian Charity, successfully organized Panch Daan program this afternoon, which is likely the first ever such program in BC, at Surrey Central Library.

MC of the program, HBFC secretary Dr. Sunil Hamal welcomed everyone and invited Mr. Ramesh Sthapit to say a few words about Panch Daan. Mr. Sthapit explained that Panch Daan is age old tradition of giving away five righteous donations that includes Khir (Rice Pudding), food Grains (rice, paddy or wheat), pulses (beans), salt and money.

The recipients of donations include the Buddhist monks, The Bajracharyas and the Shakyas. He further elaborated that another Buddha by the name of Dipankar preceded Gautam Buddha. Panch Daan traditon is believed to have started during Lord Dipankar Buddha’s time. During Gautam Buddha era, Gautam Buddha, his followers and monks travelled from one village to another spreading the knowledge that Buddha had realized. In consideration of difficulty collecting food door to door during the rainy season, Buddha and his entourage camped at one place, where the devotees brought food items. This way, they didn’t have to visit door to door to collect foods, and would have accumulated enough food required for the entire rainy season.

During the event, HBFC director Mr. Rajan Devbhandari recited a paper on Metta Bhawana. Metta is a Pali word which means friendship. Its equivalent term in Sanskrit is Maitri. Thus, Metta Bhavana is a meditation Practice that helps us open our heart to start the process of dissolving boundaries that we create in our mind. Before donating anything, one should develop Metta Bhawana. The attached document explains how to practice Metta Bhawana.

Mrs. Sangita Sthapit chanted Pancha Shila Prarthana (prayer) and everyone in attendance repeated after her. At the conclusion of prayer, some of the donated foods trays were passed on from one person to another before finally offering to Lord Buddha. The passing of the trays enabled everyone to touch the tray and symbolized group offering of food items. HBFC President Mr. Madhu Acharya recited the Punnyanumodana (Daan Gatha) Mantras in Sanskrit. Upon conclusion of recitation of the Mantras, the remaining food trays were passed on from one person to another before being offered to Lord Buddha.

The program concluded with vote of thanks from the HBFC President Mr. Madhu Acharya when he thanked all the event participants, donor and the volunteers. He also informed the gathering that all the food items collected will be donated to the Surrey Food Bank.

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