“There is a valley lying at a rather high altitude in the Himalayan ranges in Tibet.
At the time of the full moon in May, pilgrims from the surrounding district begin to
gather.  Among those gathered so the legend runs, is a group of those great beings
that are the custodians on Earth of God’s plan for humanity.  This group of
“knowers of divinity“ are the main participants in the Wesak Festival.”

The Wesak Festival, which is fixed annually in relation to the full moon of Taurus, is the great Eastern festival of the Buddha.  The Buddha is the expression of the wisdom of God, the embodiment of light and the revealer of divine purpose.

This festival, which is known by many as a day of supreme spiritual impact, is not a commemorative celebration but rather a present, living event.  Wesak is a sacred ceremony, which takes place each year between the Buddha, the Christ, and the united spiritual Hierarchy as a blessing is poured forth upon our planet.

On Wesak the forces of enlightenment, which emanate from the heart of God, flow outward into human consciousness.

This energy transmits the divine principle of love-wisdom, of which the Buddha and the Christ are the two outstanding expressions.  In unison with each other, and under the guidance of the Buddha who came to bring light to the East, and the Christ who came to bring light to the West, they can demand and evoke such a blessing and spiritual revelation that the immediate future can demonstrate what is so sorely needed – “peace on earth,  good will to men.”

Before 1985 awareness of the Wesak Festival which occurs in the “Wesak Valley” in the Himalayan Mountain region was only a legend in the “western” world.  Though some had seen the festival in dreams and visions.

The Wesak Festival itself, is known to all Buddhists and Hindus and to many hundreds of millions of people of the Muslim faith.  It is the festival, which celebrates the Lord Buddha.  For most people it is a day which honours His birth, His life and His enlightenment.  On planet earth it is a day most celebrated by humanity.  Awareness of this day and the healing energy, which radiates through the planet, is growing in the western cultures and people are honouring this time by gathering together in prayer and meditation.

The ceremony, which is held in the Wesak Valley in the Himalayas.  Legend has it that at the time of the ceremony, in the Wesak Valley high in the Himalayas, the energy body of the Buddha descends to a level close to the physical plane so that humans can benefit from the tremendous love that he radiates.

The journey begins in Lhasa, where a small group who had set out from different parts of the world had regrouped.  They faced many obstacles ahead, not the least of which was 600 miles of Tibetan Himalayan Mountains to cross.

The planning for the journey began in New York in 1981 when David Thomas, Albert Falzon and Mary Bailey spoke about raising awareness of the Wesak Festival in the west.  It was to take until May 1985 to get there.  But every day was a joyous adventure with never a doubt that they would arrive at their destination.  Unfortunately the winter of 1985 in Tibet was a winter of epic proportions.  In April, Lhasa was still surrounded by snow.  The journey west was to be challenging.

In the service of humanity a challenge is always a joy and obstacles are just a different way of looking at situations.

The spirit in its innermost self remembers beautiful worlds
Beyond all the recollections abides an inexpressible, firm consciousness
Of the possibility of return to the light
Whence the spark emanated.

It is said that when a man or a woman sees something for the first time they look upon reality.  Perhaps he has seen the very first fire in the world … How can he describe fire to someone who has not seen it?  And then a day comes everybody knows what fire is … it is as familiar as the sky, the clouds and the air we breathe.  If we find one who still has not seen fire, we too have to fall back on words while knowing that the words are not the actuality they describe.  So it is when we talk of Mount Kailas and the Wesak Valley.  A land of solitude, for this is one of the earth’s most solitary places … Human beings and their works are like minute clouds upon this landscape – just passing through.

Their goal now is the holiest place on our planet.  The place considered by thousands of millions as the seat of the most high God.  It lies on the central plateau of Tibet, and on the roof of the world.  The name of this holy, most sacred mountain, which represents the spiritual centre of the world for a third of the human race, is Mount Kailas and the Wesak Valley.

The journey to Mount Kailas is eight days of non-stop driving along the southern road crossing the trans-Himalayan mountain ranges and on this road they were presented with visions of spectacular beauty – majestic and unforgettable.

Of all places of pilgrimage, it is considered the most difficult to reach and the most full of blessings for the successful.

Only exaltation of spirit
Enables one to cross the radiant bridge
Let each one who is illumined by spirit
Walk boldly into the temple

These vast and lonely plains have been ground flat by the sheets of ice that once covered them to a depth of several kilometres.  It is a place of titanic forces, which are shaping the earth and will continue to do so while yet the Earth lives.

Of all creative energies, thought remains supreme … Some may believe that precise knowledge is the crown of thought, but better still to say that legend will crown thought.  In legend is robed the will of the people.

The night before their arrival the truck breaks down at 20,000 feet, while the temperature dives to minus 25 degrees.  Nobody sleeps that night but everyone thinks a lot as they watch the truck ice up and get covered in snow.

It’s a test, not so much of their fortitude, but of their faith and the ability to recognise and hold on to that faith under the most serious circumstances.

This is the final gate before entering the Wesak Valley – the home of God.  With the dawn they manage to dig out the truck and move into the final pass and down into the valley.  The Wesak Valley here is also a day of reunion, of pilgrimage and of joyous expectancy.  It is a holy day.  Approaching the time of the full moon pilgrims from all the surrounding districts begin to gather.  The holy men and lamas find their way into the valley, which is overshadowed by the sacred mountain.

Kailas stands in splendid isolation, radiating majestic beauty and power.  Some have spent months travelling to this valley.  For others it’s the fulfilment of a lifetime dream.  Others recall travelling there in their dream state.  Such is the nature of this festival.

They arrive the day before the full moon and already pilgrims were gathered, attaching their prayer flags to the centre pole and circling the area in prayer.  The day of the full moon dawned clear and bright, in sharp contrast to the blizzard conditions the day before.  Many more pilgrims had gathered.  Yet where did this great crowd come from?  Now they circle the prayer flags with intensity and expectation.  The chanting becomes more rhythmic and harmonious.  The lamas gather their musical instruments and prepare for the approach of the full moon.  A stillness settles down over the crowd.  The expectancy becomes more intense amongst the waiting, onlooking group of pilgrims, disciples and others who have found their way to the valley.  How easily they could have missed this valley, if it hadn’t been for the chance encounter with a lama, whose true identity as the Rimpoche, or head lama, only became known to them on the following day.  The men are senior lamas of the Red Hat Sect, their presence emphasises the important nature of this holy gathering evolving naturally in the mighty presence of Mount Kailas.

Through the entire body of people the stimulation of a powerful vibration seemed to be felt.  No one could deny this soul-uplifting energy, fusing and blending the group into one united whole.  They had the feeling that they were not alone, that millions of others were there in consciousness, and that the Wesak Festival was an outer expression of an inner spiritual reality.  It was the high point of their pilgrimage.  Words were not needed.  They had linked into another world.

Legend has it that the Wesak Festival forms itself into a channel for the transmission of power, and blessings from the levels on which the Buddha may be found.  He acts as a focal point for that power and, passing through his aura, pours it out over humanity.

The Buddha recognised that there is at the core of the human experience an energy, a potential.  This spark is our divinity which does not exist separately for it is the essence of Life itself.  It is, and always has been, and forever shall be.  And the point of the human experience is to wake up consciously to this indwelling life and give oneself to it, without reservation or hesitation or conditions.

When the Buddha was preparing to depart the Earth, he said, “I am not the first Buddha, who has come upon earth, nor shall I be the last.  In due time another Buddha will arise in the world, a Holy One, a supremely enlightened One.”  “How shall we know him?” the Buddha was asked.  “He will be known as Maitreya,” he whose name means “full of kindness”.

The road to the Wesak Valley