Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Makha Puja Day

Makha Puja Day

This ceremony marks two important dates in the life of Buddha. The first event occurred two years after Buddha’s enlightenment and is referred to as the Fourfold assembly. These events were:
  • 1,250 disciples came to see the Buddha that evening without being summoned.
  • All of them were Arhantas, Enlightened Ones, and all were ordained by the Buddha himself.
  • The Buddha gave those Arhantas the principles of Buddhism, called "The ovadhapatimokha". Those principles are: - To cease from all evil,- To do what is good,- To cleanse one's mind;
  • It was the full-moon day.
All of these occurred on full moon day of the third lunar month. As part of this gathering Buddha gave the basic principles of Buddhism to the monks. These principles are:
  • Not to do any bad deeds
  • To do good deeds
  • To cleanse the mind of impurities.
If everyone followed these principles we would have a peaceful family, peaceful community, peaceful nation, and peaceful world. Or put another way, we would have peaceful and happy lives.
The second event occurred in the second half of Buddha’s life on Makha Puja day. Buddha delivered a sermon called "Keys for success". The second event was three months prior to his passing away. During this ceremony lay people focus more intensely on Dhamma and meditation. Dhamma (or Dharma) as it is sometimes referred to is the teachings of Buddha. Lay people would typically take vows to refrain from bad habits and perform acts to benefit them spiritually. The Keys are as follows:
  • Good will and good intention (Chanda)
  • Effort (Viriya)
  • Thoughtfulness (Citta)
  • Investigation (Vimangsa) 

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