Sunday, February 24, 2013

"Magha Puja" The First Assembly Day

Magha Puja Day
The First Assembly Day
      Magha Puja Day has been announced to be one of the most important holy days in Buddhism because there were four marvelous events happening over 2,500 years ago.  This day is an important Buddhist holy day because of Dhamma.  The Lord Buddha taught the Dhamma Principles and his teachings for the assembled arahants in that day to disseminate and save the beings from sin.

      Magha Puja Day is the special holy day which usually falls on the full moon day of the 3rd lunar month, sometimes the Buddhists call “the day which the moon is occupying the Magha auspicious time”.   The Buddhists usually do the activities and ceremonies on Magha Puja Day in the middle of the 3rd lunar month, but if there is 2 times of the 8th lunar month, the activities will delay to do in the middle of the 4th lunar month.  The Magha Day is important because it is the meeting anniversary of the arahants who assembled without any schedule.  This day is also called to be “The Day of Four Marvelous Events” which occurred at the Veluvana Maha Vihara after the Lord Buddha had enlightened for 9 months.

      On that Day the Lord Buddha taught “Ovadapatimokha” which is the Heart of Buddhism.  This teaching consists of the goals, principles and procedures of Buddhism completely.

1.    The Goal of Buddhism is Nirvana.
2.    The Principles of Buddhism are the practitioners have to be patient in self-cultivation to achieve goal which are consists of
a.    Not to commit any kind of sins
b.    Do only good things
c.    Purify one’s mind.
3.    The procedure is the practitioners have to cultivate themselves continuously until their Eightfold Path occurs or until they have precepts, meditation and knowledge well.  The Eightfold Path is similarly to the 8-strand rope.  The precepts, meditation and knowledge are similarly to the 3-strand rope.  They develop their actions, speeches and mind to do, say or think only good things.  They should not fall in the power of defilements which are greed or lust, anger, and delusion.  They should not fall in the power of defilements or passions such as sexual desire, foolish aspiration to receive something, foolish aspiration not to receive something, example – not want to lose their fortune, rank, praise or happiness, etc.

What were the Four Marvelous Events on Magha Puja Day?
1.    It was the full moon and holy day.  The moon occupied the Magha Auspicious Time.
2.    All 1,250 monks gathered there without any schedule.
3.    All assembled monks were arahants.
4.    All assembled monks were ordained by the Lord Buddha.

      Now the government has announced that Magha Puja Day is the official Thai holiday.  On this day there will be many activities and ceremonies, example, offering the morning alms round, listening to Dhamma, doing the candle light procession, etc to worship and remind the Triple Gems and the important events mentioned above.
     In 2006 Thai government had appointed Magha Puja Day as “The National Grateful Day” because in the current Thai society Thai teenagers often make love on Valentine Day. So many organizations have made the campaign Magha Puja Day to be the Pure Love Day.