Asalaha Puja Day, the full moon day of the Asalaha (the eighth lunar month), is the day to celebrate the three important events in Buddhism:

  • The Buddha’s first sermon (Dhamma-cakkappavattana Sutta)
  • Venerable Anna-Kondanna became the First Noble Disciple of the Buddha
  • The Triple Gem of Buddhism (i.e. The Buddha, Dhamma, and Sangha) was established in the world.

ACTIVITIES

  • TUM BOON – making merit by going to temples for special observances, making merit, listening to Dhamma preaching, giving some donations and join in the other Buddhist activities.
  • RUB SIEN – keeping the Five Precepts, including abstinence from alcoholic drinks and all kinds of immoral acts.
  • TUK BARD – offering food to the monks and novices (in the alms bowl).
  • PRACTICE OF RENUNCIATION  – observe the Eight Precepts, the practice of meditation and mental discipline, stay in the temple, wearing white robes, for a number of days.
  • WIEN TIEN – attending the Candle Light Procession around the Uposatha Hall, in the evening of the Vesak full moon day.

BACKGROUND

After The Lord Buddha enlightens on the full moon day of the sixth lunar month (Visakha), he spent seven weeks nearby the Bodhi Tree. Afterward, he decided to teach the Dhamma to the others, even though there were difficulties for ordinary people to understand. His former teachers were dead, the next group of people he thought of were five ascetics called “Pancavaggi”, group of five, who, at that time, lived in a forest named “Isippatanamarukatayawan”, the deer park near Varanasi.

On the day before the full moon day of the eighth lunar month, Asalaha, there he was. The next day, the full moon day, The Lord Buddha gave them his FIRST SERMON called “Dhamma-cakkappavattana Sutta” or the Discourse on Setting the Wheel of Dharma in Motion. Not long after that, the head of the Five Ascetics, named “Kondanna” got “The Eye of Dhamma” and asked for ordination from The Lord Buddha. He became the FIRST MONK in Buddhism. The full moon day of the eighth lunar month became the day that honored the Sangha, or the community of the monks.

 

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