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Asalha Puja: History and Significance of Dhamma Day, the Theravada Buddhist festival



Asalha Puja

Asalha Puja, the Theravada Buddhist festival, will occur on July 13, 2022. The holiday falls on an alternate day every year since it is celebrated on the full moon day of the eighth lunar month. This regularly falls in July.

Asalha Puja Day, otherwise called Dhamma Day, is the day that denotes the start of Buddhism.

The Buddha found his old companions at a deer park close to Benares on the full moon day of the eighth lunar month (around July), or Asalha Puja Day, and gave them his most discourse, the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta.

While Vesak Day, or the Buddha’s birthday, is the most renowned holiday in Buddhism, likewise denoting the Buddha’s enlightenment on his 35th birthday celebration, Buddhism itself didn’t exist until a couple of months subsequently.

History of Asalha Puja

Asahna Bucha day is the celebration of the ‘Four Noble Truths’- Dukkha, Tanha, Nibbana, and the eightfold way taught by Buddha after his edification.

This first sermon called ‘Setting the Wheel of Dhamma in motion’ was given at Deer Park in Sarnath city, close to the conversion of the Ganges and Gomti river in Uttar Pradesh, India is the Thai version of Asalha Puja. It is otherwise called Dhamma Day.

This day denotes the start of the Vassa, the Buddhist lent period that goes on for quite a long time and by and large happens on the primary full moon of the 8th lunar month as Buddha was brought into the world during a full moon.

The meaning of this day is shown when you notice that most temples are covered with carvings of deers and wheels as this sermon was held at deer park and the dharma of buddha is symbolized as a wheel.

Buddha said ‘I teach one thing and one thing only: suffering and the end of suffering’.

The introduction of this idea in the primary sermon is the core of Buddha’s teachings. It prompts the different ways of philosophies individuals have learned from Buddha.

Significance of Asalha Puja

As per Tricycle, a Buddhist publication, this holiday is likewise huge in light of the fact that it’s a celebration of starting points.

The historical backdrop of the holiday begins with when the Buddha acquired enlightenment and was prepared to give his first teaching.

He sought out five individuals with whom he had spent time practicing with and gave teaching in Sarnath, India. The lesson he gave covered the four noble truths and the eightfold path, which are core tenants of Buddhism.

The four noble truths of insight are:

  • There is suffering.
  • There is a cause for suffering.
  • There is an end to suffering.
  • The way out is the eightfold path.
  • In the First Truth:

Buddha made sense that in any presence one is bound to suffer and be subject to change, which is the ordinary state of life. You can’t be with your lover forever. One day a partition will occur as you become older, become weaker, and die.

The First Discourse of Truth is of incredible importance on because of two reasons. One was The First Structured Teaching given by the Buddha after his enlightenment and The Second was that it turned into an occasion that laid the establishment of Buddhism as a religion.

  • The Second Truth:

covers the reason for suffering. Buddha made sense of experiencing circumstances and effects. Just through the destruction of the reasons for presence can one be able to remove suffering.

  • The Third and the Fourth Truths:

Show the exit plan from suffering. This will carry one to a state of perfect calm and bliss, total independence from all types of suffering.

One can arrive at this level by following the Middle Way, which comprises of right understanding, right thought, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration. . This is the ultimate way to finishing satisfaction.

The eightfold path is a Buddhist guideline for living ethically and cultivating a world that brings an end to the causes of suffering.

The eight steps are:

  • Right view
  • Right intention
  • Right speech
  • Right action
  • Right livelihood
  • Right effort
  • Right mindfulness
  • Right concentration

Subsequent to hearing the example, one individual there turned into the first Buddhist monk, which began the religious community of Buddhists (called the sangha).

Since these teachings around the four noble truths and the eightfold path are so significant in Buddhism, Asalha Puja allows Buddhists an opportunity to honor these teachings.

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