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Event Detail

     Esala Full Moon Poya Day

Start Date/Time:
Friday, July 23, 2021 (UTC-08:00) Pacific Time (US & Canada)
End Date/Time:
Friday, July 23, 2021 (UTC-08:00) Pacific Time (US & Canada)
Recurring Event:
One time event
Importance:
Normal Priority
Category:
Poya Day
Description:

 

Three prominent events are associated with Esala Full Moon Poya Day :

*  The conception of Boddhisatta in the womb of Queen Maya.

*  It was on Esala Full Moon Day that Prince Siddhartha relinquished the lay life and did the ‘Abinishcramanaya’ (renunciation) to become an ascetic, in search of the ‘Truth’.

*  This day is of great significance to the entire Buddhist community as it was on such a day, two months after the Buddha attained Enlightenment, delivered his first sermon, Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta ( the wheel of truth) to the five ascetics- Kondangna, Wappa, Bhaddiya, Mahanama and Assaji at Isipathanaya in Benares (Baranasi).

 

EsalaPoya_Sermon_in_the_deer_park

 

The Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta The Discourse on Setting the Wheel of the Law in Motion

 

It was on the Esala Full Moon Poya Day the Buddha arrived at the deer park of Isipathana to preach Dhamma to Ven. Kondangna, Vappa, Bhaddiya, Mahanama and Assaji, the five ascetics.

 

The Buddha delivered His first discourse 'Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta' to them. At the end, the eldest Kondangna Thera attained the first stage of Nobility (Sovan).

 

The Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta (“setting in motion [pavattana] the wheel [cakka] of the law [Dhamma]“) is the first discourse that the Buddha delivered after his enlightenment.

 

This is the single most important text in human history.

The Buddha delivered the discourse to the five ascetics with whom he had been traveling and practicing for the several years prior to his enlightenment. Those five had abandoned him about a month earlier when he decided that the extreme asceticism he’d been practicing was not getting him closer to his goal, and he took a little solid food; the Bhikkus felt that he was selling out, indulging in sensual pleasures, and they’d walked away. But the Buddha understood that they were good men, advanced on the path, committed to their practice, as he put it, they were men “with little dust on their eyes”. The discourse he delivered to them was dense with meaning; it lays out, in just a dozen or so short paragraphs, the foundation for all the teaching that came later: described by the “the Middle Way”, “the Four Noble Truths”, and “The Eight-fold Path”.

 

The sutta is short enough so that it would take less than half an hour to read all of those, and that would be a worthwhile exercise.

This is how I’ve heard that it happened:

 

On that occasion, the Fortunate One had come to Varanasi, to the Game Park at Isipatana.

 

There he addressed the five ascetics: “Bhikkus, when you’ve gone forth into the world, there are two paths you must avoid. One is the path of luxury and sensual pleasure, of ambition and material success. That path is crude and common, unworthy, not leading to the goal. “The other is the path of self-mortification and rigid asceticism. That is a painful path, and it too is unworthy, not leading to the goal.

 

“Bhikkus, you can avoid those two extremes by following the Middle Path realized by ; this Middle Path is an eye-opener; following it, you will come to know. It calms you down, lightens your load, reveals the truth with lucid clarity; you will awaken fully, completely released from all pain and distress. “And what is this Middle Path realized by The Pathfinder that brings vision and knowledge, calms you, reveals the truth, leads to awakening and complete release? It is a Path with eight factors: right understanding, purpose, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right awareness, and right concentration. That is the Middle Path realized by The Pathfinder: producing vision and knowledge, it will calm you, reveal the truth, and wake you up so you will attain complete release.

 

“This is a Dukkha“. Birth is dukkha, aging and death are dukkha; sorrow, grief, hurt and despair are dukkha; dealing with hateful people and events is dukkha; separation from what you love is dukkha; not getting what you really want is dukkha. In fact, everything you experience, every sensation, every perception, every emotion you feel, every belief you maintain, every thought you have is Dukkha.

 

“This is a Noble truth: the origin of dukkha. It is creating an image of something you don’t have and wanting that. You imagine something full of passion and delight; now here, now there, you crave that. You crave sensual delight. You crave for pleasure to go on forever. You crave for discomfort to end right now.

 

“This is a Noble truth: the cessation of dukkha. It is to cease the craving; cease it completely, leaving no residue. Renounce it, relinquish it, release it, let go of it: all that craving.

 

“This is a Noble truth: the way to the cessation of dukkha. It is just this eight-factored Path, the Path of right understanding, right purpose, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right awareness, and right concentration.

 

“So, there is this Noble truth: dukkha. Recognizing that first truth, vision arose within me; insight, understanding, knowledge, illumination arose within me, regarding one aspect of an essential truth never heard before: dukkha. Now, that truth imposes a demand: it must be fully known. Recognizing that demand, vision, insight, understanding, knowledge, illumination arose within me, regarding a second aspect of this truth never heard before: dukkha must be fully known. And I knew: this essential truth of dukkha has been fully known by me: thus vision, insight understanding, knowledge, illumination arose within me, regarding a third aspect of this truth, never heard before.

 

“There is this Noble truth: craving is the origin of dukkha. Thus vision, insight, understanding, knowledge, illumination arose within me, regarding the existence of this second truth, craving as the origin of dukkha. And again, I saw what must be done: craving must be let go of. And I knew: cravinghas been let go of by me. Thus vision, insight, understanding, knowledge, illumination arose within me, regarding two other aspects of this truth, never heard before.

 

“There is this Noble truth: with the complete cessation of craving, there is a cessation of dukkha. Again, this truth imposes a demand: the truth of the complete cessation of craving must be experienced. And again I knew: this truth of the complete cessation of craving has been experienced by me. Thus vision, insight, understanding, knowledge, illumination arose within me, regarding the three aspects of this truth, never heard before.

 

“There is this Noble truth: the way to the cessation of craving is just this same eight-factored Path. This truth also imposes a demand - the Path that leads to the cessation of dukkha . And again I knew: this truth, this eight-factored Path, has been brought to life by me. Thus vision, insight, understanding, knowledge, illumination arose within me, regarding the three aspects of this fourth truth, never heard before. “As long as my knowledge and vision of things as they actually unfold was not perfectly clear, each of the four truths in each of its three aspects - twelve turns in all - I could not claim to have realized the incomparable supreme enlightenment in this universe with its gods, its destroyers and its creators; in this generation with its recluses and its Brahmins, its spirits and its humans.

 

But when my knowledge and vision of things as they actually unfold became perfectly clear - The Four Truths, each with three aspects, making twelve turns in all - then I did claim to have realized the incomparable supreme enlightenment in this universe with its powers, its destroyers and creators; in this generation with its recluses and Brahmins, its spirits and its humans. Then knowledge and insight arose in me: nothing any longer holds me here; this is the last birth; there will be no more becoming.” That is what the Fortunate One said. The five ascetics, attending, were thrilled with his words. And in one of them, the Venerable Kondañña, the last vestige of dust fell from his eyes and : “Whatever can come to be, all that will end.”

Created by Web Editor On Tuesday, July 13, 2021
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