The 15th day of full moon during this Magha month of the lunar month calender of Buddha era (BE) 2556 of this February 25, 2013 is the Maghapuja Day. It marks a very important event for Cambodian Buddhists because this day Lord Buddha delivered the Ovatha Padhimokha (discourse on the code of conduct) towards the Bhikkhu monk assembly at the Veluvannaaraam monastery which is the first monastery in Buddhism. That day marked the four important sacred events:
- The 1250 Bhikkhu monks who were sent to different directions for Dhamma propagation returned back to this assembly spontaneously (Sabbe Khinaasavaa).
- All Bhikkhu monks are Ehibhikkhu (spontaneous monkhood-being) who were ordained by Lord Buddha directly named Ehibhikkhu Upasampadaa (Sabbe Ehibhikkhuka).
- All Bhikkhu monks are Arahanta (enlightened one) attained 6 knowledge such as performing different types of miracle, holy ears, holy eyes, able to read mind of others, able to review the past lives, and free from all defilement, have assembled collectively at Veluvanaraam monastery (Sabbe Animantitaa).
- That assembling day was due on the full moon day of Magha lunar month (Maghanakkhatte Punnacanto)
This meeting event is also called Caturangha-Sannipatta or the assembly of four foundations.
This assembly was held at Veluvanna monastery in Rajakreha capital of the King Bhimpisaara after Lord Buddha enlightened for 9 months before the Buddha era (BE) 45 years.
The impulse of Bhikkhu monks came to this assembly spontaneously at Veluvanaaram monastery during this full moon day of Magha month coincided with the Sivaratrii of Brahmanism. During this day, Brahmanists have always cleansed themselves from sin by worshiping Siva god. So the Bhikkhu monks made this day to meet Lord Buddha during his trip off from Sukarakhaa cave within the Veluvanaaraam temple. Note that all those Bhikkhu monks spent their time for Dhamma propagation within different paths and one path was allowed only one monk. The arrival of Bhikkhu monks to this assembly is considering sacred spontaneity as during that time was not having phone or internet to communicate with each other.
What are the background of those 1250 Bhikkhu monks?
- Students of master Uruvelakasapa were 500
- Students of master Natikasapa were 300
- Students of master Gayaakasaba were 200
- Students of master Sariiputta and Moghalaana were 250
Totaling together are 1250 without including those five gurus.
Because of this very sacred coincidence, Lord Buddha declared the code of conduct for all Bhikkhu monks to comply with during their task of Dhamma propagation.
- Ideal: refer to patience and persistency (or take in charge for politics)
- Goal: refer to Nibbana is the highest destination of Buddhism (public goods in society)
- Implementation: refer to abstention from abusing on human and animal rights (human rights)
- Principle: refer to three characters such as avoiding all evils (social safety), cultivating good (social well-being), and cleansing one’s own mind (individual development).
- Pedagogy: refer to 6 factors such as
- No verbal bashing other (right speech: friendly, truly, politely, lovely and respectfully)
- No violate on other or abuse on other (non-violence, peaceful mean)
- Abide by the code of moral (ethic)
- Know moderation of consuming (economy)
- Staying within silent place (urbanization)
- Effort in meditation (education)
The five above factors are the key policy of Buddhism.
Maghapuja day is conveyed as Buddha Day, while Visakha day is Buddha Day and Asalaha Day is Sangha Day.
What are the benefits of conducting Maghapuja Day?
- Buddhists regain right understanding of this day
- Understanding rightly to the key concept of Dhamma and key policy of Buddhism
- Grow commitment and faith in Buddhism more and more
- Exercise the rights and fulfill the duty as a Buddhist during this day
- Help uphold Buddhism to be more prosperous and spreading farer and wider
This Maghapuja day is like a mirror to see those who are Buddhists on how much they actively engage and learn during this important event. Thus, as Buddhist, you should spend time to walk to nearby monastery or Buddhist center to commemorate this day collectively as well as to earn merit, knowledge and peaceful life for ourselves regardless of age, gender, status and trend.
(Unofficial translate by Pheakkdey)
Note: translator would like to express deep gratitude to the author who wrote this article. This is priceless piece for the further study of Engaged Buddhism. But the article is little disorganized. Hope next time, the author will organize it into more academic and smoother way for all readers.
Please, read more articles about this day by Dhammapandita Heng Monychenda