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Tuesday, 07 January 2014 07:03

Magha Puja

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This day, sometimes called Sangha Day, commemorates the spontaneous assembly of 1,250 arahants (those who attained enlightenment after the Fully Enlightened One did) in the Buddha's presence.

One thousand of the gathered monks had previously

 

achieved Awakening upon hearing the Buddha's delivery of the Fire Sermon.  Several months after his Awakening, the Buddha delivered this sermon to an audience of 1,000 fire-worshipping ascetics (people who renounced material comforts and led a life of austere self-discipline, as an act of religious devotion). The Buddha used the metaphor of fire to reach them. When they heard the sermon, the entire audience attained full Awakening (known as arahatta).

The other 250 arahants were followers of the elder monks Ven Moggallana and Ven Sariputta. At this auspicious gathering, the Buddha delivered the Ovada-Patimokkha Gatha (a summary of the main points of the Dhamma, or the truth as taught by the Buddha).  The Buddha then sent the monks out to proclaim these points to the world.

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