The Miracle of the Avent of Buddha on the Full Moon Night
Visakha Bucha is the ceremony that commemorates the birth, enlightenment, and death of Gautama Buddha.
Lord Buddha’s biography on this day signifies the miracle that happened in the middle of the year and of the month, which is the full moon (15th lunar day) of the sixth lunar month and is described as follows.
1. The Birth
The Buddha, while being a Bodhisattva in heaven, was incarnated and born in the womb of Queen Mahamaya, the wife of King Sutthothana, the King of Kapilavastu. When Queen Mahamaya was pregnant for 10 months and was about to give birth, she traveled back to the maternal home, Devadaha. Upon reaching the Lumbini, which is a Sal forest in between the two cities, which blossomed out of the season, she gave birth to her son on the full moon day of the sixth month with the name “Siddhartha.”
In that time, his wife “Queen Yasothara”, his disciple “Ananda”, his charioteer “Chandaka”, his father’s minister and close friend “Kalutayi”, his horse “Kanthaka”, Maha Bodhi Tree, and the four Treasure Pots were born at the same time.
2. The Enlightenment of Buddha
The Lord Buddha, after his ordination, had traveled to live the life of an ascetic.
Later he met Alara Kamala and Udaka Ramaputta, and mastered their teachings, but thought that these are not the way to enlightenment. Thus, he then changed to practicing extreme forms of self-mortification for nearly six years with his five companions as his attendants. Afterwards, he realized that self-mortification is not the way to liberation from suffering and rebirth. So, he went for alms and stayed in the middle path, meaning not being involved in the two ultimate things, which are happiness rising from sensual pleasure and negative state of mind.
On the full moon (15th lunar day) of the sixth lunar month, he sat cross-legged under the shadow of the Bodhi tree. With a firm mind, he could recall his past lives in the early evening, cleanse the mind from impurities in the middle of the night, realize the Law of Dependent Origination in the late night, and attain liberation from the endless cycle of rebirth at the time of dawn.
3. The Nibbana (Nirvana)
After the Buddha carried out his duty by spreading his teachings and prospering Buddhism for 45 years, he, along with the companion monks, arrived at the Sal Forest Park in the outskirts of Kushinagar in the late evening. He sat between two Sal trees, which blossomed out of the season.
On that occasion, the Buddha gave his last words as “Bhikkhus (monks)! This is my last piece of advice to you. All the components in the world are impermanent. Nothing lasts forever. May you all strive with diligence and not be heedless.” The Lord Buddha then entered his final meditation and passed away, reaching nirvana at the final hour of the night, on the full moon (15th lunar day) of the sixth lunar month.
The birth, enlightenment and Nibbana of the Buddha is the miracle that took place in the middle of the month and of the year (the full moon of the sixth lunar month). What he discovered was the liberation from the attracting worldly currents by neutralizing the mind and not attaching to anything. In Dhamma, we call it “Equanimity.” It is the most important Dhamma that the Buddha taught and is a way to be free from any attachments from the attracting currents of the universe.
On this important day of Buddhism, Buddhists should commemorate the grace of the Buddha, follow his teachings by practicing giving, observing precepts, practicing meditation and then dedicating merit to the Buddha. Do pray with a firm and resolute mind to be in the noble path or so called the middle path. Strive with diligence and do not be heedless as the Buddha taught in his last words for the continuation of Buddhism and to free yourself from the endless cycle of rebirth in this Buddha-interval.
5000s Magazine with Master Acharavadee Wongsakon
26 May 2021
Translation: Samroeng Thongrong