Bak Poya Day »
Drop of Dhamma Delight!


 How to be a True Buddhist through Observance?

The Bak Poya day is the full-moon of April. This holy day celebrates that the Buddha
visits Ceylon for the second time to reconcile two local chiefs Mahodara and Cūlodara,
uncle and nephew, who had fallen into war threatening hostility about a jewel-beset throne...
The story shows the Buddha as fine diplomat and is given in full below!

On such Full-Moon Uposatha Poya Observance days:
Any Lay Buddhist simply joins the Three Refuges and undertakes the Five Precepts like this:
Newly bathed, white-clothed, clean bare feet, one kneels at a shrine with a Buddha-statue,
and bows first 3 times, so that feet, hands, elbows, knees and head touch the floor.
Then, with joined palms at the heart, one recites these memorized lines in a loud, calm
and steady voice, just like this:

As long as this life lasts:
I hereby take refuge in the Buddha.  
I hereby take refuge in the Dhamma.
I hereby take refuge in the Sangha.
I hereby seek shelter in the Buddha for the 2nd time.
I hereby seek shelter in the Dhamma for the 2nd time.
I hereby seek shelter in the Sangha for the 2nd time.
I hereby request protection from the Buddha for the 3rd time.
I hereby request protection from the Dhamma for the 3rd time.
I hereby request protection from the Sangha for the 3rd time.

I will hereby respect these Three Jewels for the rest of my life!

I accept to respect and undertake these 5 training rules: 
I hereby accept the training rule of avoiding all Killing.
I hereby accept the training rule of avoiding all Stealing.
I hereby accept the training rule of avoiding all Sexual Abuse.
I hereby accept the training rule of avoiding all Dishonesty.
I hereby accept the training rule of avoiding all Alcohol and Drugs.

As long as this life lasts, I am thus protected by these 5 precepts... 

Then, one keeps and protects these sacred vows better than one's own eyes and children,
since they protect you and all other beings much better than any army! They are the highest
offer one can give in and to this world! A journey towards the deathless Nibbāna is started!
This is the Noble Way to Peace, to Freedom, to Ease, to Happiness, initiated by Morality,
developed further by Dhamma-Study and fully completed by training of Meditation...

Today indeed is Pooya or Uposatha Observance day, where any lay Buddhist normally keeps
also the Eight Precepts from sunrise until  next dawn. If any wish official recognition by
the Bhikkhu-Sangha, they may easily forward the lines starting with "I hereby" signed by
name, date, town, and country to me or join here.  A Public list of this new quite rapidly
growing global Saddhamma-Sangha is set up here!

The New Noble Community of Buddha's Disciples: Saddhamma Sangha:

Can quite advantageously be Joined Here:
May your journey hereby be light, swift, and sweet. Never give up !!
Bhikkhu Samahita:
For Details on Uposatha Observance Days:

Reuniting those who are divided, by bringing harmony:
Now the most compassionate Teacher, the Conqueror, rejoicing in the salvation of the whole
world, when dwelling at Jetavana in the fifth year of his Buddhahood, saw that war, caused
by a gem beset throne, was like to come to pass between the nagas Mahodara and Cūlodara,
uncle and nephew and their followers! The SammaSamBuddha, then on the Uposatha day of
the dark half of the month Citta, in the early morning, took his sacred alms bowl and his robes,
and, out of compassion for the nagas, sought the Nagadipa. At that time thesame naga Mahodara
was then king, gifted with miraculous powers, in a nagas kingdom in the ocean, that covered half
a 1000 yojanas. His younger sister had been given in marriage to the naga king on the
Kannavaddhamana mountain; her son was Cūlodara. His mother's father had given to his mother
a splendid throne of jewels, then the naga had died and therefore was this war between the
nephew and his uncle threatening!

The bejewelled throne, the Buddha and the deva Samiddhisumana.
Mural painting. Kelaniya Temple

The nagas of the mountains were indeed also armed with many various miraculous powers.
The deva Samiddhisumana took his rajayatana tree standing in Jetavana, his own fair habitation,
holding it like a parasol over the Conqueror, he, with the Teacher's leave, attended him to that spot,
where he had formerly dwelt. That very deva had been, in his latest birth, a man in Nagadipa.
On the very spot where thereafter the rajayatana tree stood, he had seen PaccekaBuddhas
taking their meal. And at the sight his heart was glad and he offered branches to cleanse their alms
bowls. Therefore he was reborn in that very same tree in the pleasant Jetavana garden, outside of
the gate rampart. The God of all gods saw in this an advantage for that deva, and, for the sake of the
good, which should spring therefrom for Ceylon, he brought him there together with his tree.
Hoovering there in midair above the battlefield, the Master, who drives away spiritual darkness,
called forth dreadful darkness over the nagas!

Then comforting those who were distressed by terror, he once again spread light abroad.
When they saw the Blessed One, they joyfullydid reverence to the Masters feet.
Then the Vanquisher preached to them the Dhamma that makes concord, and both nagas gladly gave
up the throne to the Sage. When the Master, having alighted on the earth, had taken his place on a seat
there, and had been refreshed with divine food and drink served by the naga kings, he, the Lord,
established in the three refuges and in the 8 moral precepts eighty kotis of snake-spirits, dwellers in
the ocean and on the mainland. The naga-king Maniakkhika of Kalyāni, maternal uncle to this naga
Mahodara, who had come there to take part in the battle, and who before, at the Buddhas first coming,
having heard the true Dhamma preached, had become established in the 3 refuges and in the moral duties,
prayed now to the Tathagata: Great is the compassion that you have shown us here, Master!
Had you not appeared we had all been consumed by war to ashes. May your compassion yet settle also and
especially on me, you who are rich in friendly loving kindness, please peerless one, come again back here to
my home country. When the Lord had consented by his silence to return, then he planted the rajayatana tree
on that very spot as a sacred memorial, and the Lord of the Worlds gave over the rajayatana tree and the
precious throne seat to the naga kings to do homage thereto: In remembrance that I have used these,
do homage to them naga kings! This, well beloved, will bring to pass many blessings and happiness for you
for a long time!When the Blessed One had uttered this and other exhortations to the nagas, then he,
the compassionate saviour of all the worlds, returned to the Jetavana monastery.
Here ends the explanation of the Visit to Nagadipa.

Nagadipa Temple today.

Source: Mahavamsa I:44. The Great Chronicle of Ceylon.
Translated. By Wilhelm Geiger 1912; reprinted in 1980.

The Buddhist Poya Uposatha Observance Day Calendar is here:

Reuniting is Bak Poya Day!

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