(Translating from Khmer text /Text by Nath Men)
Meak Bochea Day “Magha Puja” is one of many important ceremonies of Buddhism in Cambodia celebrating every year. it celebrated on the 15th day of full moon (the Lunar calendar) on February 8, 2020. Other countries also celebrate it as Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand, South Vietnam …etc. The Celebration is reminding the 3 important things:
- “Cāturaṅgasannipāta”: Buddha’s Assembly with 1250 monks from many different places.
Buddha advised all the monks “Arahants”
- Buddha decided to pass away for next 3 months.
The Buddha’s Assembly was the first and last meeting that Buddha met with monks without planning, and it took note of 4 factors which happened during the meeting:
The day was full-moon day.
- The day was 1250 disciple monks came to see Buddha without appointment.
All the monks were “Arahants” or enlightenment.
- All the monks were taught by the Buddha himself. Some disciples became monks after they had a good understanding from Buddha who was teaching or giving advice. It happened only during times of the Buddhist era.
The Cāturaṅgasannipāta or Assembly, the Buddha taught or gave advice the monks as “Arahants” which called “Ovādapātimokkha”. The Ovādapātimokkha meant that the Buddha gave pieces of advice to the monks. The Assembly was taking note of 3 tings:
- The non-doing of evil.
- The full performance of what is wholesome.
- The total purification of the mind.
After the Ovādapātimokkha, Buddha proposed two monks Sariputta and Moggallana as the right and left leaders.
The day of Magha Puja, the Buddha decided to pass away for next 3 months which called Nirvana or Nibbana when he was 80 years old. That’s why he had passed away on the full-moon day of Vesak month.
In Buddhism, the Vesak Ceremony is celebrated for the birth, enlightenment and the death of the Buddha.