Full Moon Day of Kasone (May) Lord Buddha’s First Victory

  • By Maha Saddhamma Jotika dhaja
    Sithu Dr. Khin Maung Nyunt

 

MG 1023 @ Thwe Thwe Tun copy
File photo shows Buddhist devotees water the Bo Tree at Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon to mark Buddha Day which falls on the Full Moon Day of Kason. Photo: Thwe Thwe Tun

There are eight victories which Lord Gotama Buddha achieved over his eight opponents not by means of force but by means of peace in the form of metta (loving kindness). These eight victories of Lord Gotama Buddha are well known as
“Aung Chin Shitpar” literally
atmifjcif;&Spfyg;.
The first victory of Lord Buddha achieved was the one over his opponent Satan the evil deva who tried to dislodge Lord Buddha from his seat under the shade of a Bodhi Tree (Banyan Tree where Lord Gotama Buddha was being enlightened).
The following is the brief of this event;_
“In the Kawza Sakarit of 103 (Buddhist Era) on the full moon of Kasone, Lord Gotama Buddha was in deep meditation, with a determination not to rise and go away till he achieved Buddhahood.
At that moment Satan the evil deva from Vasavadi kingdom, riding young Mingala Elephant came down, challenging Lord Gotama Buddha to move from his seat for him. First Satan the evil deva used his beautiful daughters to entice Lord Buddha. On failure, he turned to force by attempting to attack with all his warriors.
Lord Buddha remained unshaken. He said that to become a Buddha he had aeons of years of practicing perfections ten virtues (parami). In the different forms of lives, good he had been through he had done only good deeds and never bad deeds. To prove that what he said was true, he called upon Earth, saying Earth has restored in its womb all good deeds of all my lives in this whirl pool of Samsara (Endless cycle of births and rebirths).
Lord Buddha raised his right hand and with his fore finger pointed to the Earth, calling upon the Earth to stand witness to what he said.
Whereupon, the entire Earth quaked. Heavy showers came down, causing billows of waves. Wathonedarey, the god of Earth appeared from the earth saying what Lord Gotama Buddha said was true. Every time he did good deed, libation ceremony was made. I had collected water of libation ceremony in my hair. Look at it”. So saying the Earth god squeezed his hair and out came constant libation water from his hair carrying army of Satan’s warriors.
Then, Lord Buddha says “Satan the evil deva, I give metta (loving kindness) and one day you will come to listen to my Dhamma and you also will escape from Samsara to reach Nivana, the end of all cravings and sufferings – eternal peace.
Of many mudras (hand gestures) of Buddha images or pictures, Bhumisatha mudra (earth touching or pointing gesture) is most revered and sacred. You will find the statue of Earth god wathonedarey squeezing his long hair producing water. After libation ceremony performed at the end of any religious deed, Myanmar Buddhists pour libation water on the head of Wathondarey Statue and calling upon it to stand witness to their good deeds. They then strike nearby gongs or bells to send out the shares of religious deeds to all humans and spirits of being in all directions.
Because Lord Gotama Buddha became enlightened under the shade of Banyan Tree anmifyif it became the Bodhi Tree. Buddhas of the past and Buddhas of the future had and would have their own Bodhi Tree. The 28 Buddhas became enlightened under different kinds of trees including bamboo. You can see them at the shrines of 28 Buddhas (ESpfusdyf&Spfqlbk&m;).
Seeds of saplings of Bodhi Tree (Banyan Tree) were brought either from Boolgaya in India or from Sri Lanka by monks, Myanmar kings’ delegations, or private pilgrims throughout Myanmar history till today. Therefore sacred Bodhi Trees are found not only in the precincts or platforms of famous pagodas but also in most areas across Myanmar.
In Kasone on full moon day, Myanmar traditional monthly festival is held without fail. In Yangon, a big water-pouring ceremories are held at Shwedagon Pagoda, Sule Pagoda, Botahtaung pagoda, Ngahtatkyi, Chaukhtatkyi and Ko-htat Kyi pagoda etc. Kasone is very warm and dry. Water diminishes in the earth. So we need to pour water at Bodhi Tree. In Mandalay, a grand Kasone water-pouring takes place at Bodhigone, Kuthodaw, Kyauk Taw Kyi, Sandamuni, Maha Muni, Shwe Kyet Yet Pagodas on a grand scale usually rain clouds gather on such occasions and sometime thunderous heavy down pour take place.
It is so pleasant and religiously inspired to watch the train of pretty Myanmar ladies bearing pots of water on their heads, each more than one pots (in rural areas, there used to be some girls who can bear up to 10 pots) coming to the Bodhi Tree to pour. At the end of the line are groups of armature male performers, playing percussion and wind instruments, singing songs and dancing joyously. They joined in pouring water. Cold drinks and Myanmar traditional snacks are served.
Kasone water pouring ceremony is also a good occasion for young boys and girls to meet.
Kasone full moon day ceremonies and events are depicted in Myanmar visual arts and re-enacted in Myanmar performing arts.
The famous song named Aung Chin Shitpar sung by nationally famed film actress and singer May Shin. ar&Sif revealed by A1. Film is still popular with the current generation.
The entire song described how Lord Gotama Buddha won his eight opponents by means of metta (loving kindness) sending out the messages of his Dhamma to the world to avoid conflict and to restore permanent peace by metta (loving kindness).

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