Waso-Dhammacakka Day celebrated at pagodas nationwide

Buddhist devotees visit the Shwedagon Pagoda on the Full Moon Day of Waso yesterday.   Photo: Phoe Khwar
Buddhist devotees visit the Shwedagon Pagoda on the Full Moon Day of Waso yesterday.  Photo: Phoe Khwar

Buddhists observed the Full Moon Day of Waso, also known as Dhammacakka Day, at pagodas across the country yesterday, as they took Precepts from Members of the Sangha, offering robes to Buddha Images and reciting religious verses.
The holy day began in the morning at the Shwedagon Pagoda with a ceremony to donate robes to the Buddha images at the pagoda. Also, the members of the pagoda’s Board of Trustees offered a day meal to the members of the Sangha.
The pagoda was crowded with people beginning from early morning.
Buddhist devotees can take Precepts at the pagoda every Sabbath Day during the three-month Waso, or Monsoon Retreat period.
At the Botahtaung Pagoda, Buddhists and religious associations took part in a ceremony to offer Waso robes to the pagoda at the four entrances of the pagoda.
Members of the Sangha also delivered sermons at the ceremony.
The same ceremonies were held at pagodas throughout Yangon yesterday.
On this day, over 2560 years ago, the Buddha preached his first sermon, known as the Dhammacakka which means “Turning of the Wheel of Dhamma”.
A Dhammacakkapavattana Sutta recitation was also held at pagodas across the country.
On this auspicious day for Buddhists, pagodas were teeming with worshippers from morning to night.
The Full Moon Day of Waso is highly significant for Buddhists because this is the day that the Buddha was conceived. Later in his life, on this day, the Buddha renounced worldly pleasures.
During the three-month period of the Monsoon Retreat for Buddhist monks, pagoda Ovadacariya (patron) Sayadaws will administer sermons to devotees in the Ancient Buddha Images Hall.
The Dhammacakka Festival marks the Buddha’s delivery of his First Sermon, known as Setting in Motion the Wheel of Truth (Dhammacakkapavattana Sutta), in the Deer Park at Isipatana, near Benares in India.
He delivered this first sermon to the five ascetics with whom he had practiced severe austerities for five years.
Some months before then, when he had concluded that these ascetic practices did not produce the results he was seeking, these ascetics decided to leave him because they felt he had abandoned the holy way of life.
Left alone, the Buddha chose to follow a middle path between indulgence in sensual pleasures and the practice of self-mortification.
This resulted in his attainment of Enlightenment and his discovery of the Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold Path.—Yi Yi Myint/Ohmar Thant

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