pakstan.jpg (2654 bytes) L I F E S T Y L E  ии  F E S T I V A L S

   R  E  S  O  U   R  C  E 

Magha Puja

Buddha Mind - get one, be one.


Magha is the third lunar month of the old Indian calendar. It usually falls somewhere toward the end of February or early March.

10pixel.gif (124 bytes)
teaching on the full moon
The origin story of this festival tells of a spontaneous gathering, from many separate parts of the countryside, of 1250 fully enlightened monks. They had all quite independently decided to go and visit the Buddha and assembled on the full moon day of Magha in the Bamboo Grove at Rajagaha where the Buddha was currently living. All of these monks were direct disciples of the Buddha - having been ordained by him. Because of this gathering the full moon of Magha has come to be known as 'Sangha day' and is a time when monastics will make an effort to gather together to share their knowledge and experiences. In the West this is toward the end of winter when many of the monasteries have just finished a long retreat and such a gathering is a very joyous time. Many would not have seen each for some time and with the arising of spring and the end of a long retreat there is much to share.
10pixel.gif (124 bytes)
laid back Buddha
It is said that on the last year of his life, on the full moon of Magha, the Buddha declared that he would pass away in three months time. Whether or not the tradition of commemorating this gathering had been established at this point is unknown but the Buddha might have used such an event to make this announcement. Regardless of this possibility such an auspicious declaration adds significance to this moon day.
The day is a consideration of what it means to be part of sangha - this includes the fourfold sangha; lay men and women, monks and nuns but because of the origin of the event it tends not to be so significant for lay people. For the ordained community who have come together there may be a series of meetings to discuss various aspects of the teachings, periods of group meditation, talks given by senior members of the community (both resident and visiting) and a variety of other events - often quite spontaneous - over a period of several days.