Sunday, February 17, 2008

Bon Meag Bochea or Magha Puja Day 2551

Above pictures are the merit observation of the members of Cambodian-American Buddhist Association of Hawaii (Cabah) in Sunday, February 10, 2008 at Cambodian Dhammaram Buddhist Temple of Hawaii. Many members were gathering there to chant prayer, observe the precepts, offer food to monk, mutual socializing and interacting happily. This harmonious occasion potentially sustains the healthy and wealthy multicultural society of America.

Bon Meach Bochea or Magha Puja Day (Fourfold Assembly or "Sangha Day") takes places on the full moon day of the third lunar month (March). This holy day is observed to commemorate an important event in the life of the Buddha. This event occurred early in the Buddha's teaching life.

After the first Rains Retreat (Vassa) at the Deer Park at Sarnath, the Buddha went to Rajagaha city where 1250 Arahats,(Enlightened saints) who were the Buddha's disciples, without prior appointment, returned from their wanderings to pay respect to the Buddha. They assembled in the Veruvana Monastery with the two chief disciples of the Buddha, Ven. Sariputta and Ven. Moggalana.

The assembly is called the Fourfold Assembly because it consisted of four factors: (1) All 1250 were Arahats; (2) All of them were ordained by the Buddha himself; (3) They assembled by themselves without any prior call; (4) It was the full moon day of Magha month (March).

The three important teachings delivered by Lord Buddha and become the cornerstone of Buddhism are: 1. Avoiding all evil deeds, 2. Cultivating all good deeds, and 3. Purifying one own's mind.

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