Makha Bucha Day falls on February 24, the full moon day of the third lunar month, and we are here to tell you how you can celebrate the day in the best possible way. Did you know that it has been more than 2,500 years since Siddharta attained enlightenment and became known as Buddha — The Enlightened One? Makha Bucha, also known as Magha Puja is observed to commemorate the meeting of Buddha and his first 1,200 disciples. Makha or Magha is the month, and Bucha or Puja means prayer. It is also called Saṅgha Day and Fourfold Assembly Day, and it is celebrated in parts of Thailand, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, and Cambodia.
History of Makha Bucha Day
The exact origins of the birth of Buddha are not known. There have been conflicting theories, some suggesting that he was born around 600 B.C. while others in parts of Japan and Korea suggest that he was born in 800 B.C. Buddha was born as Siddhartha in Lumbini, present-day Nepal, in an aristocratic family. When Siddharta was conceived his mother went to her father’s place in Kapilavastu. As a youth, Siddharta had the privileges of life. His father Suddhodana was the hereditary monarch of the Suryavansha (Solar Dynasty).
Later, when Siddharta stepped out of the kingdom, he faced the realities of life. He saw poverty, suffering, and death, which deeply moved him and gave him existential crisis. Siddharta decided to leave his kingdom and the pleasures of life and lead the life of an ascetic. And thus, Siddharata started meditating. It is during this time that he realized the importance of the Middle Path, that is, creating a balance between self-indulgence and severe asceticism. In Bodh Gaya, sitting under the Mahabodhi tree, Siddharta attained enlightenment and became known as Buddha — The Enlightened One.
Ten months after the enlightenment followed the events that led to Makha Bucha. The first 1,200 disciples of Buddha, who have attained enlightenment themselves, gathered to see Buddha without being summoned. It was also the full moon night of the third lunar month. This day came to be celebrated as Makha Bucha. It is said that it was also the day Buddha appointed Sāriputta and Moggallāna as his two main disciples.
Makha Bucha Day timeline
Siddhartha is born in Lumbini to an aristocratic family.
Siddharta renounces the luxuries of life and steps out of his kingdom to live as an ascetic.
Siddhartha attains enlightenment and becomes Buddha.
Buddha meets with his first 1,200 disciples and this day became known as Makha Bucha.
Makha Bucha Day FAQs
What activities are associated with Makha Bucha Day?
There are many activities and customs associated with Makha Bucha. On the morning of Makha Bucha, monks are offered food by the devotees. Later in the afternoon, they visit the temple for the sermon. The Five Precepts and The Eight Precepts are also observed.
What is the most important festival in Buddhism?
Vesak is the most important festival for Buddhists. It is the birthday of Buddha. It is celebrated in May, on the first full moon day.
What are the three main beliefs of Buddhism?
The three main beliefs of Buddhism are (1) “The Three Universal Truths” — everything is impermanent and changing, impermanence leads to suffering, all life involves suffering; (2) “The Four Noble Truths” — the truth of suffering, the truth of the cause of suffering, the truth of the end of suffering, and the truth of the path that leads to the end of suffering; (3) “The Noble Eightfold Path” — right view, right resolve, right speech, right conduct, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right samadhi.
How To Observe Makha Bucha Day
Visit your nearest temple
This day would be a great time to bring out your religious and spiritual side. Visit your nearest Buddhist temple or monastery and offer your prayers. You can also meditate and do some self-introspection.
Share it on social media
Not many people know the significance of this day. Write an article or a blog post about Makha Bucha and its significance, and share it on social media. You can also share related pictures and videos.
Learn more about Makha Bucha
Use this day to read more about Mkaha Bucha and other fascinating Buddhist stories. As you dive deeper into these stories, you will discover amazing historical facts that you never knew and also expand your general knowledge in the process.
5 Facts About Buddhism That Will Blow Your Mind
Buddhism is a western term
The term Buddhism was coined by Western philosophers in 1833.
Clement of Alexandria mentions it
Clement of Alexandria from 2 A.D. mentions Buddhism.
It has two branches
Buddhism has two branches namely, ‘Theravāda’ (The School of the Elders) and ‘Mahāyāna’ (The Great Vehicle).
Buddhism is known to be the fourth-largest religion.
Buddhists don't believe in the Creator
Buddhist teachings don't mention the existence of a Creator or God.
Why Makha Bucha Day is Important
It allows us to bring out our spiritual side
We often get busy with our hectic schedule and busy routine and forget to give time to ourselves. This day provides us with a great opportunity to set aside the stress and work on ourselves. It allows us to meditate, reflect on our decisions, and self-introspect.
It gives us an opportunity to learn more
It is rightly said that one must never stop learning. Makha Bucha provides us with an opportunity to learn more about Buddhist stories, beliefs, and teachings. It gives us a chance to expand our knowledge.
It reminds us of the teachings of Buddha
Buddha was someone who refrained from his worldly attachments and set out to live a life of an ascetic. His teaching of finding the middle way instead of going extreme is something we should all follow in life. This day provides us an opportunity to look back at the teachings of Buddha and ingrain them in our lives.
Makha Bucha Day dates