Magha Puja (មាឃបូជា) February 05, 2012

Magha Puja Day falls on the full moon day of the second or third lunar month(late February or early March). The date of all of the Cambodian festivals is based on the lunar calendar so the "Canadian" dates vary from year to year. We will be celebrating Magha Puja Day on the date and location as below:

Location: Bodhikaram Temple, 1197 Deer Park Road, Ottawa, ON

Saturday Evening, February 04, 2012

Start from 7:30 PM to 10:00 PM
-Pay Respect to the Triple Gem and Undertake the Five Precepts
-Invite the Monks chanting Paritta
-Perform the devotional acts and offerings to the Buddha

Sunday Morning, February 05, 2012
-9:00 am: Arrival of guests
-9:30 am: Paying respects to the Triple Gem and taking the Five Precepts.
-10:00 am: Putting alms into alms-bowl, Food offering to th Buddhist Monks.
-10:30 am: Dhamma Lecture given by the monk.
-11:30 am: Blessing given by the monks, Lunch of monks.
-12:00 am Communal Lunch.

This ceremony marks two important dates in the life of Buddha. The first event occurred two years after Buddha’s enlightenment and is referred to as the Fourfold assembly.

These events were:
1-All 1,250 monks had achieved enlightenment.

2-These monks were ordained by Buddha himself
3-The monks assembled on their own without being called together.
4-It was a perfect full-moon day.

All of these occurred on full moon day of the third lunar month. As part of this gathering Buddha gave the basic principles of Buddhism to the monks, called the 'Ovādapātimokha' in the afternoon of Magha Puja day, at the grand temple Veluvana (Bamboo Grove) in the city of Rajgaha.

These principles are:
1-Not to do any bad deeds

2-To do good deeds
3-To cleanse the mind of impurities.

If everyone followed these principles we would have a peaceful family, peaceful community, peaceful nation, and peaceful world. Or put another way, we would have peaceful and happy lives. The second event occurred in the second half of Buddha’s life on Magha Puja Day. The Buddha delivered a sermon called "Keys for success". The second event was three months prior to his passing away and it’s also said that on the same day of giving sermon called “Keys for success”, the Buddha declared that he would pass away in three months time. During this ceremony lay people focus more intensely on Dhamma and meditation. Dhamma (or Dharma) as it is sometimes referred to is the teachings of Buddha. Lay people would typically take vows to refrain from bad habits and perform acts to benefit them spiritually.

The Keys are as follows:
1- Good will and good intention (Chanda)

2- Effort (Viriya)
3- Thoughtfulness (Citta)
4- Investigation (Vimangsa)

Cambodian people recognize this opportunity to perform merit-makings. In the morning, they prepare and offer food to monks. Elderly people take this opportunity to practice Dhama, paying, concentration and purifying minds. Some of them even stay at the temple overnight.

In the evening, every temple is readily prepared for candle procession to take place. Just after 6.00 or 7:00 p.m., monks and novices come to the major temple building, so called 'Preah Vihear'. Chief monk lead the pray . People readily assemble and prepare flowers, joss sticks and candles to perform the devotional acts.

Magha Puja is the day that Buddhists are to make merits, to perform candle processions to maintain religious commandment to practice Dhama and to Pay Respect to the Lord Buddha. These are main Buddhist doctrines. May peace and happiness be upon to Cambodian and all beings in the universe!


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