Guest Author - Jeanette Stingley
Magha Puja day is also known as Sangha Day or Fourfold Assembly Day. This holy day is celebrated on the full moon in March. Magha Puja Day began when Buddha returned to Rajagaha city after Vassa. Soon after he arrived, 1250 of his disciplines arrived to pay homage to the Buddha. This is significant because they were not called to come, they just happen to be coming there. This is one reason why it is called the Fourfold Assembly Day. The other 3 reasons are : 1) All those gathered were arhats, 2) each and every monk was ordained personally by Buddha himself and 3) the moon was perfectly full on this day. The Buddha delivered a sermon called “Ovadha Patimokha” in which he asked the monks to do good, be mindful of bad action and to purify their minds.
Magha Puja day celebrates the Sangha and the blessing of being able to come together to honor Buddha together. Many monasteries and temples also are honored on this day by the lay people. Monks and nuns are given thanks for what they do. Our monastery comes together to perform a spring cleaning in the entire monastery. We assist the monks with window washing, taking curtains down to be laundered, we scrub the temple rooms, provide them food for their pantry, robes if they need them, toiletries, or whatever they may need. Many monasteries hold a candlelight process where an elder monk may recite the “Ovadha Patimokha” to those assembled.
This year Magha Puja Day should be honored to those in Tibet who are dealing with the Chinese Government and their continued oppression of the Tibetan people. Say a prayer for our brothers and sisters there. Pray for peace among them and everyone around the world. In Metta!