Monday 18 July was the Asalha Full-Moon Uposatha Day, whereupon this day 2600 years ago, the Buddha delivered the First Sermon on the ‘Four Noble Truths’ and the ‘Noble Eightfold Path’ to the world. The occasion is also known as ‘Dhamma Day’, and is one of the seven* observance days at Nalanda.
Report by Chan Jia Xin. Photographs by Gan Jia Cheng & Chua Siaw Kim.
On Sunday 17 July, Nalandians observed ‘Dhammacakka Day’ to commemorate the turning of the ‘Wheel of Dhamma’ 2600 years ago, when the Buddha expounded the ‘Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta’ to his first five disciples at Isipatana near Benares.
Today is the full-moon day of Asalhamonth, which marks the occasion when the Buddha first taught the Dhamma after His Enlightenment. He spoke about the ‘Four Noble Truths’ – of ‘Dukkha’ (suffering); its causes; its cessation; and the Path to its cessation – to His first five disciples at Isipatana. That sermon which the Buddha gave became known as the famed ‘Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta’ – the ‘Discourse on turning the Wheel of Dhamma’.
Tomorrow*, we will be observing ‘Dhammacakka Day’ at Nalanda Centre. There will be the customary offerings, meditation, and recitation of the celebrated “Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta” – the Buddha’s inaugural discourse after Enlightenment on the Four Noble Truths.
The full-moon day of Asalha month in July marks the occasion when the Buddha first preached the Dhamma to His initial few disciples. In one of the most enlightening teachings ever, the Buddha taught them the truths of life – ‘Dukkha’ (suffering); its causes; its cessation; and the Path to its cessation – henceforth termed the ‘Four Noble Truths’. At Nalanda, Asalha full-moon is celebrated as ‘Dhamma Day’, which is another important spiritual occasion after the Wesak full-moon ‘Buddha Day’ in May.
The Āsālha full-moon day fell on Friday, 11 July this year. This special day commemorates the anniversaries of the Bodhisatta’s Conception, His Great Renunciation and the Buddha’s preaching of the first sermon – the ‘Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta’ (Discourse on ‘Turning the Wheel of Dhamma’). It was also on this day, too, that the Sangha was established and the ‘Three Refuges’ complete.
‘Dhamma Day’ commemorates the preaching of Buddha’s first discourse after His Enlightenment – the ‘Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta’ – where He taught His initial disciples the fundamental teachings of ‘Four Noble Truths’. We welcome you to join us at Nalanda Centre at 9.00 am on Sunday 13 July, for a joyful and spiritual Morning Service with meditation, chanting, and a special Dhamma teaching by Nalanda Founder Bro. H S Tan.
According to Theravada tradition, Asalha (month) Full-moon Day marks the anniversaries of the Bodhisatta’s Conception, His Great Renunciation, and the Buddha’s preaching of the first sermon – the ‘Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta’ (Discourse on ‘Turning the Wheel of Dhamma’).