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.
Following Nalandian tradition, founder Bro. Tan led the congregation in reciting the ‘Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta’ – the ‘Discourse on Turning the Wheel of Dhamma’. Chanted full of spiritual zeal and inspiration, the recitation stirred strong emotions of faith and devotion in all those present at Nalanda Centre that evening.
In honour of the occasion, Achariya S. Vijaya gave a Dhamma talk on the ‘Twelve Aspects and Three Turnings’ of the Four Noble Truths. For each of the Noble Truths, the Three Turnings are: the understanding of that Truth; putting it into practice; and realisation of that Noble Truth with wisdom. When each of the ‘Twelve Aspects’ has been completed, one attains the highest bliss of Nibbāna.
Adding to the joyful evening, Bro. Tan announced that on 15 July 2016, the site of the ancient Nalanda Mahavihara in India had been declared a “World Heritage Site” by UNESCO. A lovely video clip on Nalanda site produced by Bro. Ajita was shown. The congregation rejoiced in this good news, and also in the spiritual evening spent with wholesomeness and wise friends!