Dhamma Day Celebrates Buddhist Teachers

July 16, 2008

Author: Heather Harrison

Source: The Missourian


Friday marks the day that Theravada Buddhists celebrate Dhamma Day, also known as Asalha Puja or Asanha Puja Day. The festival is celebrated on the full moon day of the eighth lunar month. Dhamma Day commemorates the first teaching of the Buddha.

After the Buddha attained enlightenment, or gained realization of the truth about reality, Buddha traveled throughout India from the city of Bodh Gaya to the deer park in Sarnath. Today, both Sarnath and Bodh Gaya are major sacred Buddhist sites.

Upon reaching Sarnath, the Buddha gave lessons to his five original disciples. Those lessons delivered by the Buddha are often referred to as “the first turning of the wheel of dhamma.”

Dhamma comes from the ancient Pali term Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta. Dhamma is the teaching of the Buddha and includes norms of behavior and ethical rules.