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Sunday, March 20, 2011

Buddha’s first visit to relatives

Buddha’s first visit to relatives

Many important, significant events relative to the life and times of the Enlightened One took place on Medin Full Moon Day. Therefore, Buddhists pay homage to the Noble Triple Gem and the devotees on this day, engage themselves, in various religious activities such as Dana – Seela and Bhavana, or meditation.

This Full Moon Medin Poya is an important day in the Buddhist calendar as this was the first occasion after Prince Siddhartha Gautama left the royal palace, he visited Kimbulwathpura, the kingdom of His beloved father King Suddhodana.

The Blessed One visited city of Kimbulwathpura, seven years after the attainment of Buddhahood. Buddha’s visit to Kimubulwathpura was a moving tale.

King Suddodhana was longing to see his beloved son – Prince Siddhartha, who was his heir-apparent. He heard the happy news that his son had attained Buddhahood and was preaching His doctrine and philosophy at Veluwanaramaya, a far distance way at city of Rajagaha.

King Suddhodana sent diplomats, emissaries, envoys with a retinue of 1,000 each to invite the Enlightened One to visit Kapilavastu.

However, to the disappointment of King Suddodhana, envoys never returned. On nine occasions he sent his diplomats and envoys, they failed in their mission in inviting the Buddha to his city of Kimbulawath. King never gave up. Later, he heard all the delegates who went to invite Buddha to Kimbulwathpura, entered the Buddhist Order.

As a last resort, King Suddodhana sent his Minister Kaludai, a play-mate of Prince Siddhartha to carry out the mission impossible. Kaludai agreed to invite The Buddha to visit Kimbulwathpura, provided he was granted permission to enter the Order of Buddha Sasana.

After entering the Order, Kaludai, attained Arahatship.

In few days, Monk Kaludai conveyed the message of the King Suddodhana. He persuaded the Blessed One to visit his age old father, Princess Yasodhara, all his relatives and kinsmen at Kimbulwathpura.

The rainy season ended. The environment was fantastic and serene. Flowers bloomed. The Blessed One accepted his father’s invitation through Kaludai with nearly 20,000 monks, started the long journey (a distance of 60 yoduns) and reached Kimbulwathpura after couple of months.

The King Suddodhana, Ministers made arrangements to welcome Siddhartha Gautama Buddha and made arrangements to construct an Aramaya or Temple for the Buddha and his retinue to stay at the Park Nigrodha, named Temple of Nigrodha or Nigrodaramaya.

Although the proud, blue-blooded haughty kinsmen of the Sakya clan received the Blessed One, they were not prepared to worship or venerate the Buddha and the Missionaries.

Buddha, with his Divine Eye, realized what the Sakyans contemplated. To dispel this arrogance, hautiness and their proud attitude, Buddha sprang up to the sky and performed a miracle, known as ‘Twin Miracle’ or Yamamahapelahara. When really necessary only, the Blessed One, performed ‘miracles’.

The Enlightened One possessed the miraculous power to cause a stream of fire to issue from one part of the body and stream of water from the other part of His body together from the eyes and nostrils. This was a result of his accomplishment of Thejokasina and Apokasina.

Seeing this miracle, King Suddodhana worshipped the Blessed One. Then, all other Sakyans followed suit. The Buddha in his sermon, explained the Vessantara Jatakaya to the king.

As no one invited The Buddha for alms (lunch), The Buddha went round from house to house, begging for alms. King Suddodhana was very upset.

he spoke to The Buddha and stated, “You belong to Royalty. It is a disgrace for Sakyan clan to beg for alms in the street.”

The Blessed One replied, “Oh king, you belong to Sakya or Royal lineage. I belong to Buddha clan and lineage. It is customary for Buddhas to go begging for alms.”

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