King Dutugamunu brought these three events together to commemorate in one day. He in fact had said that he ruled the country for 24 Vesaks indicating that he preferred the word `Vesak` rather than years to indicate a time period.
But in actual fact these three events did not happen on a similar full moon day. It is important to note that one particular day was earmarked to denote these events that happened at different times of the year.
However the Buddhist priests indicate to the public that these three events occurred on the same full moon day. This is misleading by twisting the truth. In Mahayana Buddhism apparently Prince Siddhartha attained enlightenment on the 8th of April. Even that date is subject to question because in 1582 the Julian calendar changed to Gregorian calendar with a10 day difference. Even the year of Birth of Siddhartha is not estimated with certainty. Historians indicate that it happened sometime between 563 BC and 483 BC.
“Vaisaka” is the second month of the Hindu calendar. Their new year starts in April during spring time.”Vaisaka” means “season”. The term “Vesak” and this to fall in the month of May, both have been borrowed from the Hindu calendar. In fact we are following the Hindu tradition apparently for a different reason.
“Purnima” or the poya day is also a religious day of the Hindu’s. This also has been borrowed by “Buddhism” from Hindu tradition. What Buddha taught was not “Buddhism” but Buddha Seeing (Buddha Dharshanaya).
“What I preach is not a religion” --- Brahmajaala Sutra.
In Buddha Dharshanaya there are no specific days to attain Nibbana. The Buddha message is “Sandhittiko” --- “Here and Now” --- It is possible to see Nibbana any time, any where according to Buddha. It need not be a full moon day. However leave alone poya days – during the past 2100 years “neither a Preacher nor a Listener” has attained Nibbana on any day.
Nevertheless in the recent past after 2100 years the path to Nibbana has opened up. So far those who have seen Nibbana (attained Sothapanna state) exceed 500 in Sri-Lanka after attending our discussion sessions. This dramatic U-TURN has not happed via the religion of “Buddhism”. In fact these people have left “Buddhism” as a religion to enter the path to Buddha Dharshanaya. They are those who understood that seeing Nibbana is not possible via a religion. The hallmarks of a religion are FAITH, BELIEF and WORSHIP. None of these lead to Nibbana. In fact these are obstructions to attaining Nibbana. That is why none of the yellow robed has attained Nibbana.
Celebration of “Vesak”- a day borrowed from Hindu tradition during Dutugamunu era is not the Buddha message. The Buddha message is there is no “person” (to be celebrated) but to see Nibbana “Here and Now”.
The priests teach us that the birth is “sorrowful” and “unsatisfactory”. If human beings are subjected to sorrowful birth, why are we told to celebrate Prince Siddhartha’s birth?. After all Siddhartha is also a human being. If “birth is sorrowful” applies to all humans, it must apply to Prince Siddhartha too !!!.
The word “Dukkha” does not mean “sorrowful”. Where there are similar sounding words such as Dukkha (in Magadhi language) and Duka (in Sinhala) it is well known that BAMUNO’s try to redefine meanings to suit their mode of existence by deceiving uneducated people. This has happened in the past and continues today unabated. Dukkha is the process (activity) that brings about the thought n the mind. i.e. Rupa, vedana, sanna, Sankara, vinnana.
Also this seems to be the only occasion we celebrate a death of a person. Under normal circumstances we express our condolences during such remembrance events.
Although “Vesak” has been celebrated since Dutugamunu era nobody (a preacher or a listener) has attained Nibbana to this date on a Vesak day. According to rock edits (excavations done by Prof. Wimal Wijeratne) the last arahath lived during Dutugamunu period. After Dutugamunu time with such Vesak celebrations there have been no arahaths.
During the current era various activities such as Daana, Seela and Bhavana (Giving, Observing precepts and Meditation) have become a money spinner for the yellow robed, misleading people by giving the wrong impression about the significance of this particular day. Vesak days have become a business opportunity for the priests. Although Buddha has said that Daana, Seela, Bhavana does not lead to Nibbana twelve times in Dhamma Chakka Pavaththana Sutra to five hermits, the priests force people to perform such activities contrary to Buddha advice. As these activities were rejected by Buddha, continuing with such practices nourishing Hindu and Jain traditions, mislead people to believe that they are actually following Buddha advice.
This way the yellow robed priests knowingly misleading public advising them to perform activities Buddha rejected is a sad state in Sri-Lanka and abroad. The general public accepting whatever the priests say without reasoning is not sensible and in fact downright foolish, particularly when the Buddha message is to become intelligent (sarvagna).
By observing “sil”- “Seelabbatha paramasa” will not be abolished. Knowing this forcing people to send at least one person to observe “sil” from each family is a disgrace to pure Buddha word. If Buddha was alive he would reject such practices.
When a person enters priesthood by wearing yellow robes they promise in front of a Buddha statue and the ordination ceremony performing priest (some times in front of the parents too) that he will not handle money. In spite of this promise most yellow robed have become multi millionaires in Sri-Lanka. Such un-buddhist like practises are nourished and nurtured by not only misled uneducated people but also by so called educated people such as Doctors, Engineers, Lawyers and other professionals. When it comes to practise a religion which Buddha never preached, these professionals behave like the uneducated and unintelligent.
The general public should openly reject such deceitful practises by the priests. The time has come to tell them directly what they are doing is a disgrace.
The general public has now got the opportunity to enter the intelligent path of Buddha. But there is no doubt that they have to leave Hindu and Jain practises advised by the yellow robed totally and permanently before they can enter the path to Nibbana “Here and Now”.
But unfortunately, priests will become richer during 2018 Vesak too, thanks to the foolish and uneducated. I suspect that nobody will attain Nibbana during 2018 Vesak in spite of large number of PAID Hindu and Jain sermons through media and in temples.
Dr Gamini Abhaya
To be continued…….
Buddha - Dhamma 06 - Why did Buddha state that Giving, observing precepts and meditation do not lead to Nibbana?
Buddha - Dhamma 07 - Why did Buddha state that Giving, observing precepts and meditation do not lead to Nibbana – Part 2