Navam Full Moon Poya, a particularly special day, occurs on the first full moon day in February, which is this year on February 5. This day, which is celebrated in Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Sri Lanka, and Tabaung, is the second-most significant Buddhist holiday.
The first Buddhist Council is established, and the first two chief disciples of Gautama Buddha are honoured. Three months after Buddha’s passing, the council was created.
The Vinaya, a set of moral guidelines for all Buddhist monks, is how the Buddha’s teachings were transmitted to his students. Let’s find out more about this blessed occasion in Sri Lanka.
History Of Navam Full Moon Poya
A Buddhist celebration known as Navam Full Moon Poya takes place on the full moon of each month in Sri Lanka. Every time there is a full moon, people gather to pray for mental purification and for the regaining of joy and tranquilly.
For religious purposes, Buddhists follow the lunar calendar, which results in 13 or perhaps 14 Poyas being celebrated every year rather than the traditional 12. On certain days, all stores and companies are required to be closed, and individuals are not permitted to consume alcohol or meat.
Sinhalese Buddhists who are devout in their practise frequently go to temples to participate in religious rites including meditation and prayer. The Navam Full Moon Poya is a festival that takes place once a month and often coincides with the Gregorian date of the full moon.
However, it is possible for this event to take place a day earlier or one day later.
It is possible to refer to the Poya that takes place during the third lunar month as “Navam Poya,” “Mgha Pj,” “Sagha Day,” or “Buddhist All Saints Day.” It is the second most important Buddhist festival and takes place on the first full moon that occurs in the month of February.
It celebrates a gathering that Buddha and 1,250 of his first disciples participated in, which marked the beginning of an exemplary community at the time it took place. It is stated that the Buddha met with his enlightened and ordained followers on the first full moon of the third lunar month.
During this meeting, he presented a summary of the Buddhist teachings, including the non-doing of evil, patience, forbearance, and restraint and moderation.
As a result, Buddhists make use of this festival to commemorate the establishment of the perfect community. In Sri Lanka, Navam Poya is also considered to be the day on which the Buddha appointed his two most important followers, the monks Siriputta and Moggallna.
It is also believed to be the day on which the Buddha proclaimed his impending death, which was to occur in three months.
This day has been observed by Buddhists for the purpose of performing merit-making activities such as donating alms, meditating, and listening to teachings in Buddhist temples ever since the religion’s founding in 1851.
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Traditions of Navam Full Moon Poya
Given that it coincides with two significant occasions, this full moon is especially significant for Buddhists in Sri Lanka.
The first honours Sariputta (Sariyuth) and Moggallana (Mugalan), who were chosen by Gautama Buddha to be his first two principal disciples (Aggasavakes).
Three months after the Buddha’s passing, the first Buddhist Council was held, and it is also remembered at Navam Poya. Here, based on the teachings that the Buddha had imparted to his students, the Vinaya (the primary code of conduct for Buddhist monks) was declared.
At the Gangaramaya temple in Colombo, the first Navam Perahera (parade) took held in 1979. This perahera has developed into one of Sri Lanka’s most significant and well-known pageants. Hundreds of exquisitely dressed elephants march in the procession alongside whip crackers, fire dancers, flag bearers, traditional dancers, and musicians.
How To Celebrate Navam Full Moon Poya
Go to a temple
The best method to observe this day if you happen to be in one of the aforementioned Asian nations at the time will be to pay a visit to a Buddhist temple yourself. Numerous actions for earning virtue are carried out in the temples on this day. By paying attention to the teachings and being in the present of it all, start on the path to enlightenment.
Meditate or chant
By meditating, you can advance your path to enlightenment even farther. Buddhists place a high value on meditation, and on this particular day, followers will take extra time to meditate and recite Buddhist chants. Clearing your mind and soothing your spirit are two more benefits of meditation.
Giving alms is a very important Buddhist practise for gaining merit. Taking care of those in need is a human obligation as well as a Buddhist one. Spend some time today helping the less fortunate and distributing stuff from your heart.
Why Navam Full Moon Poya Is Important
It’s a holy celebration.
For the people of Sri Lanka and all Buddhists, Navam Poya is a sacred occasion. It is the second-most significant Buddhist holiday and has ties to the historical Buddha.
It honours communality.
To recognise the creation of an ideal and exemplary community is one of the most significant reasons this day is observed. This illustrates the value of communities overall and paints a picture of how they should function.
It implies a fresh start.
A full moon frequently heralds the possibility of fresh chances and beginnings. Buddhists place a special emphasis on it because it offers a chance for a new beginning, or merit-making, as well as a chance to move forward on the path to enlightenment.
An important event related to Navam Full Moon Poya Day is the gathering of all monks for the first-ever Buddhist congregation, the appointment of Arahants Sariputta and Moggallana as his chief disciples, the promulgation of pre-liberation or the collection of precepts of Vinaya or discipline, and the determination of the enlightened one’s term of life by Gautama Buddha. These incidents elevate Navam Poya to a day of utmost significance for Buddhists everywhere.