The Bodhi Day is an important day in the Buddhist religion. It signifies the day when Lord Buddha achieved "Moksha" or "Bodhi" (Release From The Bodily Imprisonment). It was the day, when He attained "Enlightenment."
From Gautam To Buddha, The Enlightened One
In the 6th century B.C, Prince Gautama Sidhhartha (Lord Buddha) left His family in search of other greater achievements, which would be superior from material gains like having a family and other worldly aspects.
Prince Buddha started preparing for His meditation under the "Bodhi" tree (Ficus Religiosa). He vowed to remain there, until He achieved His goal of complete freedom from this corporeal frame. At the eighth day of His meditation, Buddha attained Enlightenment with the knowledge of four noble truth and eight- fold path upon which Buddhism is founded. Attaining Enlightenment signifies prophetic qualities, which took Buddha to supreme position of a seer.
It is said in Buddhist mythology that Buddha faced a lot of trouble while meditating. There is a reference that "Mara", the queen of illusion tried to distract Buddha. There are other references, which say that Buddha did not face any obstacle in His path, and concentrated deeper and deeper to free His soul.
What is the Bodhi Day?
The "Bodhi Day" is also known as "Rohatsu". Rohatsu is the eighth day of the twelfth lunar month. The observation of the "Bodhi" day continues for seven days that is from 1st December to 8th December. According to the ancient mythology, the Zen Buddhists first marked Buddha to attain Enlightenment. During Rohatsu, the Buddhists go through an intense meditation program, known as "sesshin".
The Bodhi day is quite different from the birthday of Lord Buddha, which is known as the "Wesak Day". The Bodhi day is particularly popular between the "Mahayana" sect of Buddhism. The day reminds the "Zen" and the "Sin" Buddhists of a significant fact that if one tries, he can free his soul from this corporeal chain through hard ascetic practices.
The Observations Of The Bodhi Day Among The Budhhists
The Japanese Buddhists celebrate the day by putting stress on the four lessons taught by Buddha. The four lessons are:
- All beings are subject to suffering since suffering is universal.
- The cause of all suffering is ignorance. Ignoring the self is greater ignorance.
- Ignorance can be overcome through proper understanding.
- One should always be guided by wisdom, ethics and mental discipline.
Buddhists believe that, after meditating for seven days and seven nights, Lord Buddha achieved "Nirvana". Now He Became "Buddha"- the "Awakened Soul".
He later preached His disciples that through a pure mind, the true nature of reality can be realized. Men should try to cast off all selfish cravings, laziness, and self-doubts and attain a higher state of existence. He also stated that the true beauty is the beauty of self less love.
Thus, Bodhi Day signifies, the ultimate reality of existence, which resides in the superiority of soul, freed from the earthly bondages.