Buddhist: Do good; abstain from evil on Magha Puja

Magha Puja is specifically tied with the full moon. Photo in public domainWEDNESDAY, MARCH 7: On the full moon day of the third lunar month, four incredible events occurred in the Buddha’s life. Today, Buddhists celebrate Magha Puja on this same day. This year, Buddhists in Thailand, Cambodia and Laos gather on March 7 to honor the Buddha and his teachings. While not in meditation, devotees attempt to commit no sins and to do good.

Nine months after the Buddha’s Enlightenment, he was still new to teaching; however, on this full moon day, he preached Buddhist principles to his followers. Three other events occurred on this day, too: 1,250 “enlightened ones,” or Arahata, came to see the Buddha without any prior plan to do so; all of the Arahata were ordained, personally, by the Buddha; and the day was a full moon day. (Wikipedia has details.) On this day in Northern India, the followers heard Buddha preach about doing good, abstaining from evil and purifying the mind. Even today, Buddhists refer to these principles as the Heart of Buddhism.

Thai temples fill to the brim on Magha Puja day: monks join congregation members in forming a procession, while participants hold candles, flowers and incense.

Thailand has been getting more international attention than ever as a wedding destination lately—and not just because of “The Hangover, Part II.” Among other news operations, CNN reports that Thailand authorities recently booked a half-million-dollar wedding for one Indian family, and more and more Indian couples are choosing to wed in Thailand. Thai authorities hope that more extensive weddings can boost the country’s tourism revenues

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