Significance of Medin Poya Day | Sunday Observer

Significance of Medin Poya Day

Young Prince Rahula prompted by his mother to ask for his inheritance, left behind by the Buddha after His renunciation
Young Prince Rahula prompted by his mother to ask for his inheritance, left behind by the Buddha after His renunciation

The month of Medin is March according to the Gregorin calendar (the one we now use). The Medin Poya day is considered important by Buddhists, for several reasons.

It was on a Medin Poya Day many centuries ago that Gauthama Buddha visited the Royal capital City of Kapilavasthu from where his father, King Suddhodana reigned over his kingdom.This was in the seventh year after the Buddha’s Enlightenment and his first visit to the City as the Buddha.

When the Buddha’s father, King Suddhodana heard that the Buddha was staying at the Veluwanaramaya, he wanted very much to see his son, the Buddha. He sent a Minister with 1000 men to bring the Buddha to the Royal City of Kapilavasthu or Kimbulwathpura.

The Buddha visited his home town, Kimbulwath along with 20,000 bhikkhus

The Minister and his retinue listened to the Buddha's preaching and attained Arahathship and remained with the Buddha. King Suddhodana’s wish to see the Buddha was so great that he sent nine Ministers as messengers and each of them had 1,000 men accompanying him. However, they all listened to the Dhamma preached by the Buddha and became Arahaths.

Finally, King Suddhodana asked Minister Kaludai (who was born on the same day as the Buddha), to undertake the mission of bringing the Gautama Buddha to Kapilavasthu. Kaludai agreed to do so only if the King would give him permission to become a bhikkhu. King Suddhodana agreed and Kaludai set forth to Rajagaha and the Veluvanaramaya where the Gautama Buddha was staying.

Kaludai too attained Arahathship after listening to the Gautama Buddha preaching and stayed on at the Veluvanaramaya. On the seventh day after he became an Arahath, Kaludai conveyed the King’s message to the Buddha and invited him to Kapilavasthu. The Buddha accepted the invitation and set off for Kapilavasthu with around 20,000 bhikkhus. The journey took sixty days.

Many important events took place during this historic visit of the Buddha to Kapilavasthu.

King Suddodhana had arranged a beautiful temple in a park named Nigrodha for the Buddha and his retinue of bhikkhus to reside. It was called the Nigrodharamaya.

The Buddha also performed the twin miracles, Yamamahapelehara to break the pride of as his elder relatives, who were reluctant to worship him.

The Buddha preached the Dhamma to King Suddodhana. Hearing the Dhamma the King attained the state of Sotapanna. He passed away shortly.

The Buddha, performing the twin miracles to subdue the erroneous pride of His elder royal relations

Mahaprajapathi Gothami was the younger sister of the Buddha’s mother Mahamaya Devi and it was she who looked after him after the death of the Queen Mother seven days after his birth. After listening to the Buddha’s sermons Mahaprajapathi Gothami too wanted to be ordained as a bhikkhuni. However, this was not possible as she was a female and there were no ordained female bhikkhunis at that time. However, Mahaprajapathi Gothami, determined to be ordained, followed the Buddha back to the the temple he was staying at and kept on pleading for ordination. She was finally ordained as the first bhikkhuni along with hundreds of other female devotees and reached the state of Sothapanna.

Before the Buddha went on his journey to seek the truth he was a Royal Prince, Siddhartha and his wife was Princess Yasodhara Devi. For seven years after Prince Siddhartha’s departure Princess Yasodhara Devi was grief stricken but on this visit she listened to the Dhamma preached by the Buddha and became a follower of the Dhamma. Prince Siddhartha and Princess Yasodhara Devi had one son, Rahula. When the Buddha visited Kapilavasthu he was seven years old. On the seventh day after his arrival in Kapilavasthu the Buddha along with 20,000 bhikkhus were on their way to the Royal Palace.

Princess Yasodhara Devi told Prince Rahula that the Buddha was his father and sent him to ask for his father’s inheritance.

Princess Yasodhara said this in a series of stanzas which are known as the Narasiha Gatha. Prince Rahula walked behind the Buddha asking for his inheritance and they reached the temple together. At the temple the Buddha asked one of his chief disciples, Agra Sharavaka Sariputta to ordain the little Prince. Prince Rahula was the first Samanera or novice bhikkhu. Prince Rahula was ordained without his mother's or grandfather's knowledge. When King Suddodhana heard about the ordination he requested the Buddha not to ordain minors (young children) without the permission of their parents or guardians. The Buddha agreed to the King’s request. Later, bhikkhu Rahula became an Arahath.

On this visit, Prince Nanda, the son of Mahaprajapathi Gothami and the Buddha’s step-brother was also ordained as a bhikkhu.

It was also on a Medin Poya day that the Buddha (Gautama Buddha) preached the Four Noble Truths (Chathurarya Sathya) to King Bimbisara at the Veluanaramaya in Rajagaha.

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