Buddha’s first visit to Kimbulwathpura

By Premasara Epasinghe

The third Purapasalosvaka Full Moon Poya Day in the year, Medin, falls on Wednesday, March 8, 2012. On this day, many significant events, relating to the life and times of the Buddha, took place. Therefore, on this Medin Full Moon Poya Day. Buddhists pay homage to the Noble Triple Gem. They are engaged in many religious ceremonies, activities, such as Dana (Alms Giving) Seela (Observing the Eight Precepts and some Ten Precepts) and Bhavana (Meditation). The temples are the ‘Epic centres of Buddhists. Many devotees, make a sacrifice on the Medin Poya Day to attend to religious ceremonies.

Buddhist philosophy, or way of life, never advocated a racial or caste distinctions among men, and the emphasis on this Poya Day, is the importance of universal brotherhood. They help each other. There is no discrimination. The theme is loving kindness. Buddha was undoubtedly, mankind’s most Supreme Communicator. The Enlightened one believed in the Discovery of Truth.

This Poya Day is important in the Buddhist calendar. This was the day Prince Siddhartha Gautama, after leaving the Royal Palace, visited the city of Kimbulwathpura, for the first time as the ‘Samma Sambuddha’ the Fully Enlightened one.

King Suddhodhana, father of Prince Siddhartha, sent Minister Kaludayi, to conduct his beloved son, Buddha, to the city of Kapilavasttu, from Veluwana Monastry in Rajagaha, after nine courtiers, each with a retinue of thousand men, dispatched on successive occasions on the same mission, had attained The status of arahat on having listened to the Buddha Dhamma, joined the Bhikku order. Their mission to bring the Blessed One to Kimbulvathpura was unsuccessful.

It was at this juncture Minister Kaludai, was sent by King Suddhodana. He was successful, and as a Buddhist monk, requested Buddha to visit Kimbulwathpura Kingdom to see his old father, Princess Yasodhara, son Rahula, relations, friends and the people of the Kingdom of Kimbulvathpura.

The rainy season ended. Flowers bloomed. The environment was serene and fantastic. The Blessed One, accepted his father’s invitation, transmitted to him, through Kaludai.

With nearly 20,000 monks, Buddha started his long journey, a distance of sixty 60 ‘Yodunas’. The Blessed One reached Kimbulwath city, after three months. Elaborate arrangements were made by king Suddhodhana, his kith and kin, the Minister’s to accord ‘Red Carpet’ welcome to the Enlightened One. Near Nigrodha Park, a Aramaya or Temple – Nigrodharamaya was constructed with all facilities for the Blessed One and the Bhikkus.

When Buddha arrived at the city of Kimbulwath, the ‘Blue-Blooded’, haughty King of Saliya clan, the Royalty, sent their juniors, lower rank officials to welcome the Enlightened One. During the Buddha era, caste system was the order of the day. Buddha, vehemently opposed the caste system.

For Buddha all are equal.

‘Najacca Vasolo Hoti

Najacca Hoti, Brahmano

Kammana Vasalo Hoti

Kammana Hoti, Brahmano.’

By birth is not one an outcaste; by birth is not one a Brahmin. By deed is one an outcaste; by deed is one a Brahamin.

When Buddha asked ‘Sathyakama’, a young boy, about his father, he told Buddha, and the audience, that he was an ‘illegitimate child’. The haughty audience including the Brahamins showed resentment and an angry reaction prevailed. Buddha paid a glowing tribute to Sathyakama. ‘Best of all Brahamins, this great child has the Noblest Heritage of Truth’. The Enlightened One never advocated a racial distinction. But the Royalty, the Satya clan, never wanted to worship outsiders.

The haughty kinsmen of the Sakya Clan were not prepared to honour and worship the Buddha, and the monks.

With his Divine Eye, Buddha realised what the Sakyana contemplated. To dispel this arrogance, and haughtiness and their proud attitude, the Blessed One, sprang up to the sky, performed the Twin Miracle, known as ‘Yamamahapelahara’. When the real occasions arose only, Buddha performed this Miracle.

Yamamahapelahara – Twin Miracle

The Blessed One, through his miraculous power, cause a stream of fire from one part of the body, stream of water from the other part of this body, together from the eyes and nostrils. This was a result of his accomplishment of The Jokasina and Apikasina.

Seeing this Twin Miracle, King Suddhodhana worshipped the Buddha for the third time. Then all the other arrogant sakyas worshipped Buddha. Then the blessed one, delivered a sermon, based on Vessantara Jatakaya – in the Jataka Book of Tales. This miracle took place on Medin Poya Day.

As no one invited Him for alms at the palace, Buddha went round from house to house, begging for alms. Seeing this, King Suddhodana, was very upset and told his son.

I belong to Buddhas Clan

‘Dear son, you belong to Royalty. Don’t disgrace me. Don’t disgrace our Sakya Clan in this manner going begging for food’ in the street.

‘Oh Great King, it is true that you belonged to ‘Sakya or Royal Lineage’. I belong to ‘Buddha Clan’ and Lineage’. It is customary for Buddhas to go begging for alms’.

The Blessed One called on the great epitome of womanhood, his beloved wife, Princess Yasodhara, in her chamber, with her father-in-law, King Suddhodana. She worshipped, her beloved husband. Then, the Buddha delivered a sermon based on Vessantara Jataka Tale from the Great Pansiyapanas Jataka Potha and later she consented to enter the Order of Nuns under Maha Prajapathi Gotami.

On the third day of Buddha’s visit on Medin Poya Day, three significant events were to take place in the city of Kimbulwathpura. They were the consecration of Prince Nanda, Palace ceremony of Nanda’s and his wedding festive mood was the order of the day. Prince Nanda followed the Buddha with Buddha’s alms bowl to the temple. This was the day he was to marry the beautiful damsel Kalyani. Nanda entered the Buddhist order without marrying Kalyani. Later, Nanda attained the Bless of Nibbana.

In the meantime, Yasodhara, requested her seven-year-old sweet son, Rahula, to ask from his reputed, illustrious father, about the Treasure and Wealth. He came after him (Rahula). The little Prince Rahula, too went to the temple where Buddha was residing. He too was ordained, without the permission of grandfather King Suddodhana and mother Yasodhara.

This incident really shattered King Suddodhana and was a double blow for the King. He requested Buddha, never to ordain any child or person without the permission and approval of their parents. Buddha realised his mistake. He informed the Bhikkhus, never to ordain anyone, without the prior permission from the parents. This noble practice is followed even today. It shows the Great quality of Buddha. He always stood for Fair-Play, and subject to correction, when a genuine mistake was pointed out to him, he accepted it.

To console His father Suddhodhana, the Blessed one, delivered a Sermon based from a Jataka Tale, Dharmapala Jatakaya. (441)

These incidents took place on a Medin Full Moon Poya Day. Therefore, this Poya is significant to all Buddhists in the World.

animated gif
Processing Request
Please Wait...