Buddha Day Sermon by U Osadha
Rephrased and Presented by Hla Min
Theravada Buddhist Society of America (TBSA) once had a meeting to
decide which celebrations should be held. One discussion point is that
the Full Moon Day of Kason (in May) is barely a month after the Myanmar
New Year (in April), and whether it would be a burden for the devotees
and volunteers to organize that event.
Venerable Sayadaw U Silananda reminded the board members, "Since
the Full Moon Day of Kason is the Thrice Blessed Day, should we not
commemorate the day? Depending on the resources and the time, we might
not be able to make a grand event every time, but as Buddhists we
should remember Buddha and his teachings especially on the Thrice
True to his words, TBSA has been celebrating Buddha's day. One
notable exception was when the monastery reconstruction began at Half
Moon Bay, the Metta Vihari Chanting Group, Board Members, and some
devotees celebrated the "smallest" Buddha's Day celebration in the
history of TBSA.
Today's dhamma talk is about Bodhi. It has three meanings: (1)
wisdom (2) sabbinnutanana (omniscience) (3) knowledge of the Four Noble
At the foot of Dipankara Buddha, a young hermit received byadita
(prediction) that he would eventually become Gautama Buddha. From that
instant, the hermit became a bodhisutta (bodhisatva in sanskrit) where
sutta (satva) means "being".
Today, you should recollect about the many lives of the bodhisatta
especially King Vissandara -- known for his super dana (including his
beloved wife and children) -- and Prince Siddhata who courageously made
a decision to leave his new born child in quest of Bodhi.
Today, the Metta Vihara Chanting Group recited "Pathana" (relations
of both the animate and the inanimate worlds), which is considered one
the important teachings of Lord Buddha along with "Patisasamupada".
However, the latter is applicable to the animate world but not to the
Within this alloted time, we want to explain the three classes of
bodhi: (1) sammasambuddha (one who knows, practices, and teaches bodhi)
(2) paccekkabuddha (silent Buddhas) (3) savakabuddha (listening
A sammasambuddha can specialize on panna (wisdom), sadha (faith),
or viriya (effort). It is said that it takes 4, 8, and 16 accenkeyas
and 100000 world cycles for the three specializations. Gautama Buddha
chose to specialize on wisdom.
The paccekkabuddhas achieve bodhi by observing nature. They rarely
teach others. They may also appear in numbers.
The rest had to learn by listening. In the suttas, several verses
were repeated to allow the listeners to absorb and comprehend. With the
advent of writing and publishing, there is less need for repetition,
but we still need to listen to dhamma talks.
Today, some celebrate Mother's Day. You have taken special effort
to come to celebrate Buddha's Day. It is not for "Ah Hsar" (food). It
is also for "Taya" (dhamma).