Asalha Puja ( also known as Asanha Bucha in Thailand ) is one of the most important Buddhist festivals and is often (?) Held in the form of a puja . It is celebrated on an Uposatha , i.e. a day of the full moon in the eighth month (probably corresponds to our July) of the lunisolar calendar .
The festival commemorates the Buddha's first speech to his followers in the Deer Park of Sarnath near Varanasi (today Benares ) after he was enlightened. All the basic ideas of Buddhism can already be found in this speech. Here Buddha speaks of the wheel of teaching (Dhamma wheel) and of the four noble truths :
- Truth of Suffering ( Dukkha Sacca ).
- Truth from the cause of suffering ( Samudaya Sacca ).
- Truth from the end of suffering ( Nirodha Sacca ).
- Truth from the way to the end of suffering ( Magga Sacca ).
The goal of Buddhist teaching is to establish criteria that allow a distinction between right and wrong. Skills that lead towards this goal are valuable. Skills and thoughts that lead away from this goal are harmful.
In this speech the Buddha says that he has not heard of these truths before. As "Buddha" he was enlightened by himself. Only through him do his listeners come to knowledge that can enable later enlightenment.