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Nikini Poya day

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One of the 7 Sattapanni Caves, where the First Buddhist Council was held ~ 483 BC. A huge wooden hall was built outside the cave to house the 500 Arahants. This was built by King Ajatasattu, who tried to do some good after having killed his father the good king Bimbisāra, King of Magadha.

Nikini Poya day is the full-moon of August. Bhikkhus who did not enter the yearly rains retreat (Vas) early at Esala Poya day (peravas), are allowed to enter the the rains retreat now in August (pasuvas). Nikini Poya day celebrates the first ever Dhammasangayana - The First Buddhist Council where, what the Buddha said, was agreed upon and recited. This took place at the Sattapanni Rock Cave in Rajagaha (now Rajgir, India), under the patronage of Mahakassapa Thera and it went on for seven long months. It established the original authentic Tipitaka: The 3 Baskets of Sacred Text = The Pali Canon spoken by the historical Buddha and his disciples.

On such Observance days:

Any Lay Buddhist simply joins the Three Refuges and undertakes the Five Precepts like this: Newly bathed, shaved, white-clothed, with clean bare feet, one kneels at a shrine with a Buddha-statue, and bows first three times, so that feet, hands, elbows, knees and head touch the floor. Then, with joined palms in front of the heart, one recite these memorized lines in a loud, calm & steady voice:

As long as this life lasts:
I hereby take refuge in the Buddha.
I hereby take refuge in the Dhamma.
I hereby take refuge in the Sangha.
I hereby seek shelter in the Buddha for the 2nd time.
I hereby seek shelter in the Dhamma for the 2nd time.
I hereby seek shelter in the Sangha for the 2nd time.
I hereby request protection from the Buddha for the 3rd time.
I hereby request protection from the Dhamma for the 3rd time.
I hereby request protection from the Sangha for the 3rd time.
I will hereby respect these Three Jewels the rest of my life!

I accept to respect & undertake these 5 training rules:
I hereby accept the training rule of avoiding all Killing.
I hereby accept the training rule of avoiding all Stealing.
I hereby accept the training rule of avoiding all Sexual Abuse.
I hereby accept the training rule of avoiding all Dishonesty.
I hereby accept the training rule of avoiding all Alcohol & Drugs.
As long as this life lasts, I am thus protected by these 5 precepts...

Then, one keeps and protects these sacred vows better than one's own eyes & children!, since they protect you & all other beings much better than any army! They are the highest offer one can give in & to this world! So is the start towards Nibbāna: the Deathless Element! This is the Noble Way to Peace, to Freedom, to Ease, to Happiness, initiated by Morality, developed further by Dhamma-Study and fulfilled by training of Meditation...

Source

what-buddha-said.net