Ascetic Bodhisatta Gotama practised meditation under the guidance of Alara Kalama and Udaka Ramaputta. Being unsatisfied with this achievement, Bodhisatta set out for another method. This time he took self-mortification practice. He even starved himself until he became almost dead.
The Bodhisatta decided to adopt a new path with a firm determination. He tried his best to realize the end of suffering. At last he became a Buddha, a fully enlightened One at the age of 35. It is the full moon day of Kason (April), Friday, in Maha Era 103. He walked himself the path he had discovered.
Two months later, he was in Banares. According to Brahmā Sahampati's request to teach the Dhamma to humans, the Buddha considered to whom he would give the first sermon. This consideration was made by Asayanusaya-nana and Indriaparopariya-nana.
Firstly, the hermit Alara Kalama who had shown the Bodhisatta the Jhanic states was seen. But he passed away. Then another teacher Udaka Ramaputta was appeared and he also expired. After that, he went in search of who was indebted to him.
On this account, the Buddha imagined the band of five ascetics (Pancavaggi), who attended to him and did all manner of service during the struggle of six years. However, he did not rise up at once and waited for three days. Then the Buddha started on his journey to Migadaya Grove where Pancavaggi were staying, near Banares.
Pancavaggi attended the Bodhisatta who was practising Dukkaracariya in Uruvela forest for six years. Then Bodhisatta changed his mind to perform the middle-way (Majjimapatipada) instead of the wrong extreme practice. So, he took the alms food to keep himself strong. But Pancavaggi misunderstood him of material accumulation. They left the Bodhisatta and went to the Deer Park at Isipatana, (Migadaya).
They saw the Buddha coming towards them. But, they did not welcome and also needed not to show hospitality. The Omniscient Buddha even with dye robe reached the place of five ascetics. Being clear of defilements (kilesas), the Blessed One is peaceful, comely and reverend. Therefore the band of five ascetics had to greet and pay respect to the Buddha.
It is the time that is just dusk and also near moonrise. The time is evening twilight. Due to the attributes of Noble One it was very pleasant and the Migadaya Grove was now very still. Then they do obeisance to the Enlightened One who sat down at the readily prepared seat. At the moment, the Lord Buddha greeted five ascetics, 'Monks'. This is the word of invitation to preach the first sermon.
This introductory word of the Buddha lied again and again in the heart of pancavaggi because they had purity of sila as well as complement of saddha, chandha and viriya. Therefore the Buddha said that he was a real Buddha and continued to urge them to listen to the Dhamma. But without belief they refused to accept for three times.
The Buddha also repeated once again that he was a very Sammasambuddha like all the past Buddhas, perfect, fully enlightened and worthy to receive the highest homage from all beings. He had really perceived the attainment of Nibbana. They then listened to the first sermon known as “Dhammacakka-pavattana Sutta” attentively and respectfully.
After this Sutta Dhamma had been taught, 180 millions of Brahmas and Devas realized the Dhamma. Of human beings including pancavaggi, there arose first the state of Sotapanna in only Ashin Kondanna. As a result of this fruition, the Omniscient Buddha spoke in a delightful mood "Kondanna has been convinced, Monks, Kondanna has been convinced." That day was a full moon day of Waso (July).
After that, the Lord Buddha expounded again the continuation of the desana, on the first waning day of the Waso Ashin Vappa, on the second Ashin Bhaddiya, on the third Ashin Mahanama, and on the fourth Ashin Assaji attained the fruition of Sotapanna respectively. All the five became “Ehi Bhikku”.
Then the exalted One taught “Anatta-lakkhana Sutta” on the fifth waning day of the Waso. In the circumstances, the five Sotapannas attained Arahantship. Thus, all Buddhists recognized that day as “Arahant Day” and gave respect to the full-moon day as “Dhammacakka Day” till today because of deliverance of the first sermon.
Posted by Nyan U