The Importance of Bak Poya


It was on the Bak Full Moon Poya day, in the fiftieth year of his enlightenment, that the Buddha perceived with his divine eye, a dispute brewing between the two Sri Lankan Naga Communities led by two Naga Kings Chulodara and Mahodara.

According to the Mahavamsa, Mahodara ruled the Naga Kingdom of the sea. He gave his younger sister in marriage to the Naga King, the ruler of the mountain of Kannavaddamane. They were blessed with a son. His name was Chulodara. His mother’s father has given to his mother a magnificent Gem studded throne. This resulted in a war between the uncle and nephew in order to possess the “Manipalaga” Gem studded object.

Buddhism is the first missionary religion in the history of humanity, with a universal message of Peace for all mankind. It was on Bak Full Moon Poya Day, the Buddha, visited Sri Lanka, preached his doctrine to Chulodara and Mahodara at Nagadeepa, Northern Sri Lanka.

Hovering in mid-air, above the battle field, the Buddha first created darkness. Later he illuminated the whole area. When the Naga Community witnessed this miracle, they joyfully paid their obeisance. The Blessed one expounded Kakoluka, Phandana, Latuka, and Wattaka Jataka Tales from the Pansiyapanas Jathaka Pothvahanse, illustrated the evils of discord and the value and the benefits that they accrue from unity and peaceful co-existence. When you analyse the above Jataka Tales, it is clear that the theme is peace and character building and personality development.

The Kakoluke Jatakaya centres round a controversy between the birds and animals.

There is a relevant verse from the Dhammapada (verse No. 201) which comes to mind on this serene Bak Full Moon Poya Day.

Jayam Veram Pasavathi
Dukkham Seti parajito
Upasanto Sukhamset
Hitva Jayaparajayam

(Victory gives rise to hatred; Those defeated lie in pain, Happily rest the peaceful, rejecting both victory and defeat)

The lesson we must learn on this Bak Full Moon Poya Day is that victory brings Hatred and the vanquished lives in Misery. One whose mind is calm, tranquil and undisturbed lives happily.