Seven Weeks After Enlightenment
the Bodhi Tree
the first week after enlightenment, the Buddha sat
under the bodhi tree experiencing the happiness of
freedom and peace. He was free from disturbing thoughts,
calm and blissful.
at the Tree
the second week, in thanks and gratitude to the
tree that had sheltered him during his struggle for
Buddhahood, the Buddha stood without
moving his eyes as he meditated on the bodhi tree.
this example, it is the custom of Buddhists to pay
respect to not only the original bodhi tree, but also
to the descendants of the bodhi tree that still thrive
the third week, the Buddha saw through his minds
eye that the devas in the heavens were not sure whether
he had attained enlightenment or not. To prove his
enlightenment the Buddha created a golden bridge in
the air and walked up and down it for a whole week.
the fourth week, he created a beautiful jewelled chamber
and sitting inside it meditated on what was later
known as the "Detailed Teaching" (Abhidhamma). His
mind and body were so purified that six coloured rays
came out of his body blue, yellow, red, white,
orange and a mixture of these five. Today these six
colours make up the Buddhist flag. Each colour represented
one noble quality of the Buddha: yellow for holiness,
white for purity, blue for confidence, red for wisdom
and orange for desirelessness. The mixed colour represented
all these noble qualities.
the fifth week, while meditating under a banyan tree,
three most charming girls called Tanha, Rati and Raga
came to disturb his meditation. They danced in a most
seductive and charming manner and did everything to
tempt the Buddha to watch their dance. Yet he continued
to meditate unperturbed, and soon they tired and left
Buddha then went and meditated at the foot of a mucalinda
tree. It began to rain heavily and a huge king cobra
came out and coiled his body seven times around the
Buddha to keep him warm and placed his hood over the
Buddhas head to protect him from the rain. After
seven days the rain stopped and the snake changed
into a young man who paid his respects to the Buddha.
The Buddha then said:
are they who are contented. Happiness is for those
who hear and know the truth. Happy are they who have
good will in this world towards all sentient beings.
Happy are they who have no attachments and have passed
beyond sense-desires. The disappearance of the word
"I AM " is indeed the highest happiness."
the seventh week, the Buddha meditated under the rajayatana
tree. On the fiftieth morning, after seven
weeks of fasting, two merchants came into his presence.
They were called Tapussa and Bhallika. They offered
the Buddha rice cakes and honey to break his fast
and the Buddha told them some of what he had found
in his enlightenment.
two merchants, by taking refuge in the Buddha and
his Dharma (translated as "teachings of the Buddha"),
became the first lay followers. There was no Sangha
(order of monks and nuns) then. They asked the Buddha
for something sacred to keep with them. The Buddha
wiped his head with his right hand and pulled out
some hair to give to them. These hair relics, called
Kesa Datu, were later reputed to be enshrined by
the merchants on their return home to what is now
known as Burma, in the Shwedagon Pagoda in Rangoon.