When Buddha ended the Extreme asceticism and begun the Middle Way: continued

I had written the first blog “When Buddha ended the Extreme asceticism and begun the Middle Way“ because I read a different version in Wikipedia of the event and the offering of the milk porridge to the would be Buddha by Sujata / Thuzartar from the one I have known. At the time, I only had the internet at my disposal and as I searched for it, I found 2 versions: one which is mentioned in Wikipedia and the other, the one I have known.

I have knowm that it was only some time after the would be Buddha ended the the Extreme asceticism and begun the Middle Way that He went on the journey to Gaya where He obtained Enlightenment and on the journey met Sujata / Thuzarta on the Full moon day of Kasone.

The other version states that it was only when He met Sujata / Thuzarta that the would be Buddha ended asceticism and begun the Middle Way.

The following is the gist of the versions. To read fully, please visit my previous blog at : https://nyiwin.wordpress.com/2011/05/24/when-buddha-ended-the-extreme-asceticism-dukkhasariyar-and-begun-the-middle-way-mizzimapadipadar/

“Buddha Gautama underwent prolonged fasting, breath-holding, and exposure to pain. He almost starved himself to death in the process. He realized that he had taken this kind of practice to its limit, and had not put an end to suffering. So in a pivotal moment he accepted milk and rice from a village girl and changed his approach. He devoted himself to anapanasati meditation, through which he discovered what Buddhists call the Middle Way (Skt. madhyamā-pratipad: a path of moderation between the extremes of self-indulgence and self-mortification. Wikipedia


According to the early Buddhist texts,[35] after realizing that meditative jhana was the right path to awakening, but that extreme asceticism didn’t work, Gautama discovered what Buddhists call the Middle Way[35]—a path of moderation away from the extremes of self-indulgence and self-mortification.[35] In a famous incident, after becoming starved and weakened, he is said to have accepted milk and rice pudding from a village girl named Sujata.[36] Such was his emaciated appearance that she wrongly believed him to be a spirit that had granted her a wish.[36]


At this time there lived at Uruvela a house-holder by name Senani. Sujata was his daughter

Sujata came and offered Gautama the food prepared by her in a golden bowl.

He took the bowl to the river bank, bathed at a ford or a bathing place called Suppatitthita and ate the food.

Thus ended his trial of asceticism.

The five ascetics who were with Gautama became angry with him for having given up the life of austerity and self-mortification and in disgust left him.

Early on the full moon day of Kason (April) in the year 103 of the Great Era, i.e. 2551 years ago, counting back from the year 1324 of the Burmese Era, the now emaciated prince sat down under the Bo Tree near the big village of Senanigãma awaiting the hour of going for alms food. At that time, Sujãtã, the daughter of a rich man from the village, was making preparations to give an offering to the tree-spirit of the Bo tree. She sent her maid ahead to tidy up the area under the spread of the holy tree. At the sight of the starving man seated under the tree, the maid thought the deity had made himself visible to receive their offering in person. She ran back in great excitement to inform her mistress.

From the day the Great Being had gone forth from the household life until the day depicted in this picture, six years had elapsed. Here he has resumed eating normal food and his body has returned to a normal state.

This day was the fifteenth of the waxing moon of the sixth lunar month, 45 years before the Buddha’s passing away [parinibbana]. The lady offering things to the Great Being in the picture is Sujata. She was the daughter of a householder in a village in Uruvela Senanigama. She is offering a dish of Rice Gruel with Milk [madhupayasa], rice cooked with pure cow’s milk. It was a vegetarian food, containing no meat or fish, used especially as an offering to deities.

When the rice was cooked, Sujata sent a servant girl to clean up the area around the banyan tree. The servant girl came back to Sujata with a report that the deity [deva] who was to receive the offerings had materialized, and was already sitting at the foot of the banyan tree. Excited, Sujata lifted the tray of milk rice to her head and carried it to the banyan tree, together with her servant girl. Seeing that it was as her servant had told her, she came forward and proffered the tray of milk rice. The Great Being received it and looked at Sujata. She understood from his look that he had no bowl or any other dish with which to eat the food, and so she made an offering of both the rice and the dish.

Recently, I came across a book in Myanmar, about Abhidhamma / Wheel of Law, and in it is described the sequence of events from the leaving of earthly life to the preaching of the first sermon, the Abhidhamma / Wheel of Law to the 5 disciples / PyinSa. Weggi.

I have attached them for the benefit of Myanmars (as it is in Myanmar) and request forgiveness by others who cannot read Myanmar as I do not have the will to translate all it into English. However, it describes in detail, the version I have always known and I believe it is the only version told and preached throughout Myanmar. I do not know the original source other version but it can be easily looked up in Wikipedia and other sites. All references of both versions in my earlier blog are in English and is unlikely to be from Myanmay sources.

I will only write a gist included in the book in Myanmar about the Abhidhamma / Wheel of Law.

The would be Buddha practiced Extreme asceticism in which only a handful of pea boiled water was taken and became very thin and emaciated. After 6 years of Extreme asceticism He realized that this method is not the right way as being weak He could not meditate properly and decided to eat normally as before.

The 5 disciples who were with Him thought that He had gone on the wrong tract and left Him. After they left, He was alone and undisturbed and after 15 days, became healthy again and obtained Enlightenment.

In the morning of the Full moon day of Kasone, the 103 Maha year, the future Buddha sat under the Bo tree near the ThayNar NiGone  village waiting to go for obtaining food alms. The rich man’s daughter Sujata / Thuzartar, of the ThayNar NiGone  village sent her servant to clear the place beneath the Bo tree to offer the diety with milk gruel. The servant saw the future Buddha and thought that He was the diety and returned home to tell her mistress that the local diety has showed up.

Sujata / Thuzartar had the milk gruel in a gold bowl that costs 100,000 and cover it with another gold bowl and offered it to the would be Buddha and prayed. The would be Buddha went to the Narinjara nadi and had a bath and took 49 mouthfuls of the rice gruel and make an oath that if He were to become a Buddha that day, may the gold bowl go upriver and placed it in the Narinjara nadi. The gold bowl went up river for some time and then sank to the KarLa NaGarr king’s place and got stacked beneath the 3 gold bowls of the 3 previous Buddhas.


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