The Buddha is enlightened at dawn; the devas dance in his honor

By the time the Bodhisatta had conquered Mara, the sun was setting and night was falling. The Great Being sat motionless on his bodhi seat underneath the bodhi tree. He began to make his mind concentrated through the method known as jhana, absorption concentration, and attained nana.

Jhana is a method of concentrating the mind, making it one-pointed, not thinking restlessly of this and that as people ordinarily do. Nana is gnosis, clear realization. It may be simply illustrated thus: the still light of a candle in a windless room is like jhana, while the illumination from the candle is gnosis (nana).

The Great Being attained the first realization (nana) in the first watch of the night (about nine PM). The first nana is called "pubbenivasanusatinana," meaning clear realization of the past lives of both oneself and others. During the middle watch of the night (about midnight) he attained the second nana, known as cutupapatanana, meaning, clear realization of the passing away and arising of beings in the world, and their differences due to kamma. In the last watch of the night (after midnight), he attained the third nana, known as asavakkhayanana, meaning clear realization of the extinction of defilements and the Four Noble Truths: suffering, the cause of suffering, the cessation of suffering and the way leading to the cessation of suffering.

The Great Being's attainment of these three nana is known as his enlightenment as the Buddha, which occurred on the full moon night of the sixth lunar month. From this point on, the names "Siddhattha" and "Bodhisatta," and the term "Great Being" newly coined before his enlightenment, all become things of the past, because from this point on he is known as arahantasammasambuddha, one who has on his own become enlightened and transcended all defilements.

This event is thus a great miracle. The poet has allegorized the episode in the Buddha's honor by stating that at that time all animals, people, and devas throughout ten thousand world systems were relieved of their suffering, sorrow, despair and danger, and all beings were imbued with goodwill to each other, free of enmity and hatred.

All the devas played music, danced and sang the Buddha's praises as an act of reverence and honor to the Buddha's virtues.
 

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