The Buddha gives the first Sermon, the Turning of the Wheel of Dhamma, to the Group of Five, opening the eye of Dhamma in them
The day on which the Buddha gave his First Sermon (pathamadesana) was the fifteenth day of the waxing moon of the eighth lunar month. It was the day following the day he had arrived and met the Group of Five. It is now known as Asalhapuja Day.
There were five people listening to the teaching, the "Group of Five." The subject of the Buddha's teaching was a denunciation of that which the religious practicers of that time were prone to, the extreme of ascetic practice, and also the extreme of sensual indulgence. The Buddha rejected these two extremes. He had experienced and experimented with them already and found that they were not the way to enlightenment. He then recommended the Middle Way (majjhima patipada), the proper practice in accordance with the Noble Eightfold Path, which in essence consists of morality, concentration and wisdom.
When the Buddha had passed away, the disciples who convened the Great Council for finalizing the Buddha's teachings called this first sermon the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta, or just Dhammacakka Sutta, comparing the Buddha's teaching on this occasion to a Universal Emperor wielding his wheel weapon or chariot and spreading his great power. The difference here was that the wheel or chariot used by the Buddha was the Dhamma, the "Wheel of Dhamma."
When the teaching came to an end, Kondanna, the leader of the Group of Five, attained the Eye of Dhamma, that is, he attained Stream Entry. Seeing Kondanna attaining this fruit as a result of listening to the teaching, even though it was only a lower level of enlightenment, the Buddha joyously uttered, "Annasi vatabho kondanno, annasi vatabho kondanno," meaning "Oh, Kondanna has realized, Kondanna has attained the truth!" From that time on, Venerable Kondanna became known as Anna Kondanna, "Kondanna who Knows."
Having listened to the teaching, Kondanna asked the Buddha for permission to go forth under him, and so the Buddha gave his permission for Kondanna to become a monk, uttering the invitation, "Come, bhikkhu." The remaining four also in time attained enlightenment and became monks like Kondanna.
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