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7 actions performed after enlightenment

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The seven actions performed in the seven weeks after enlightenment by the Buddha in Bodh Gaya:

1. Under the Bodhi Tree During 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.

2. Gazing at the Tree During 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. Following 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 today.

3. The Golden Bridge In the third week, the Buddha saw through his mind’s 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 in a walking meditation.

4. The Jewelled Chamber In the fourth week, he created a beautiful jewelled chamber and sitting inside it meditated on what was later known as the higher doctrine (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 color 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 color represented all these noble qualities.

5. Three Girls During the fifth week, while meditating under a banyan tree, three most charming girls (or mind states) 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 him alone.

6. The Mucalinda Tree The 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 Buddha’s head to protect him from the rain.

7. The Rajayatana Tree During 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. These two merchants, by taking refuge in the Buddha and his Dhamma became the first lay followers.

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