Asalha Puja – July 3, 2023

Asalha Puja, also known as Dharma Day, is an important Buddhist festival that commemorates the first sermon delivered by Gautama Buddha, the founder of Buddhism. Celebrated on July 3, 2023, Asalha Puja holds great significance for millions of Buddhists around the world. 

This article will delve into the origins, rituals, and teachings associated with Asalha Puja, shedding light on the importance of this auspicious occasion.

Origins of Asalha Puja

Asalha Puja marks the day when Buddha delivered his first sermon, known as the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta, to his five disciples. This event took place in the deer park of Isipatana, near the city of Varanasi in present-day India. Buddha’s sermon introduced the Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold Path, which serve as the foundation of Buddhist teachings.

Significance of Asalha Puja

Asalha Puja is a day of great reverence for Buddhists as it symbolizes the birth of the Buddha’s teachings. It signifies the beginning of the Buddhist monastic community, or Sangha, as the first five disciples attained enlightenment after listening to the sermon. This event holds immense spiritual significance and serves as a reminder of the profound wisdom and compassion embodied by the Buddha.

Rituals and Celebrations

On Asalha Puja, Buddhist devotees gather at temples and monasteries to engage in various religious activities. The day starts with devotees offering alms to monks as a way of expressing gratitude and support for the monastic community. Many people also engage in acts of merit, such as making donations and observing the Five Precepts, which are ethical guidelines for leading a virtuous life.

In the evening, a candlelit procession called the Candlelight Circumambulation takes place, where devotees walk around the main hall of the temple, holding candles and paying homage to the Buddha. This symbolic act represents the illumination of the mind through the teachings of the Buddha.

Teachings of Buddha

Asalha Puja provides an opportunity for Buddhists to reflect upon the profound teachings of Gautama Buddha. The Four Noble Truths, the essence of his first sermon, highlight the existence of suffering, its causes, its cessation, and the path to liberation from suffering. The Noble Eightfold Path encompasses the right view, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration.

Asalha Puja Around the World

Asalha Puja is celebrated by Buddhists across the globe. In countries such as Thailand, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, and Myanmar, it is observed as a public holiday. Festivities include temple visits, meditation retreats, and religious ceremonies. Devotees offer flowers, incense, and candles at the temple as a symbol of reverence and devotion.

Connection to Buddhist Practices

Asalha Puja holds a significant place in the Buddhist calendar, aligning with the Threefold Training: ethics (sila), concentration (samadhi), and wisdom (Panna). It emphasizes the importance of moral conduct, the development of mental focus through meditation, and the cultivation of wisdom through the study and contemplation of Buddhist teachings.

During Asalha Puja, Buddhist practitioners engage in intensive meditation retreats, seeking to deepen their understanding of the Dharma and cultivate inner peace. This period of introspection allows individuals to observe their thoughts, emotions, and perceptions, and gain insight into the nature of suffering and its transcendence.

Reflection and Contemplation

Asalha Puja encourages practitioners to reflect on the teachings of the Buddha and their relevance to everyday life. It serves as a reminder to walk the path of righteousness, compassion, and mindfulness. Buddhists use this occasion to contemplate the impermanence of life, the interdependence of all phenomena, and the potential for liberation from the cycle of birth and death.

By engaging in self-reflection and introspection, individuals can evaluate their actions, intentions, and thoughts, striving for personal growth and the development of wholesome qualities. Asalha Puja serves as a catalyst for spiritual renewal and a recommitment to the principles of Buddhism.

Asalha Puja Dates

2021July 24Saturday
2022July 13Wednesday
2023July 3Monday
2024July 21Sunday
2025July 10Thursday

Asalha Puja Quotes, Wishes & Messages

“May the teachings of Buddha guide you towards inner peace and enlightenment. Happy Asalha Puja!”

“Wishing you a blessed Asalha Puja filled with love, harmony and the light of wisdom.”

“May the Dharma illuminate your path and lead you to the ultimate truth. Happy Asalha Puja!”

“Wishing you a joyful Asalha Puja, where you discover the beauty of the present moment and find serenity in the teachings of Buddha.”

“On this Asalha Puja, may the light of Dharma dispel the darkness of ignorance, and may you find clarity and purpose in your spiritual journey.”


1. Is Asalha Puja only celebrated by Buddhists?

Yes, Asalha Puja is primarily celebrated by Buddhists as it commemorates the first sermon of Gautama Buddha and holds significance within Buddhist traditions.

2. Can non-Buddhists participate in Asalha Puja celebrations?

While Asalha Puja is primarily observed by Buddhists, non-Buddhists are often welcome to attend temple ceremonies and gain insight into Buddhist teachings and practices.

3. Are there any specific rituals associated with Asalha Puja?

Yes, rituals such as offering alms to monks, observing the Five Precepts, and participating in candlelit processions are commonly practiced on Asalha Puja.

4. How can I incorporate the teachings of Asalha Puja into my daily life?

You can apply the teachings of Asalha Puja by cultivating ethical conduct, practicing meditation, and studying Buddhist teachings to develop wisdom and compassion in your everyday actions.

5. Are there any specific symbols associated with Asalha Puja?

Candles, flowers, and incense are common symbols associated with Asalha Puja, representing illumination, impermanence, and the offering of devotion and respect.


Asalha Puja, celebrated on July 3, 2023, serves as a profound reminder of the teachings of Gautama Buddha and the transformative power of his wisdom. This auspicious occasion allows Buddhists worldwide to reflect on the Four Noble Truths, the Noble Eightfold Path, and the significance of ethical conduct, meditation, and wisdom in their lives.

Through rituals, contemplation, and acts of merit, individuals recommit themselves to the path of liberation from suffering and the cultivation of compassion and mindfulness. Asalha Puja continues to inspire millions of people to embark on a journey of self-discovery, inner peace, and spiritual growth.

Leave a Comment