Happy Bodhi Day to all the readers of the blog!
Bodhi Day (December 8th), also known as Rohatsu, is commemorated by several schools of Buddhism as the day when the Buddha achieved Enlightenment. In the Ariyapariyesana-sutta, the now-Buddha encounters a man named Upaka, who notices his radiant appearance, and inquires as to who he is and his teacher. The Buddha replied,
"Victor am I over all, and omniscient.
In all things I am free from defilement.
I have abandoned everything and have become liberated, free from craving.
Since I myself have gained knowledge, whome should I seek?
For me there is no teacher;
There is none like me.
In this world, including all its deities,
There is none who can rival me.
It is I who in this world am worthy of veneration,
I am the supreme teacher;
I alone am the perfectly enlightened,
I am purified and have attained tranquility.
In order to turn the wheel of the Dhamma
I am going to Kasi [Varanasi].
In the blinded world
I will beat the drum of deathlessness.
Those who have destroyed the defilements
Are like me victors.
I have conquered that which is evil,
And so, Upaka, I am the victor."
Later Buddhist commentators state that although Upaka initially rejected the Buddha's teaching, several years later he returned to him after escaping an abusive wife, became his disciple, and attained Enlightenment!