Who is Samma Sambuddha?
Traditional accounts state that Buddha attained enlightenment under the Bodhi Tree. In Maha Saccaka Sutta (MN 36), Buddha had three important insights culminating in his enlightenment under the Bodhi Tree. These unfolded in three watches of the night :
- During the first watch of the night, He realised the ability to see in detail His own countless past lives;
- During the second watch, He realised the ability to see clearly the endless arising and passing away of all beings according to their kamma;
- In the third watch, He realised the knowledge of the destruction of taints, that is, He realised the Four Noble Truths.
At the end of the third watch of the night, as the morning star rose at dawn, a fully-enlightened Buddha arose in this world.
In Maha Saccaka Sutta, Buddha said of this experience:
“When I knew and saw thus, my mind was liberated from the taint of sensual desire, from the taint of being, and from the taint of ignorance. When it was liberated there came the knowledge: ‘It is liberated.’
I directly knew: ‘Birth is destroyed, the holy life has been lived, what had to be done has been done, there is no more coming to any state of being.'”
Thus, it appears that, on a full moon day, under the Bodhi Tree, Buddha finally reached the end of His spiritual journey.