Starting from 2600 years ago in India Buddha for 25 years lived in Savathi. And during the Buddha abiding there are many people come to listen to the sermon under a Boddhi Tree.
At the time when the Buddha travels, there is no people come. It made the community leader Anantapindika asked Venerable Ananda, when the Blessed One time in Savathi the people can come and gather to salute the Buddha, but when the Lord is not here to whom the people will be saluting.
This question was submitted to the Buddha, and the Buddha gave an answer when the Lord does not exist then it is worth to be saluted to is Boddhi tree. The Boddhi tree is currently in the Urvela forest .
Venerable Ananda asked help to Venerable Mogalana to take Boddhi tree seedlings there. As the rule in Vinaya, monks should not be picking any fruits so Venerable Mogalana use his cloak to accommodate fallen ripe fruits and brought back to the city Savathi.
Arriving in Savathi, Venerable Mogalana asked who would plant Boddhi tree seedlings because monks should not hoe and plant. The people proposed the King to plant seedlings. But the King refused, saying that as King he will need to go for war and there is possibility of losing battle. And when the King lost the battle in the war then all associated with the King will be destroyed including trees ever planted by the appointed King. Then people chosen community leader Anatapindika to plant the tree seedlings.
After the Boddhi trees were planted in the city Savathi, then the people often get together and do Pradaksina 3 times and meditate and repeat the sermons of the Buddha.
This habit then happened spread throughout the world, including Indonesia which was in ancient times many Boddhi trees in Indonesia. The people go to surround the Boddhi tree, sitting for meditation, reciting Sutta and Paritta before they go to work. In the afternoon, the people also get together and do the same thing and repeat discourses of the Buddha.
Some people who are not Buddhists asked them where do they to go, and the people answered they go to the trees. Many people who frequently go to the Boddhi tree then happened to be more happy and successful. It attracted more people to go to the tree as the habit.
This habit continued and grew into all areas, but people can not do this on a rainy day so that they begin to move into homes and build a monastery in order to keep doing this habit. Lay people get guidance through the discourse from the one who master in memorising the Tipitaka.
But over the time the tradition of going to the Boddhi Tree, meditating and reciting Sutta and Paritta faded so that at the same time Buddhism is being lost.
Similarly, at the end of life the Buddha attained Parinibana, there was a monk who rejoices because no longer the Blessed One ruled the monks so that the monks could be free.
Venerable Maha Kassapa as the most senior monk knew it and see it as a peril that harm the Buddha teaching, so he gathered 500 monks who achieved Arahat to repeat the entire Dhamma Vinaya (before called Tipitaka) which is a set of sermon collection of the Buddha.
All the monks were repeating the sermon of the Buddha they have ever heard. This event was the world’s first Tripitaka Chanting which held exactly 3 months after the Buddha’s death.
This activity continued until the sixth time in Myanmar in 1954-1956 called Catta Sanghayana that records all the contents of the Tipitaka. And in Burma, all the content is written on stone Marble in order to remain permanently recorded.
In India the reading of Tipitaka has not repeated in a long time. Whereas in Bodhgaya, the Dalai Lama annually repeat readings Tipitaka in the Tibetan language every year in January which is always attended by Monks Mahayana to repeat readings Tipitaka.
And there is a Buddhist named Mrs. Wangmo Dixey has seen it and realized that the Tipitaka derived from the Pali have not been re-read, so she started to held the re-reading the Tipitaka every year by inviting monk from countries around the world to repeat the reading of the Tipitaka in Pali.
Re-reading tradition of the Tipitaka in India used “Welcome Home” as the theme which means Tipitaka originally from India re-read in India in Pali language. And the tradition of re-reading the Tipitaka happened spreading to Sri Lanka and Burma. On the end of 2014 Sangha Theravada Indonesia were invited to Bodhgaya to join the tradition of re-reading the Tripitaka for 10 days.
The activity was coordinated by the monks, by doing a procession from the Thai monastery to Bodhgaya on foot. By following the re-reading activity called Tipitaka or Tripitaka chants in India inspired Sangha Theravada Indonesia to hold similar activities in Indonesia.