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Buddha Purnima: Buddha's Birthday

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Buddha-Purnima

Buddha Purnima

Also called: Buddha's Birthday, Buddha Purnima, Buddha Jayanti

Buddha Purnima Date: Saturday, May 18, 2019


Buddha's Birthdate: 563 BCE

Buddha's Birthplace: Kapilvastu, Limbini - Nepal

Buddha's Death date: 483 BCE at the age of 80 in Kushinagar, Uttar Pradesh, India

Buddha's Father: King Suddhodhna of Shakya Clan, Mother: Queen Maya Devi

Buddha's Siblings: Nanda (Half-Brother), Sundari (Sister)

Buddha's Wife: Yasodhara

Buddha's Child: Rahul (Son)

Every human in this world born and dies after his lifetime. Many people come unnoticed and go unnoticed. Even though being a king of any dynasty or a country cannot make him remembered by his citizens until he does something remarkable for his citizens. Although some people or great personality remain on Earth that is even remembered after their death. You know there are many such people.

Similarly, you probably know that Siddhartha Gautama is one of the great personalities that we still remember and even more clearly worshipped for his contribution to mankind. Well, if you have not sorted out the man Siddhartha then, let us know you that he is none other than the “Light of Asia” Gautama Buddha

Did you know that his real name was Siddhartha Gautama and was born in a royal family of Kapilavastu in Lumbini, Nepal in 563-483 BCE which is also listed as a world heritage site by UNESCO in 1979, in about 600 B.C? 

Do you know he was an avatar of Lord Vishnu in the form of an invincible human who took seven immediately after his birth to the north-pointing a finger in the air? Actually, he was symbolizing his significance in the modern world. Of course, now you have known that, why is Siddhartha Gautama remembered.

Peace and security, disarmament are common issues in the whole world nowadays. Do you know Gautama Buddha was the person to teach the term peace and stability to the whole of Asia? He also taught the deep fact of life. He said that desire, sadness, and sorrow are the cause of every bad thing, evil, and sufferings in life. That is why he is also called the “Light of Asia”.

Well, you may be surprised to know that being a person of a royal family he didn’t live in the accommodation of the royal palace. The Buddhist’s mythology says that Buddha was predicted to be a great sage. Considering this his father king Suddhodhan decided to keep him in isolation free from all curse, sorrows, and sadness to prevent him from being a sage. 

His childhood was spent with luxury, money, and happiness. He was very much unknown about sadness, cry, sorrow, poverty, and hunger. Suddenly while roaming outside in the city one day, He found a poor old man begging in the roadside, a dead man in a bed called Arthi surrounded with people crying and chanting the mantra “Ram Nam Satya he “and many other sentimental events which made his mind stroke by a question “why?” Why do people die? Why do people cry? Why do people beg? Why do people feel hunger? These were all the questions that strike Buddha’s mind.

As a result, he decided to leave his luxurious world and started living in isolation again and abandoned his happy life in the palace and his most lovely wife and his son Rahul at the age of 29. He went to different places and finally was enlightened in Bodhgaya of India. After then he went to different places and taught the lesson of peace, satisfaction, happiness, work, and conduct.

He taught eightfold paths which are very valuable even in today’s modern world. Right view, right resolve, Right conduct, right speech, right effort, right livelihood, right mindfulness, and right Concentration. He had explained every path he said.

In the view of Buddha, our actions have effects. Our belief, thoughts, and behaviors may have consequences even after our death in our society. Once you remember that each of your activity and thoughts are characterized by the acts of your forefathers and ancestors, aren’t they? Therefore, Buddha says that we must have right views for everyone i.e. kindness for everyone, gratitude for what we achieved, satisfaction for what we have and peace in mind.

Similarly, we must have the right to resolve and intention. Our intention and capability to settle down any issue have a great effect on ourselves and or surrounding. “We must be non-self, non-sensual and non-ill-will”, says Buddha.

Buddha also preaches about right speech. He says that conflict, insecurity, wars arise from a rude speech, bad words or a lie. We have also seen this during the two devastating world wars and they were also settled down by right resolve and good speech. Therefore, he teaches us to have a good sense of words and never tell a lie.

Right conduct is a path of purifying our desires and acts. Buddha says that we should not involve any kind of acts such as killing, having sexual acts except a spouse. We must not have the greed of material happiness. He teaches about internal happiness which cannot be fulfilled by any means but satisfaction.

Buddha’s view on livelihood defines how people with no food and happiness survival depicts the sour truth of our selfish world.

He says that every people must give the effort to enhance the power of unity, excellence and work for the sale of the nation and its wholesomeness.

Buddha teaches to be conscious of every action that we perform in our daily life. We must not be absent-minded.

Therefore, these were the summary of the eight-fold paths taught by Buddha. The above teachings of Buddha are very fruitful in life. In a nutshell, his teachings are directly directed towards peace, security, harmony, truth, and selflessness. Therefore, his contribution to human mankind is invaluable and it is our duty to respect him and his contribution. That is why Buddha Jayanti is celebrated with so much respect, peace, and joy.

Buddha Jayanti is celebrated on the day of Buddha Poornima, full moon day of Baisakh Shukla Poornima. It generally falls in the month of April or May in the Gregorian calendar i.e. in the month of Baisakh or Jyeshta in Bikram Samvat calendar.

Buddha Purnima is a very significant festival for Buddhists. As it is celebrated on the day of Buddha's birth, the whole Buddhist community is filled with happiness and a feeling of relaxation. The festival is specially celebrated in Southeast Asian countries. People there call it as Vesak. This commemorates the birth of Lord Buddha. In Southeast Asian countries i.e. Nepal, India, Bangladesh, etc. it is celebrated in the month of April or May in Gregorian calendar and in the month if Baisakh or Jyeshta in B.S. calendar. 

 Many Buddhists go to different viharas and monasteries get blessings from monks in monasteries. In South Korea, people glow lotus lantern and celebrate whereas in Sri Lanka people glow floating lanterns in the lake. In Bangladesh, temples are decorated with flowers and candles as well as different fairs where various activities are held such as the trade of toys, bangles, decoration items and so on. 

Similarly, countries like Indonesia, Malaysia, and Cambodia Buddha Jayanti is celebrated as Wesak day where the celebration is held at Mendut in Java ends at Borobudur (the largest Buddha temple in the world.) in Indonesia whereas people give alms, burn candles and decorates temples in other two countries. 

Lighting incense and bringing food offerings for the monks is the most practiced celebration for China and Hongkong. Vishaka pooja is a common name given to Buddha Jayanti in Thailand where people are traditioned of giving donations, hear sermons and do prayers.

In the context of India, Buddha Jayanti is celebrated very widely with a lot of joy and devotion. We don’t think you know that Bodhgaya, India is a place where Buddha got enlightenment. Yes, if you knew this fact it is very good if not now you have known. Well, yes in India the celebration of Buddha Jayanti includes a lot of activities mostly going to Viharas and praying a full-length Buddha Sutra. Rice porridge is served.

Well in non-Asian countries, In USA, Buddha Jayanti is celebrated in various ways differing from person-to-person and community-to-community and also sometimes between original nationality. In countries like Canada, Brazil, Venezuela, Australia the festival is celebrated by going to temple and praying with devotion.

Well, you know it is crystal clear about the significance of Buddha Jayanti and we think it doesn’t have any meaning to talk about it however you should probably appreciate the contribution of Buddha and his struggle life. Despite being a prince, he decided to be a sage and started teaching the lessons of love, care, and peace. This contribution of him is incomparable. He settled down many disputes and conflicts. 

Besides, He did many great jobs for the sake of love, satisfaction, and peace in the world and it is the duty of people all across the world to comply with his praiseworthy teachings and respect his contribution. That is why Buddha Jayanti is celebrated.
Authored by Shlok Koirala For Hamro Library

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