Buddha Purnima or Buddha Jayanti is a Buddhist festival and is also known as vesak as it falls in the month of vaishakh. As the festival marks the birth, enlightenment, and death of Gautam Buddha it is called Buddha Jayanti. The festival falls on the first full moon day of the vaishakh month as per Hindu lunar calendar which is generally between April-May.
Buddhism foundation was laid by founder Gautam Buddha, and the followers of Buddhism have great importance for Buddha Purnima. Known as vesak amongst Buddhists, this day falls on the first full moon of vaishakh month. This year Buddha Purnima date falls on 26th May 2021.
Buddha Purnima history expands between 4th to 6th Century BC. Although the birth date of Gautam Buddha is not clear, according to Theravada Tripitaka scriptures, Gautam Buddha was born in Lumbini in 563 BCE. Today, Lumbini comes under Nepal. Before Gautam Buddha became Buddha he was known as Prince Siddhartha, son of king Shakya. As per literature, it was prophesied before even his birth that either he will become a great king or a great sage. Siddhartha lived a luxurious life while growing up as the king did not want his son to get exposed to the real world. Upon encountering sickness, old age, and death, the 29-year-old prince decided to leave his royal palace and set out on a quest to find an answer to the cause of all suffering.
He researched a wide range of lessons yet couldn’t discover freedom until one night he went into profound contemplation and woke up with answers we had been looking for. At the age of 35, Siddhartha Gautama turned into the Buddha or the Awakened One. For the excess of his life, he lectured the Dharma to lead others along the way of Enlightenment. Gautama Buddha inhaled his last at 80 years old in Kushinagar, Uttar Pradesh.
It is said that every one of the three significant occasions in the existence of Gautama Buddha – his birth, enlightenment and salvation – falls around the same time of the year. Buddha Purnima significance is attributable to this luck as the day holds tremendous worth in Buddhism. The choice to observe Buddha’s introduction to the world commemoration on the principal full moon day of Vaisakha was taken by the World Fellowship of Buddhists in May 1960. On Buddha Purnima, devotees visit Mahabodhi Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, located in Bodh Gaya, Bihar. This Bodhi Temple is the location where the Lord Buddha is said to have attained enlightenment.
Here’s how to celebrate Buddha Purnima:
Buddha Purnima is a peaceful and uplifting occasion, the best day to remind yourself of the teachings of Buddha and revisit the lessons of life and revive yourself.
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