Buddha Purnima: Why is it celebrated?

Buddha Purnima

Buddha Purnima

This year, Buddha Purnima will be held on 16 May, 2022. Buddha Purnima is the most sacred day in the Buddhist calendar. It is the most important festival of Buddhists and is celebrated with great passion. The celebration of Buddha Purnima is all about adopting the teaching of Buddhism- nonviolence, peace, and harmony. 

And in the Hindu religion, it is considered an important festival.

When it is celebrated?

Buddha Purnima is celebrated every year on the full moon day of the Hindu month of Vaisakha to celebrate the birth anniversary of Lord Buddha, the founder of Buddhism. 

The exact date of Vesak is the first full moon in the fourth month in the Chinese Lunar Calendar. The date varies from year to year in the Gregorian calendar but is typically in May.

Significance of Buddha Purnima:

Buddha was born in the Lumbini province of Nepal in 563 B.C. He was born as Siddhartha Gautam. The ancient scriptures state that it was a full moon day.

Buddha has been termed as the 9th avatar of Lord Vishnu as per the Hindu Scriptures. This day is celebrated as when he attained enlightenment.

Timeline of Mahatma Gautama Buddha:

563 B.C.

Birth of Siddhartha Gautama. His parents belonged to the Shakya caste. Although he was relatively wealthy, he was exposed to human suffering from an early age.

534 B.C.

Gautama left home to search for a solution to the suffering. For about 6 years, he practiced yoga and experimented with extreme self-discipline as he tried to find answers.

528 B.C.

Gautama becomes the Buddha. He realized that his thinking was the only obstacle to freeing himself from his cares. And if he separates himself from his human desires, he will no longer suffer.

483 B.C.

 Gautama got Mahaprinirvana. Before he died, he asked his disciples to continue spreading his teaching. While traveling to deliver his speech, he accepted a meal from smith that made him sick.

How did he attain enlightenment?

According to Hindu Scriptures, buddha left home at the age of 29 and started living a life of abandonment. He did hard penance for about 6 years under a peepal tree. It was on the day of Vaisakha Purnima that Lord Buddha attained the knowledge of truth under this peepal tree. The place where lord buddha attained enlightenment was later known as Bodh Gaya.

Mahaparinirvana of Buddha took place on the day of Vaisakha Purnima at the age of 80 in Kushinagar.

How is it celebrated?

On this day, followers of Buddhism wear white clothes and meditate. They consume only vegetarian food. Often, people also celebrate it by preparing kheer. Offerings are made to Bodh trees in Bodh Gaya, Bihar, and charity is also distributed to the poor and needy.

People visit the Mahabodhi Temple in Bodh Gaya to pray. This temple has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

To know more about Buddha Punima Tour, click on – buddha purnima tour.

Buddha Purnima is the biggest day for Buddhists because, on this day, it is believed that 3 imp. Events of his life took place: his birth, his attaining enlightenment, and his death. This day is known as the thrice-blessed festival.

Scholars are divided between two dates for his birth- 563 B.C. or 448 B.C. - with recent finds suggesting that first is more likely. And more imp., in 2022, it is believed to be 2584th birth anniversary of Buddha.

Gautama buddha was born in the famous gardens of Lumbini, which soon became a place of pilgrimage. Indian emperor, Ashoka built one of his commemorative inscribed Ashoka's pillar there. The inscription on pillar is oldest in Nepal.  

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