Buddha Purnima

Religion: Buddhist
Country: India
Upcoming Buddha Purnima is on 26 May 2021 (Wednesday)

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Buddha Purnima is an important Buddhist festival. This day commemorates the birth, enlightenment and death of Gautama Buddha who was the founder of Buddhism. This day falls on the full moon day of the lunar month Vaishaaka that corresponds to either April or May.

Gautama Buddha Life history

Gautama Buddha was born as Siddhartha in Lumbini now in Nepal to king Shuddhodana, the King of Kapilavastu and Queen Maya Devi. After his birth it was predicted that he would either become a monarch or aesthetic. Fearing that the predictions might come true and his son might become a recluse his father brought him up in immense luxury and protected him from all the sorrows and miseries.

At the early age of sixteen he married his cousin who was of his equal age, Princess Yasodhara. But one day the young prince desired to see the city and toured the city in the royal chariot. While travelling through the city for the very first time he came across human suffering and miseries. The four sights which he saw transformed him completely, they were an old man, a sick person, a dead body and an aesthetic. These sights made him realise that there was more to life than just luxury and materialistic comforts. So he renounced all the worldly pleasures at an age of 29 and went in quest for the real meaning of life and eternal truth. For six years he wandered in the forests and underwent several austerities. But could not find enlightenment. Finally after 49 days of intense meditation under the Bodhi tree in Bodhgaya near Banaras, he is known to have attained enlightenment and became the Buddha or the completely enlightened one. After this Buddha travelled extensively to preach his teachings. Buddha gave his first sermon at Sarnath in the North Eastern India and even after death his disciples spread his teachings. He preached Eight-Fold Path of Salvation to gain mastery over the human suffering. They were the right conduct, right motive, right speech, right effort, right resolve, right livelihood, right attention and right meditation.

Today Buddhism is assimilated into many countries around the world such as Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia and Tibet. Buddha passed into eternity on the full moon day of Vaishaakha which was the same day of his birth and also of his Enlightenment.

How is Buddha Purnima Celebrated?

This day is very sacred for all the Buddhists. Pilgrims from all over the world come to Bodh Gaya on this day to offer prayers. Buddha Purnima day is marked with prayers, religious discourses and sermons, group meditation and worship of Buddha. The temple is decorated with flags on this day and processions are also held. Buddhist devotees also offer fruits, flowers, candles etc. to statues of Lord Buddha. Special celebrations are also held in Sarnath where Gautama Buddha gave his first sermon. Here a large fair is held at Sarnath and the relics of the Buddha are taken out for public display in a procession.


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