Buddha Purnima, History, Celebrations and Greetings
Buddha Poornima, also known as Vesak or Buddha Jayanti, is the most sacred day in the Buddhist calendar. It is the most important festival celebrated by all Buddhist communities worldwide with great enthusiasm. The Vesak falls at the first full moon of the Hindu Vaisakh month, and according to the Chinese lunar calendar, it is celebrated on the first full moon of the fourth month. Both fall on the same day and typically exist in May as per the Gregorian calendar, but the date varies from year to year. This year Buddha Purnima is observed on 16 May 2022.
Although Buddhists consider every full moon sacred, but Vaisakh full moon has special significance as this day represents three important events of Gautam Buddha’s life.
About Gautam Buddha
Gautam Buddha was born as Prince Siddhartha Gautam to king Shuddhodan in Lumbini in 563 BCE. Currently, it is a part of Nepal. He was brought up in luxuries. Since he was prophesied to become either a great monk or a great monarch, he was kept shielded from the other world and the hardship of life till his late 20s. At the age of 29, when he came across a corpse and learned about sickness, old age, and death, he decided to leave the palace to discover the reason for all sufferings and their solutions.
For the next few years, he wandered meaningful places and got many teachings while searching for his answers. But one night, he sat under a banyan tree and went into a deep meditation to attain enlightenment. Later, he preached Dharma, harmony, kindness, and non-violence to people and made them lead the path of enlightenment. To took his last breath in Kushinagar, Uttar Pradesh.
It is said that all the three important events of Gautam Buddha’s life fall on the same day, that is the full moon day of Vaishakh month. These three events are birth, enlightenment, and Salvation. That is why it is known as the thrice-blessed festival. Hence the day holds enormous value in Buddhism.
History of Buddha Purnima
Followers of Buddhism never celebrated Gautam Buddha’s birthday officially. It was in May 1950, the first conference of the world fellowship of the Buddhists was held in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Buddha Purnima was officiated as a celebration.
In India, the term Buddha means one who attains bodhi or wisdom, while Purnima stands for the full moon in Sanskrit.
Buddha Purnima celebration
Every year Buddha Purnima is celebrated in Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Cambodia, Java, Indonesia, Tibet, and Mongolia as ”Vesak” through an elaborate festival. On the day of the festival, Buddha idols are worshipped, and prayer meets are held. Devotees visit Buddhist shrines, offer flowers and candles, recite hymns and sermons, and participate in group meditation. People have religious discussions about the life of Gautam Buddha, his teaching, and his principles.
In India, On the occasion of the Buddha Purnima, the Mahabodhi temple in Bodhgaya is embellished with colorful decorations. Devotees offer special prayers under the Bodhi tree, where Gautama Buddha attained enlightenment.
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Buddha Purnima Greetings
Let’s pray for peace and harmony for all mankind on this auspicious day of Buddha Purnima.
May Buddha Purnima be a start of good days with inner peace, health, happiness and contentment.
Let’s implement Lord Buddha’s teachings to make this world a better place. Happy Buddha Jayanti