A Buddhist festival that celebrates Siddhartha Gautam Buddha’s birth, day of enlightenment, and death.
Photo Credit: aayushtuladhar / CC-BY-2.0
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Buddha Jayanti or Buddha Purnima is one of the most important days for Buddhists. It marks the birth anniversary of Prince Siddhartha Gautama who later became Siddhartha Gautam Buddha. This Buddhist festival is celebrated during the full moon of May or sometime in June during a leap year. Many people both Buddhists and Hindus pay homage to Gautam Buddha by visiting different Buddhist pilgrimage sites – Lumbini, Swayambhu, Boudha, and other sites.
Importance of Buddha Jayanti
Gautam Buddha was the founder of the religion “Buddhism”. Buddha Jayanti plays an important role in the Buddhist people. This festival is the day when people show their love, respect, and gratitude towards Lord Gautam buddha and his legacy.
• It is the day of the birth anniversary of Gautam buddha.
• He taught about dharma, karma, wisdom, kindness, humanity, compassion, patience, and other virtues of life.
• People learn life-changing lessons from buddha.
• It brings inner peace, elimination of suffering, and blissful life.
• It is believed that the Buddha achieved redemption (nirvana), enlightenment, wisdom, and truth on that day.
About Siddhartha Gautam Buddha
Gautam buddha was from a royal family. He was known as the prince Siddhartha Gautam. His father was king Suddhodana (ruler of the Shakya clan) and his mother was queen Maya Devi. Gautam Buddha was born around 566 B.C. in Lumbini, Kapilvastu.
As a prince, He grew a very comfortable and well-lived life. Later, he got married to princess Yashodhara at a very young age.
One day, while Siddhartha Gautam was traveling in his majestic chariot. He saw an old man, an ill person, a disease, a dead body, and a spiritual. This is the first time, where he saw such grief and suffering. After that, he realized, how oldness is the final phase of the human life cycle and death is the ultimate bitter truth. Witnessing such a cruel reality, Siddhartha Gautam abandons the kingdom and his family at the age of 29.
In the middle of the night, when everyone was asleep, he left his home and walked alone into the forest in search of eternal truth. Over the years, He met many philosophers and meditation teachers and he acquired knowledge from them but still was not satisfied.
Later, he decided to meditate until his enlightenment at a place name “Bodhgaya ”. Finally, Siddhartha Gautam achieved enlightenment and became “buddha” after meditating for seven days under the Bodhi tree (tree of awakening).
He understood the eternal truth about life. Then he decided to share the knowledge and wisdom with all people to make them free from suffering (nirvana).
How is Buddha Jayanti celebrated?
Buddha Jayanti or Buddha’s birthday is celebrated on the full moon day of May. In Asia, the birth anniversary of the buddha is celebrated by lighting candles, reciting five precepts and three gems i.e. the buddha, the dharma, and the sangha. The Lord Buddha family refers to the Shakya clan of the Newars community which plays an important part in their life. They celebrate the festival which is in their native language “Swānyā Punhi “(स्वांया पुन्हि), a full moon day of flowers. The festival marks the birth of lord buddha as well as his enlightenment and pari-nirvana. This festival is celebrated in a gentle and peaceful environment.
Non-Vegetarian and meaty food is avoided on this day. Gautam buddha was against killing living organisms. Kheer (bowl of sweet porridge), juice, bread, curry, etc. are freely provided to the people in the name of dharma and the story of Sujata, who once gave a bowl of porridge to the lord buddha.
Gautam Buddha was the founder of Buddhism around the 5th century. It is the biggest day for Buddhists. There is a belief that on this day three important life of buddha takes place i.e., his birth, enlightenment, and death.
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