Today, 26th May 2021, we celebrate Gautam Buddha Purnima or Buddha Jayanti all across the world. For Buddhists, this day is very auspicious as it marks the birth of Lord Gautam Buddha, the founder of Buddhism.
Buddhism was founded by Gautam Buddha 2,500 years ago.
An Introduction of Buddha Purnima Festival:
When you want to know about Buddha Purnima, you have to know where it began. Buddha as we know was born as Prince Siddharta Gautam on full moon day also known as Purnima. He was born in 563–483 BCE in Lumbini (Nepal) and was raised in the Shakya capital of Kapilavastu. In India, people celebrate this day depending on the full moon in the Vaisakh month.
Buddha Purnima is celebrated in India and in many different countries. Some of the countries are China, Japan, Taiwan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Mongolia, North Korea, South Korea, Srilanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, etc. People celebrate Buddha’s birth, enlightenment, and death on Buddha Purnima depending on their respective lunisolar calendars.
In Asia and South Asia, Buddha Purnima festival is known as Vesak or Visak Bochea.
Importance of Gautam Buddha Purnima:
Prince Siddhartha left his kingdom and renounced all worldly pleasures at the age of 29 after he was saddened by the suffering of others. He sought for purpose of life and attained enlightenment (Nirvana) at the age of 35 under the Bodhi Tree in Bodh Gaya in Bihar, India. He imparted his first teaching in Sarnath in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh in India.
Gautam Buddha founded the religion Buddhism where he taught his disciples to control their sins, thoughts, and desires. He taught dharma, non-violence, harmony, and kindness to his followers. This will help in attaining mental peace.
Even in Hinduism, devotees consider Lord Buddha as the ninth incarnation of Lord Vishnu.
Buddha Purnima Mantras:
On this day, devotees visit Buddhist temples. They offer the statue of buddha flowers, candles, incense. Devotees also offer alms(money or food) to the Buddhist monks or to the poor and needy. On this day the monks follow the ‘Panchsheel’ or five precepts of Buddha.
The Five Precepts or rules of training are:
- Abstain from killing living beings
- Abstain from stealing
- Abstain from sexual misconduct,
- Abstain from lying, and
- Abstain from intoxication
Buddhist monks chant Buddha Purnima mantras of teachings and observe meditation throughout the day and devotees go to the temple to listen to sermons given by monks.
It is believed that chanting mantras is very important today, as the mantras act as blessings to everyone who visits the temple.
Interesting Buddha Purnima and Buddhism information:
- Buddhists around the world amount to 9% to 10% of the population (Source: Lumen Learning), which is approximately 488 million people.
- Buddhism is the fourth largest religion in the world.
- Buddhists do not believe in a creator or God.
- The ultimate goal of Buddhism is to attain Nirvana (liberation from sufferings and a state of inner peace and wisdom).
- Buddhism is considered a way of life.
- The Four Noble truths provide an insight into understanding Buddhism.
May this day bring your way lots of peace, joy, love, happiness, and good health. GBS group and Alpha InfoLab wishes everyone a very Happy Buddha Purnima 2021!!
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