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Buddha Poornima

Date: 4th May

Buddha Purnima is dedicated to one of the greatest spiritual teachers, Mahatma Buddha. It is celebrated on the full moon day of the lunar month Vaishaaka. Buddha Purnima is also known as Buddha Jayanti and holds an important place in Buddhist calendar. The sacred Jayanti celebrates the birth, enlightenment and salvation of Prince Siddhartha. It is also mentioned in Buddhist scriptures that Mahatama Buddha’s wife Yashodara, his horse Kantaka and his charioteer took birth on this day.

History

Around 500 B.C, Queen Mayadevi and King Shuddhodhana had a son named Siddhartha. At the time of his birth, Brahmin priests said that the prince would be disheartened by the sorrows and tragedies of the world. Due to this forecast, the king trapped his own son in the four walls and giving him all the comforts and luxuries.

One day, the king told his charioteer to take Prince Siddhartha out. When the prince went outside he was staggered by the sorrows faced by humankind. He left his family to seek the true meaning of life. For seven long years, prince roamed in the jungles and faced several severities. Then he went to Bodh Gaya and beneath a tree, he attained enlightenment and became popular as ‘Mahatama Buddha’.

His teachings made him popular amid people. At the age of 80, Mahatma Buddha attained nirvana in his demise. Buddha’s overflow of love for the destitute and downtrodden strengthens the bond of love and care amid several sections of society. The three key events of his life, birth, enlightenment and demise took place on a full moon night and this night is came to be known as Buddha Poornima or Buddha Jayanti.

Celebrations and Rituals

Buddha Jayanti is celebrated on the full moon night in the month of Vaisaka as per Indian calendar. Akin to all other festivals, the devotees of Lord Buddha with great devotion and dedication celebrate the day. Statues of Lord Buddha are bedecked and worshipped by the followers. On this day, the followers and monks read the sacred scriptures all day long. People in good number carry the processions and chant prayers to seek the blessings of the divine being.

On Buddha Poornima, Buddhists adorn their house with diyas, candles and lights. They also put blue, red, white, and yellow colored flags on the terrace. Fruits, candles and flowers are offered to Lord Buddha and sweet dish like kheer is prepared on this day.