Buddha Purnima 2024- Why And How Do We Celebrate It?

“We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.” - Buddha

Buddha Purnima also known as Buddha Jayanti is celebrated with much fervor across the world. The day is celebrated as Buddha’s Birthday and it falls on the full moon day in the month of Vaisakh according to the Hindu Calender. This year the festival will be celebrated on May 16 2022.

Why do we celebrate Buddha Purnima?

Buddha Purnima is one of the biggest festivals celebrated by people from all religions but majorly by the Buddhist community. The other names of the festival are Vaisakh day or Vaisakh purnima. Here are some reasons why we celebrate the festival with much excitement.

Triply auspicious

The festival marks the birth, enlightenment, and death of Lord Gautam Buddha. It is said that Lord Buddha was born and had attained Mahaparinirvana leaving the Mortal coils on the same day of Buddha Purnima having lived on this earth for around 80 years. Lord Buddha also attained enlightenment on this day and therefore the day is considered as triply auspicious by the Buddhists and Hindus all over the world.

Siddhartha becomes Buddha

Lord Buddha was born in an aristocratic family and was named as Siddhartha by his parents. It was predicted that he shall become a great ruler one day and in fear of losing the crown, the Prince confined him to their palace. But when Lord Gautam Buddha left the palace for the first time, he witnessed human suffering and from there he tried to understand human suffering further. Soon he searched truth and got enlightenment.

Teachings of Lord Buddha

Buddha’s teachings allow people to avoid self-indulgence and give them a joyous way to live life. His teachings are cherished every day in the lives of his devotees and on the auspicious occasion of Buddha Purnima, devotees thank the Lord who gave them the right view towards life. Many followers also free caged birds on this day as a symbol of care and understanding for all living beings, one of the most significant teachings of Lord Buddha.

Some famous Quotes emphasized by the Lord:

“The wise ones fashioned speech with their thought, sifting it as grain is sifted through a sieve “- Buddha

“Do not overrate what you have received, nor envy others. He who envies others does not obtain peace of mind “- Buddha

“Health is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth, faithfulness the best relationship.” –Buddha

“To understand everything is to forgive everything “- Buddha

How do we celebrate Buddha Purnima?

Over the years, Buddha Purnima has become as a social, religious, cultural and spiritual festival. Several events and discussions of Buddhist scriptures are held on this day. Many Hindus are great followers of Buddhism and celebrate the same with full pomp and show. Devotees who have embraced Buddhism in India and other parts of the world pay a visit to the local Viharas in order to rejoice the festival. Besides visiting temples, people also light candles, incense sticks and prepare sweets to be offered before the Lord. Sermons on the life and teachings of Buddha are held and attended by followers all over on this day and people usually dress in white. Non-vegetarian food is avoided on the day and sweets like kheer is prepared to mark the celebrations.

This time during the on-going covid-19 pandemic, devotees are unable to get together for prayers and rituals. However, virtual prayers will be streamed live from the scared temples of Lord Buddha. The festival is about praying with the truest of feelings, and embracing things that Buddhism stands for - peace, non-violence and harmony. The God is everywhere! All you need to do is concentrate and pray to him with all your heart and soul.

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