Buddha Purnima or Buddha Jayanti falls on 17th of May in 2011. Buddha Purnima marks birthday as well as death anniversary of Lord Buddha. Read on to know more about the significance and celebration of Buddha Purnima.
Buddha Purnima or Buddha Jayanti is the greatest festival of Buddhists all over the world. Buddha Purnima memorialises and celebrates the birth, enlightenment and death of Lord Buddha. It is believed that Lord Buddha was born and left the world on the same date after living for eighty years. It is celebrated on the full moon day of the Vaishakha, a month in the Hindu calendar. Buddha Purnima is on May 17th in 2011.
History of Buddha
Buddha was given the name of Siddhartha by his parents and he was the son of the King of Kapilvastu, Shuddhodhan. Siddhartha's father had kept him unaware of the tragedies of life for a long time and he was even married and had a son. It was only when one day Siddhartha insisted his chariot driver to take him out of the palace that he became aware of the problems and tragedies of life and people.
After this he left the palace at night and set out to learn the real meaning of life. He sacrificed his life of luxury and wandered many places in search of truth. Finally under a banyan tree he is said to have meditated for years and was enlightened there. This tree is in Bodh Gaya, India. Only after this he was given the name of Gautam Buddha.
Celebration of Buddha Purnima
Buddha Purnima is celebrated everywhere and in Bodh Gaya, pilgrims from all around the world come on this occasion. Prayers and sermons are held and processions are taken out that day. Group meditation is done and people worshipping the statue of Buddha fill in the environment with complete devotion and dedication.
The temples are decorated with flags and flowers and the Mahabodhi temple wears a festive and elegant look that day. People recite the preaching of Lord Buddha that day and try to make resolutions to follow them as much as they can. The government of India announces holiday on this day.
Birds are freed from cages at many places. People give alms, fruits, food and clothes to poor and needy. People reaffirm their belief in the five principles which is called Panchsheel – Not to take life, not to steal, not to tell lie, not to consume liquor or any other intoxicants and not to be disloyal.
People find that Lord Buddha's teachings are more relevant today than that they were at the time he preached people and his followers. Buddha tried to explain people that all the sufferings of this world are simply because of our attachment to these things. It is our desires that lead us to the sufferings and so he gave the eight fold path to follow for humans.
Right belief, right intention, right living, right conduct, right word, right thinking, right efforts and right meditation are his eight fold path. He said that if anyone follows this path, he will be away from the common sufferings of life and living. He made people understand the real balance between extravagance and asceticism as well as luxury and simplicity.
Once you go through the preaching of Lord Buddha you will find they are extremely useful in the present day life. It gives complete peace of mind and helps any person have peace and harmony in life. The main thing is that people need to purify their minds and thoughts today and if this happens, it will bring peace and harmony in the entire world.
When does Buddha Purnima fall in the year 2011? How is Buddha Purnima celebrated worldwide? What is the significance of Buddha Purnima? To share your views and thoughts, click here.