Buddh Purnima

Buddh Purnima

Buddha Purnima is also known as Buddha Jayanti / Vesak / Vaishak / Buddha’s Birthday / Buddha Purnima.

In  2016 Buddha Purnima Date is: Saturday, May 21. (2578th birth anniversary)
In  2017 Buddha Purnima Date is: Wednesday, May 10. (2579th birth anniversary) 
In  2018 Buddha Purnima Date is: Monday, April 30. (2580th birth anniversary) 
In  2019 Buddha Purnima Date is: Saturday, May 18. (2581th birth anniversary)
In  2020 Buddha Purnima Date is: Thursday, May 07. (2582th birth anniversary)

 In  2015 Buddha Purnima Date was: Monday, May 4. (2577th birth anniversary)
 In  2014 Buddha Purnima Date was: Wednesday, May 14.  (2576th birth anniversary)

** Sometimes informally called "Buddha Jayanti", it actually encompasses --

* The birth,
* Enlightenment (Nirvana), and
* Death (Parinirvana) of Gautama Buddha.

Note: Do not confuse Vesak or Vesakh with Hindu month Vaishakh.

Buddha Purnima is a holy day observed traditionally by Buddhists in--

Tibet, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand,
Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, The Philippines, and Indonesia.

The exact date of Vesakha varies according to the various lunar calendars used in different traditions. In Theravada countries following the Buddhist calendar, it falls on a full moon Uposatha day, typically in the 5th or 6th lunar month. Vesakha Day in China is on the eighth of the fourth month in the Chinese lunar calendar. The date varies from year to year in the Western Gregorian calendar, but usually falls in April or May, one should refer to the Chinese calendar for the correct date. In leap years Vesakha is celebrated in June.

Buddha Purnima during Vaishakha month is celebrated as birth anniversary of Gautama Buddha. Gautama Buddha whose birth name was Siddhartha Gautama was a spiritual teacher on whose teachings Buddhism was founded. 


 The Life of Gautam Buddha

The Buddha was born as Siddhartha Gautama in 563 B.C. He was an actual historical figure, a prince of the Shakalyas, the people of a small state bordering modern India and Nepal. He lived in a time of prosperity and social up heal. At the age of sixteen, Siddhratha married a beautiful woman and the had a son. The turning point in his life came when Siddhartha was twenty-nine and he ventured outside the palace grounds.

  He was caught by the sufferings of the world (old age, sickness and death), left his wife, son and riches to become a wandering ascetic in the search for enlightenment. He wandered to many places and ultimately at the age of thirty-five he arrived at Bodh Gaya, where he sat beneath a tree. He swore that he would not rise until he had found enlightenment. After forty-nine days of solitary meditation he attained nirvana, the state of permanence. He thus became the Buddha "One who is fully Awake."

The time of Gautama Buddha’s birth and death is uncertain. However, most historians date his lifetime between 563-483 B.C. Most people consider Lumbini, Nepal as birth place of Buddha. Buddha died at the age of 80 at Kushinagar, Uttar Pradesh. 


Celebrations and Rituals

The main celebrations of Buddha jayanti takes place in Bodh gaya.On this large number of Buddhist devotees from all over the world assemble to pay their respectful homage to Lord Buddha. Besides decorating the temple and area around with colorful Buddhist flags, the morning prayer, colorful procession of the Monks, worship with large offerings, distribution of sweets and snacks takes place.

In other places Prayers, sermons and non-stop recitations of Buddhist scriptures resonate in monasteries, religious halls and homes. On this day the Buddhists bathe and wear only white clothes. People offer incense, flowers, candles and fruits to the statue of Lord Buddha. They spend their entire day listening to discourses on the life and teachings of the Buddha.

 For Buddhists, Bodh Gaya is the most important pilgrimage site related to the life of Gautama Buddha. The other three important pilgrimage sites are Kushinagar, Lumbini, and Sarnath. It is believed that Gautama Buddha obtained Enlightenment at Bodhagaya and he first taught the Dharma at Sarnath.  


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