Buddha Purnima or Buddha Jayanti is an important Buddhist and Hindu festival that marks the birth anniversary of Gautam Buddha. He was born on the full moon night and hence his birth anniversary is celebrated on Purnima.
This year, Buddha Purnima or Buddha Jayanti falls on 16 May. Buddha Purnima or Buddha Jayanti is also known as Vaisakhi Buddha Purnima or Vesak. The festival is celebrated as Vesak in Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Myanmar, Cambodia, Tibet, and Mongolia to name a few.
The date of Buddha Jayanti differs each year as it is based on the Asian lunisolar calendar. This year, Buddha Purnima will mark the 2584th birth anniversary of Gautam Buddha.
Buddha Purnima History:
Gautam Buddha was born as Siddhartha Gautam, a prince in 536 B.C. in Lumbini, a region in present-day Nepal. Gautam Buddha renounced worldly pleasures and went on to embrace the spiritual quest.
Buddha Purnima Significance:
Buddha Purnima is celebrated to commemorate the birth of Gautam Buddha who founded the religion of Buddhism. It is a sacred event observed by members of the Buddhist community across the world.
After relinquishing his royal life, Gautam Buddha attained enlightenment after 49 days of continuous meditation. He attained enlightenment by meditating under the Bodhi tree in Bodh Gaya. The religion of Buddhism is based on the beliefs and teachings of Gautam Buddha.
According to Hindu beliefs, Gautam Buddha is the ninth avatar of Lord Vishnu and hence his birth anniversary holds a lot of significance for Hindus as well.
Buddha Purnima Celebrations:
Each country celebrates Buddha Purnima differently. Buddhist communities across the world offer prayers, chant, meditate and discuss his teachings. Many countries observe a holiday on this day.
In India, people begin the celebration by visiting Viharas and a full-length Buddhist Sutra is observed. People also give up non-vegetarian food for one day and most people dress up in white colour clothes.