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May 10, 2017 marked the 2561st Buddha Jayanti, the birthday of the Buddha, and Buddha Purnima.
Jun 29, 2017
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On the Buddha’s path


May 10, 2017 marked  the 2561st Buddha Jayanti, the birthday of the Buddha, and Buddha Purnima. It is an important day charted by Buddhist monks and all followers of the message of Gautam Buddha. Siddhartha Gautam, who later became Gautam Buddha, founded Buddhism. Interestingly, Buddha Purnima, celebrated in May every year, is even more special because the Buddha’s enlightenment and mahaparinirvan also happened during the Purnima in the month of May. The world over, the day is observed through dhana, sila and bhavana. Followers give food alms, practise the Buddha’s lessons and spend time chanting and meditating. The chantings may vary from country to country but the core celebration remains the same. On this day, monks, or the Buddha’s disciples, from Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Thailand and other countries gather to discuss world peace. The Buddha’s message is one of peace, compassion and non-violence.


To mark the day that is also known as Vesak, in some countries such as Vietnam, China and Japan the Buddha’s idol is bathed in water and flowers. It is more like an abhishekam popular in India. Temples are decorated with flowers and offerings of kheer and fruits are made. In the evenings, diyas are lit. Disciples spend the entire day in the temples remembering Siddhartha and introspecting whether they have followed all his teachings to the core. The United Nations has declared it an international holiday.


A story tells us that one of the Buddha’s followers asked him who would guide the disciples after he was gone. The Buddha told him, “After my death, my teachings will be your teacher.” Therefore, for his followers, refreshing themselves with his teachings and spreading them to others becomes essential.


Courtesy : thehindustanitimes