Buddha Purnima 2022; everything to know about
India is the land of many festivals, Buddha Purnima, Buddha Jayanti, or Vesak is one of the important festivals during the month of Vishakha.
This month marks the birthday of Siddhartha Gautam, who later became Gautam Buddha- founder of Buddhism. Buddha Purnima is a gazetted holiday in most places of India, South-East Asian countries, and Nepal. Buddha Purnima 2022 will be held on 16th May 2022, Monday.
This day holds importance for Buddhists as they spread their belief in Ahimsa (non-violence) and Karuna (compassion).
It is believed in India that on this day Buddha (who was the eighth incarnation of Lord Vishnu) achieved enlightenment, nirvana and salvation while practicing peace, non-violence and truth.
History and Significance of Buddha Purnima
Gautam Buddha was a spiritual teacher and also the historical founder of Buddhism. There are many opinions about his exact dates of birth and death but according to Buddhist tradition, he was born on 8th April 1029 BC, in “Lumbini”, Nepal and died on 15th February, 949 BC.
He was the son of “Shuddhodhana”, the king of “Lumbini”. He lived very luxurious childhood. After he grew and got married to Princess Yashodhara at a very young age.
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One day when he was traveling in his chariot, he saw an old man, a sick person, a dead body and a monk. This was the first day when he witnessed the sufferings of the world.
He then gave up his kingdom and family and adapted the lifestyle of monks. In Bodhgaya, he meditated for 49 days straight and soon he achieved enlightenment.
After that “Buddha” started to give message to people after that Gautam Buddha became a spiritual teacher and his family named him Gautam Buddha which means Best Cow and his real name was Siddhartha which means Goal Achieved.
According to Buddhist mythology, with all his struggle and sacrifice Buddha achieved enlightenment; he had a choice to live a luxurious life as he was a king but he chooses a difficult one and showed the actual meaning of sacrifice.
Celebrating Happy Buddha Purnima
There was a lady named “Sujata”, who once offered Gautam Buddha Kheer (a rice pudding) on his birthday and Buddha was overwhelmed with this present, since then Kheer is considered as most important food on this day and people also wear white clothes (which is a symbol of peace) and distributes kheer.
People also keep themselves away from non-vegetarian food and vegetables like Onions and Garlic (which is not considered a divine vegetable according to Buddhist Mythology). Although people, who follow Buddhism, don’t eat non-vegetarian, onion and garlic in there complete life span.
On this day people celebrate happy Buddha Purnima by also reading Buddhist Scriptures, visiting Buddhist temples and taking part in various religious discussions and meditations.
Gautam Buddha’s statue is always placed in a basin, filled with water and decorated with flowers which depict the message to peace and a stable personality.
Visitors also visit to the temple on this holy day and pour water over the statue which symbolizes pure and new beginning of the journey called life.
On this day, the Mahabodhi temple in Bodhgaya is beautifully decorated and special prayers are held under Bodhi tree. Bodh Gaya is a place in Bihar which is said to be the holy place where Buddha practiced his prayer.
Also, on this day National Museum in Delhi lets people see the holy remains of Gautam Buddha. Government offices, Post offices and Banks remain closed. In India, stores and shops reduce their opening hours.
There is different significance for different people but the motive is to follow path of peace, non-violence and truth. Happy Buddha Purnima to all!