Significance of Budha Jayanti
Buddha Jayanti or 'Buddha Purnima' is celebrated largely in India, Nepal and Bangladesh. Gautam Buddha is considered one of the greatest spiritual leaders the world has ever seen. Also known as the 'guiding light of Asia', his message for 'peace' captured the hearts and minds of millions of devotees from around the world. He is also revered as the 9th 'avatar' of Lord Vishnu himself.
The founder of Buddhism, the religious and philosophical system that has produced a great culture throughout much of southern and eastern Asia, Gautam Buddha's message initially spread from India and was soon assimilated into many foreign cultures. Buddha Purnima marks birthday as well as death anniversary of Lord Buddha.
Buddha Purnima or Buddha Jayanti is the greatest festival of Buddhists all over the world. Buddha Purnima memorializes 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.
History of Budha Jayanti
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.
Determination of Date
Buddha Jayanti is celebrated on Vaishakh Purnima at sun rise. If Vaishakh Purnima falls at sun rise on two days or does not fall at Sun Rise on any day then it is celebrated on the first day.
How to Celebrate Budha Jayanti
Devotees and pilgrims from all over the world celebrate Buddha Purnima to celebrate Gautam Buddha's teachings of life. 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.