Celebrating life of the Buddha
Buddha Jayanti – Celebrating life of the Buddha
Buddha means “enlightened one” and Purnima means “full moon day” and Jayanti means “birthday”. So, Buddha Jyayanti is a special day to commemorate the life of the lord Buddha; his birth, enlightenment and Mahaparinirvana (death) occurring on the same full moon of Baisakh as per the lunar Calendar.
It is celebrated in the month of Baisakh (April-May) among Buddhists all over the world where as in Nepal it is a common ceremony for both Buddhist and Hindus. This year the date to celebrate the life of Buddha is 30th April 2018.
Brief on Life of Buddha :
Siddhartha Gautma was born to King Suddhodana and Queen Mayadevi in Lumbini Garden of present Nepal in 623 B.C. on full moon day of Baisakh as a prince under a Ashoka tree (Saraca Indica). It is said that, He walked 7 steps as soon as he took birth. He was born with 32 best qualities thus declaring him as the brightest human being on earth by a royal astrologer.
He grew up in the palace with all sophisticated facilities. He was brilliant at study and war skills. He was married to princess Yosdhara and had a son called Rahul. Despite of king Suddhodhana’s effort to keep Siddhartha Gautam away from the inclination towards spirituality and sight of worldly suffering, he witnessed 4 troubling scenes: a decrepit person, a withered person suffering from a disfiguring disease, a funeral procession attended by weeping people and an ascetic person walking majestically along the road.
He left his palace at the age of 29 to seek answers to these 4 phenomenon. He achieved enlightenment at the age of 35 after long meditation under Bodhi Tree in Bodhgaya (modern day in Bihar state of India). He gave away his first sermon in Sarnath (modern day in U.P. state of India). He attained Mahaparnirvana(death) at the age of 80 in Kushinagar (modern day U.P. state of India). Thus these four places of his birth, enlightenment, First Sermon and his death is considered as the 4 pilgrimage of Buddhist.
Buddha Jayanti in Nepal:
Buddha Jayanti is celebrated with great devotion and significance in many Asian countries like Nepal, India, Sri Lanka, Burma, Thailand, Japan and Korea etc. in their own traditional and unique style.
In Nepal, Buddha Jayanti is celebrated by worshipping Buddhist stupas, monasteries and idols of Buddhas by both Buddhsit and Hindus. Especially, on this auspicious day, Swayambhunath temple, Bouddhanath temple, Namobuddha, Lumbini and other monastries of Nepal are bustling with Buddhist devotees from early morning. Buddhist devotees’ clean stupas and Buddha statues in their own localities and decorate them with Buddhist flags before venerating them as the part of Buddha Jayanti celebration. Oil lamps are burnt around the stupas and monasteries premises. They commemorate the Buddha with great devotion with fragrant garlands, bouquets and scented incenses in their hands.
Newari Buddhists visit stupas and monasteries with musical processions. They offer offerings and arrange a feast among the relatives. Buddhist trust organize the singing of Buddhist hymns to pay homage for the contributions of Buddha to the world.
While in Lumbini, the birthplace of Lord Buddha, the Buddhist center organize a great fair where hundreds and thousands of Buddhist disciples and Buddhist monks from all over the world come to be part of the celebration.
The Buddha Jayanti culminates with the observance of Buddha’s teachings for world peace harmony and happiness for all. The celebration ends by wishing loving-kindness, compassion, harmony, worldly brotherhood and Buddhist unity for all beings.