Buddha Purnima - 6th May 2012
By Ritu Shukla
Buddha Purnima or Buddha Jayanti or Vesākha is the most sacred occasion for the Buddhists. As per Hindu Mythology Lord Buddha is believed to be the 9th incarnation of Lord Vishnu. One among the most important festivals, Buddha Purnima is celebrated on the full moon day of the Vaishaaka lunar month (that corresponds to the month of April-May). This year as per Hindu almanac Buddha Purnima is falling on 6th May 2012.
This is a special day when Buddhists all over the world commemorate events of the birth, enlightenment and the passing away of Gautum Buddha. Initially Buddhism spread from India and gradually assimilated into many foreign cultures, therefore Buddha Purnima is celebrated in many different ways all over the world.
In most of the Buddhist countries the cities, villages, roads, streets, temples and houses are brightly illuminated with colorful Lanterns, electric lights and beautiful decorations. In India, pilgrims come from all over the world to Bodh Gaya to attend the Buddha Purnima celebrations. The Mahabodhi Temple wears a festive look and is decorated with colorful flags and flowers.
On this day devout Buddhist and followers wear only white clothes. They gather in their Viharas or temples before dawn for the ceremonial, honorable- hoisting of the Buddhist Flag and the singing of hymns in praise of the Holy Triple Gem: The Buddha, The Dharma (his teachings), and The Sagha (his disciples). On this day, the Buddhists free birds and animals from cages, distribute fruit and clothes to poor and sick.
Offerings in form of incense, flowers, candles and fruits are made before Lord Buddha’s Statue. These symbolic offerings are to remind followers that just as flowers- fruits will parish after a short while, the candles and incense sticks would burn out, so the life is subject to decay and destruction.Followers should reaffirm faith in the five principles called 'Panch Sheel'. These are- not to take life, not to steal, not to lie, not to imbibe liquor or other intoxicants and not to commit adultery.
In most of the Buddhist countries the villages, roads, streets, temples and houses are brightly illuminated with color Lanterns, electric lights and colorful decorations. In India, pilgrims come from all over the world to Bodh Gaya to attend the Buddha Purnima celebrations. The Mahabodhi Temple wears a festive look and is decorated with colorful flags and flowers.
CONSULT RITU SHUKLA