Buddha Purnima 2018: Cycle Of Life & Death Gets Honored!
The date for Buddha Purnima in 2018 is April 29th. This day is observed to memorialize the birth, enlightenment and death of Lord Buddha. According to the Hindu Calendar, it is celebrated on a full moon day of month Vaishakha. Not only in India, this day is observed worldwide. To know more about this occasion, read on..
Wesak : What Is Buddha Purnima?
As the name itself suggests, Buddha Purnima is dedicated to Lord Buddha. The holy day of Buddha Purnima is paid high regards by the Buddhists throughout the globe. Buddha purnima is approaching soon in 2018, therefore, we are here to tell you everything you need to know about Buddha Purnima.
Buddha Purnima is observed on the full-Moon night (Purnima) in the Hindu month of Vaishakha. Since, it is celebrated throughout the globe, the dates may vary according to the lunar calendars used in various traditions. Buddha Purnima is also known as Wesak, Vesak, Buddha Jayanti, Hanamatsuri, Saga Dawa, etc. The list of the synonyms used for this glorious day is as long as the list of the countries, where Buddha Purnima is celebrated.
The day of Wesak is celebrated to commemorate the birth of Siddhartha Gautama, better known as Gautam Buddha. In some traditions, Wesak is considered as the day to honor three phases in Buddha's life-birth, enlightenment and death.
Now, let's know when Buddha Purnima or Wesak is going to be celebrated in 2018 according to the Hindu calendar.
Wesak : When Buddha Purnima Will Be Observed In 2018?
|Buddha Purnima 2018 or Wesak 2018||Sunday||April, 29||Vesak Purnima|
Now, as you know the date and timing for observing Vesak or Buddha Jayanti in 2018, we hope that you would be able to follow timely rituals to invoke Buddha's blessings.
But, what is the actual cause to celebrate Buddha Jayanti or Vesak? Now, we will discuss Lord Buddha's significance in the celebration of Waisak.
Wesak : Why To Celebrate Buddha Jayanti?
Buddha Purnima or Buddha Jayanti is celebrated in honor of the divine greatness depicted by Gautama Buddha. Wesak or Buddha Jayanti is the actual observance of the linear cycle of life i.e. the journey of Buddha from life to death. The divine journey includes his enlightenment that transformed him into the Lord. Let's know more about Lord Buddha's significance in the celebration of Buddha Jayanti.
Buddha Purnima : Birth & Early Life Of Buddha
Lord Buddha was born as Siddhartha Gautama to the ruler of Kapilavastu. Since his childhood, Siddhartha lived a pampered life and didn't know about anything that existed beyond the castle gates. He got married to Yashodhara at a pretty early age. Their marriage soon turned to be satisfying with the birth of their son. Overall, Buddha was experiencing a fertile family status. But, were these the sole things expected of Buddha?
Much earlier in his life, he was predicted of becoming a sage by an astrologer. The prediction came true at the age of 29. But, what really happened to the 29 year old Siddhartha that changed the course of humanity? Let's take a look at his journey from being Siddhartha Gautama to manifestor Lord Buddha.
Buddha Purnima : Realization Of Truth By Buddha
Once, Gautama Buddha had asked his charioteer to take him out of the palace walls. More importantly, it was the very first time when Buddha had crossed the boundaries of the palace.
During the course of his journey, Buddha realized the universality of sorrow. He met an aged man, a cripple and a corpse, deriving the cycle of life. The journey disturbed him to such an extent that Buddha decided to withdraw all worldly pleasures. He was of 29 when he left all his material concerns, including his wife and son, to seek the true meaning of life.
Buddha Purnima : Buddha Attains Enlightenment!
Buddha travelled far and wide in the search of enlightenment. He continued his journey by studying religious doctrines and taking spiritual advices from wise men.
When he was not satisfied, he followed the path of self-indulgence and self-mortification.
Then, he reached Bodhgaya, where he vowed to continue meditation until he attains enlightenment. He finally attained enlightenment under the Bodhi tree at Bodhgaya on Vesak Purnima (full-Moon night of Vesak month).
He delivered his first sermon at Varanasi to a group of five companions, who later came to be known as Sangha (company of Buddhist monks).
Buddha Purnima : Buddha Attains Parinirvana!
Lord Buddha founded Buddhism and following are considered to be the four noble points about Buddhism:
- Human life is suffering.
- Human desires are the core reasons for sufferings.
- An end to human desires will end human sufferings.
- An end to the desire can be done by following the 'Eightfold Noble Path' of Buddhism.
Eight-Fold Noble Path includes:
- The right view of life.
- The right view of intention.
- The right view of speech.
- The right view of action.
- The right view of livelihood.
- The right view of effort.
- The right view of frame of mind.
- The right view of concentration.
Neither was Buddha a god, nor did he claim to be one. It was the belief and faith of others upon him that transformed him into a divine being. He is an ideal guide to lead you to the space of true-life and salvation.
His teachings have spread over Egypt, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Japan, Korea, Tibet, Brahmadesh, Siam, Laos, Vietnam, Annam, China, Sumatra, Java, Borneo, Malaya, China, and Khotan in Central Asia.
Buddha Purnima 2018: Buddha Attains Parinirvana!
Buddha attained Parinirvana (the final stage of Nirvana), as he sacrificed his physical self. This occurred on a Purnima night (full-Moon night) in the month of Vesak, when he was offered a food delicacy by Cunda (a blacksmith). The delicacy is popular as Sukaramaddava (pig's delight) or pork.
It is believed that Buddha got ill, as he ate the offered delicacy. This became the cause of his death on the same day. It is claimed in Mahaparinibbana Sutta that he died of an infection termed as Mesenteric Infarction. He breathed his last moments at Kushinagar.
Thus, according to ancient Buddhist texts, we can derive that Buddha's birth, enlightenment and death (Parinirvana) took place on the same day of Vesak Purnima. Buddha Purnima is observed to commemorate the same day, when such significant events took place. This signifies that the journey from birth to death is cyclic and everything ends from where it had started.
However, according to a development in 1950, the World Fellowships of Buddhists conference agreed to celebrate Buddha Jayanti or Vesak as Lord Buddha's birthday.
Now, let's take a look at how Buddha Purnima or Wesak is celebrated.
Wesak : How To Celebrate Buddha Purnima In 2018?
Since, Buddha Purnima is observed globally, we will now discuss about the celebration patterns of Wesak, throughout the globe. Following are the different flavors of Wesak:
Buddha Jayanti : Wesak In India
Wesak or Buddha Purnima is mainly celebrated in India in the states of Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, J&K, and Bihar (Bodhgaya). On Buddha Jayanti, Mahabodhi temple at Bodhgaya is decorated in a festive look.
Ancient teachings of Buddha are recited in Buddhist temples and devotees spend their whole day at the feet of Lord Buddha. Charity is also common among the Buddhists on Buddha Jayanti.
Buddha Jayanti : Japanese Flavor
In Japan, Buddha Purnima or Waisak is known as Hanamatsuri. It is believed in Japanese traditions that a dragon appeared in the sky on this day and offered Soma to Buddha. Hence, the day of Waisak or Buddha Jayanti is observed in Japan. It is celebrated on 8th of April of the solar calendar. In Japan, the tradition of Shinbutsu Shugo is very popular, when devotees offer sweet tea to Buddha statues. Buddhist temples in Japan adorn themselves for a festive carnival, on Buddha Purnima.
Buddha Jayanti : Nepali Flavor
Buddha Jayanti is one of the most holy festivals in Nepal, as the country is considered to be Buddha's birthplace (Lumbini). Vesak is celebrated all over Nepal, where Swayambhu (Buddha temples) are majestically prepared. The main entrance of Swayambhu (monkey temple) is let open only on Buddha Purnima that allows thousands of devotees to celebrate Buddha's birthday at his own birthplace. Pilgrims also provide aids (clothes, food, money) to monasteries and Buddhist schools.
Buddha Jayanti : Sri Lankan Flavor
Buddha Jayanti or Vesak is celebrated for about a week in Sri Lanka. The whole week is considered to be a 'dry week', when there is a prohibition for the selling of alcohol and fresh meat. Temporary structures known as Toranas are built all over the country that illustrate stories from the 550 Jataka Katha (550 past life stories of Buddha). People hang Vesak Koodu (hanging lights) in front of their houses. These lights signify Buddha's enlightenment.
Gautama derives the true definition of God. God is someone who directs us to the right path and becomes a true example of virtuous values. Gautama Buddha is an example of such a leader, who not only directs us to the right path, but also awakens our spiritual being. This Buddha Purnima, be prepared to follow the godly leader.
Buddha is in ourselves, all we need to do is to recognise our spiritual selves. Gautama Buddha will visit us on Wesak, thus be ready to get enlightened.
AstroSage wishes you all a divine salvation on Buddha Purnima..!