Life history of Buddha and a brief about Buddha Jayanti
What is Buddha Jayanti? Buddha Jayanti / Buddha Purnima is a sacred Buddhist festival, which is also termed as “Buddha Purnima.” It is celebrated to commemorate the birth of Gautama Buddha, who is the founder of Buddhism. It is celebrated across South Asia, South-east Asian regions, and China. Buddha Jayanti 2020 falls on the 7th of May.
Transformation of the King
Buddha was born to the King and Queen of Nepal in 563 BC. He was formerly named “Siddharta.” As a young prince, he was raised away from the human sufferings, pain, agony, and death. Once when he was a young boy, the prince strolled out, and that’s when he saw a dead body, a sick person, and an old man. This was also the first time he saw the sufferings of the people. He was taken aback by the harsh realities of life and then decided to take a drastic step. He renounced his title, family, and kingdom, as well as the worldly pleasures in the pursuit of searching the true meaning of life.
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Journey to attain enlightenment
Buddha was just 29 years old when he started his journey for enlightenment. He conquered his distractions and desires and attained Nirvana, after a struggle of six years. His journey continued to a city in India called “Bodh Gaya.” There he sat under a Bodhi tree and started “Dharmakaya,” which is a kind of meditation. He also vowed that he would never move out from there until he got the right knowledge about the true meaning of life. Eventually, Buddha attained enlightenment on a full moon night. His struggles finally bore fruit, and he achieved salvation and freed himself from the cycle of re-birth.
Teachings of Buddha
Buddha’s four noble truths
A. Human life is full of suffering and pain.
B. Desire seems to be the root cause of all the sufferings. So, the desire for riches, long life, and power are illusions.
C. Overcome all your desires to get out of these sufferings.
D. Follow the 8-fold path to end your desire.
Eight-fold paths include the right view, right speech, right livelihood, right effort, right intention, right concentration, and right mindfulness.
E. Buddhism does not believe in the existence of one powerful God. Everything one faces in life, either good or bad, is all due to their own actions.
Celebrations during Buddha Jayanti
In India, Buddha Jayanti is predominantly celebrated in Buddhists regions like Bodh Gaya, Sikkim, Ladakh, Arunachal Pradesh, and other north-eastern parts. Buddhist people participate in prayer meets, religious discourses, group meditation, recitation of Buddhist scriptures, and organize processions. All the Buddhist temples wear a festive look and are decorated with flowers and flags.
People also offer special prayers under the “Bodhi Tree” where Buddha attained enlightenment. Incense sticks, candles, flowers, and fruits are offered to the Lord. On this day, people donate food and money to the sick and needy. Also, it is a custom to buy caged animals on this day and set them free to show their love and care for living creatures.
People dress in white and avoid eating non-vegetarian food on this day. Rice kheer or porridge is served to everyone on this day.
Buddha Jayanti / Buddha Purnima is considered to be an extremely peaceful and positive festival. It uplifts the spiritual mood of the people. We should try to inculcate at least a few of Lord Buddha’s teachings in our life so that we can overcome our sorrows, miseries, and pain. Following his 8-fold path can make us really lead a peaceful and content life.