Why do we celebrate Buddha Purnima? Buddha Purnima 2023

Why do we celebrate Buddha Purnima? Buddha Purnima 2023

Buddha Purnima, also known as Vesak or Buddha Jayanti, is a festival celebrated by followers of Buddhism. It commemorates the life of Gautama Buddha, the founder of Buddhism, and falls on the full moon day in the Hindu month of Vaisakh, which is typically between April and May. This year on 5th May 2023.

About Gautam Buddha

Gautama Buddha was born in Lumbini, Nepal, about 2,600 years ago, to King Suddhodana and Queen Mayadevi. Although he had everything as a prince, he was not content and wanted to understand why people suffered. At 29, he left his palace in search of answers.

Buddha roamed around and studied under various teachers, but he wasn’t satisfied with their teachings. He eventually meditated under a Bodhi tree in Bodh Gaya, India, and attained enlightenment after several days. Buddha’s teachings, known as the Dharma, emphasized that the cause of suffering is desire and that eliminating desire is the way to end suffering. Buddha also taught that people should lead a moral life and be compassionate to others.

Buddha Purnima 2023
Gauram Buddha Image Source

What do we do on Buddha Purnima?

On Buddha Purnima, Buddhists visit temples, offer flowers, light candles, burn incense, recite prayers, and meditate. Lighting lamps is a crucial aspect of the day, symbolizing Buddha’s enlightenment and bringing light into the world. Many temples and homes are decorated with lights, and people also chant sutras, which are Buddhist scriptures containing Buddha’s teachings.

Kheer, a sweet rice pudding, is a popular food associated with Buddha Purnima. Legend has it that when Buddha was starving, a poor woman offered him kheer. Buddha ate the kheer, which nourished him and helped him understand the middle path of living between asceticism and indulgence. Buddhists eat kheer to remember this story and the act of kindness that the poor woman showed to Buddha.

Significance of Buddha Purnima

Buddha Purnima is a day for Buddhists to reflect on Buddha’s teachings and practice kindness and compassion. It reminds people that they are all connected and that their actions can make a difference in the world. Buddha’s teachings, although ancient, are still applicable today and can help people lead better lives.

Is Buddha Purnima a National Holiday in India?

While buddha purnima is a very auspicious festival in India, it is not a National holiday. However many schools and colleges in Udaipur and other places do celebrate this festival.

Gautam Buddha and Laughing Buddha are the same?

Laughing Buddha
Image Source

The Laughing Buddha and Gautama Buddha are not the same individuals, as they belong to two different contexts in Buddhism.

Gautama Buddha, also known as Siddhartha Gautama, was a spiritual leader and the originator of Buddhism. He was born in Lumbini, Nepal, approximately 2,600 years ago. After years of relentless searching for enlightenment, he achieved it while meditating under a Bodhi tree in Bodh Gaya, India. After this, he dedicated his life to preaching his teachings, known as the Dharma, to his followers. Buddhists worldwide highly respect Gautama Buddha as a spiritual leader who showed them the path to enlightenment and liberation from suffering.

In contrast, the Laughing Buddha, also called Budai or Pu-Tai, is a Chinese folk deity commonly portrayed as a plump, bald man with a cheerful expression. He is often associated with happiness, good luck, and prosperity. The Laughing Buddha has no connection with Buddhist scriptures or teachings and is believed to have originated from Chinese folklore.

In conclusion, the Laughing Buddha and Gautama Buddha are two separate entities, belonging to different contexts of Buddhism and Chinese folklore, respectively. Gautama Buddha is a historical figure who founded Buddhism and is highly regarded as a spiritual leader, while the Laughing Buddha is a cultural symbol linked to happiness and prosperity.


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