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On the occasion of Buddha Purnima, PM Modi today extended greetings to the nation and the followers of Lord Buddha around the world.
- What it is? The festival of Buddha Purnima is traditionally celebrated to commemorate the birth of the founder of Buddhism – Gautama Buddha – earlier known as Siddhartha Gautama.
- Why Buddha Purnima? In India, it is celebrated as Buddha Purnima, as it was celebrated on full moon day (May 7th).
- Other names: The event is also known as ‘Vesak’ or ‘Buddha Jayanti’.
- On this day, people celebrate Siddhartha’s choice to embrace a spiritual quest wherein he renounced all worldly pleasures to become a holy man.
- Celebration: By wearing dress in white visiting Viharas, the peoples begin their celebration and they observe a full-length Buddhist sutra which is very similar to a service.
- Consumption and distribution of popular Indian dish ‘Kheer’ is undertaken because according to legend, a woman named Sujata offered a bowl of milk to Gautama Buddha.
- At Mahabodhi Temple: Many devotees visit Mahabodhi Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, located in Bodh Gaya, Bihar, on the occassion of Buddha Purnima. Bodhi Temple is the location where the Lord Buddha is said to have attained enlightenment.
- The Buddhist followers was celebrating this event for centuries, but the decision to celebrate Vesak as Buddha’s birthday was taken at the first conference of the World Fellowship of Buddhists held in Sri Lanka in 1950.
- In the year 1999, the United Nations recognized to celebrate Buddha Purnima at their offices and their headquarters at New York City.
Data to know:
Four Important sites in Buddhism history:
- Lumbini: A place in Nepal – to be the birthplace of Gautam Buddha.
- Bodh Gaya: A place in Bihar where Buddha attained enlightenment under the Mahabodhi tree.
- Sarnath: It is believed that Gautam Buddha delivered his first speech in Sarnath, near Varanasi.
- Kushinagar: Gautam Buddha attained Parinirvana after his death in Uttar Pradesh’s Kushinagar.
Links to note: