Buddha Purnima, also known as Buddha Jayanti is celebrated in honour of Gautam Buddha which marks the day of his Appearance. Purnima stands for the full moon day and Jayanti stands for Birthday or appearance day in Sanskrit. In most of East Asia, Gautam Buddha Purnima is celebrated to honour the birth of Prince Siddharta Gautama later known as Gautam Budha, who established Buddhism that is acknowledged and followed till the present day.
It is celebrated on the day of the full moon in the Vaisakha month as per the Buddhist and Hindu calendar. The exact date of Buddha Purnima day varies every year in the western gregorian calendar but it usually falls in the month of April or May, or in June in the leap years. People in different regions celebrate this auspicious day in varied ways depending on their beliefs. The Buddha Jayanti 2021 falls on 26th May.
Read with us to learn more about the importance of Buddha Purnima, Buddha Purnima story and Buddha Purnima significance.
Where Is Buddha Purnima Celebrated?
Buddha Purnima is celebrated in East Asia honouring Gautam Buddha marking the day as His birthday. In this area, the birth and demise of Buddha are observed as two separate holidays. These places include Taiwan and Japan.
At the same time, it is also celebrated in South Asia as a part of the Vesak celebration which honours Buddha’s enlightenment as well as death. The Asian countries where Buddha Jayanti is celebrated include Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, North Korea, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.
The countries that celebrate Buddha Purnima outside the Asian continent include Australia, Brazil, Canada and the United States of America. In all these regions, the festivity takes place in different forms, on different dates as well as with different beliefs.
Is Buddha Purnima Auspicious?
Buddha Purnima is an auspicious occasion as considered by Theravada Buddhism. It marks the day when Gautam Buddha born as Prince gained salvation under the Mahabodhi tree in Bodh Gaya, Bihar. This day, therefore, is considered to be one of the most important days in the Buddhist calendar. The Buddhists also go to the pagodas for pouring water at the bottom of the tree for honouring Buddha’s enlightenment.
How Is Buddha Jayanti Celebrated?
Different countries follow different traditions for celebrating the Buddha Purnima. The Buddhist followers visit the Buddhist temples and light candles and incense sticks. People generally dress up in white clothes and distribute kheer since it is believed that a woman named Sujata offered Gautam Buddha milk porridge on his birthday.
There are also sermons held in the temples to enlighten people on the teachings of Gautam Buddha and his life. His message of compassion and empathy is spread all over again on this auspicious day to remind humans of the need to live with compassion.
What Happens on Buddha Purnima?
On the day of Buddha Purnima, people across the world honour Gautam Buddha and spread his message of compassion and empathy. In India, there is a fair organised in Sarnath, Uttar Pradesh where it is believed that Gautam Buddha gave his first sermon after having attained enlightenment. The relics are also put on a display for people. While in other countries, the day is celebrated by visiting temples, lighting candles and offering sweets.
What Should We Do on Buddha Purnima?
The Buddha Purnima celebration takes place to honour Gautam Buddha and remember his contribution to mankind and his message of compassion among humans. In addition to visiting the temple and attending the sermons, there is something more that can be done to truly honour him.
One can follow the messages that were given by Gautam Buddha in his/her life. It is never too late to start leading life with warmth, kindness and mutual respect. Along with honouring Gautam Buddha, one must incorporate his teachings and aim at achieving enlightenment by following the same path.
Having understood the Buddha Purnima importance and gathered Buddha Purnima information, it is now time for you to walk on the sacred path to truly honour Gautam Buddha and make his teachings prominent once again. Additionally, it can be a great learning to explore the different ways in which this auspicious occasion is celebrated in other countries.
It is also believed that Buddha was evoked by the wives of demigods to stop the ritualistic ceremonies of sacrificing animals. Lord Krishna constantly performed various sacrifices and invited the demigods to it which made their wives evoke Lord Buddha. He put a stop to all such rituals and no demigod was further invited. This is yet another saying about Buddha which you must explore to get complete knowledge.
Buddha Purnima 2021 must therefore be celebrated by attending the sermons, following the teachings of Gautam Buddha and discovering more about Him.