Read about the significance of Buddha Jayanti festival and celebrations. Buddha Jayanti is also called as Buddha Purnima.

Significance of Buddha Jayanti

Buddha Jayanti or 'Buddha Purnima' is celebrated largely in India, Nepal and Bangladesh. Gautam Buddha is considered one of the greatest spiritual leaders the world has ever seen. Also known as the 'guiding light of Asia', his message for 'peace' captured the hearts and minds of millions of devotees from around the world. He is also revered as the 9th 'avatar' of Lord Vishnu himself. The founder of Buddhism, the religious and philosophical system that has produced a great culture throughout much of southern and eastern Asia, Gautam Buddha's message initially spread from India and was soon assimilated into many foreign cultures. Traditionally this annual festival is observed by Buddhists as 'Visakha'. Though it is known as the celebrations of Buddha's birthday, it encompasses all the stages of his life, including his birth, enlightenment (Nirvana) and passing away from the mortal world (Parinirvana). In India, Buddha Jayanti is celebrated on May 27th. If you would like to learn more about the significance of Buddha Jayanti, read ahead.

Buddha Jayanti Celebrations

Prince Siddharth was born in 563 BC to the King of Kapilavastu, Shuddhodana. Siddharth grew of age without ever knowing about the miseries that were faced by commoners outside the gates of his lavish palace. As he grew older, Siddharth grew more inquisitive about the life outside his home and decided to visit the city for the first time in his life. The sights outside shocked him, for he came across a crippled man, a corpse and a sick person. The prince was perturbed and while walking back to the castle, he came across a saint who seemed to have triumphed over worldly temptations and attained the highest bliss of life. This encouraged Siddharth to choose the path he did and give up all worldly pleasure. One day, at midnight, he bade goodbye to his parents and for seven years, he underwent several austerities. During this time, he became known as Gautam Buddha. The supreme light of enlightenment dawned on Buddha on the Vaisakha Purnima Day, under a Bodhi tree at Bodhgaya. Gautam Buddha then left the mortal world on the full day of Vaisakha, in his 80th year. Bodhgaya, the place where he attained Nirvana, is one of the most sanctified places of pilgrimage today.

Significance Of Teachings
Buddha's philosophy of the common man was embodied in the simple 'Eight-Fold Path of Salvation'. Buddha believed he was not God and that he was only a human being, who through tremendous efforts transformed himself and his life. He was an ideal guide who helped commoners achieve spiritual peace and bliss. His teachings spread over different parts of the globe including present day Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Cambodia, China, Vietnam, Malaysia, Japan, Korea and Egypt. The significance of Buddha Purnima is reinstated through the fact that there are so many followers who ardently believe in the Buddhist way of life of peace, wisdom, kindness and love. Devotees reaffirm their faith in Buddhism with the five principles known as 'Panchsheel'. They areó
  • Not to take life
  • Not to steal
  • Not to lie
  • Not to consume liquor
  • Not to commit adultery
Thus, Buddha Purnima is a celebration of Buddhist teachings to the world. Among his many teachings, the foremost is 'Ahimsa' (not causing harm to anyone) and non-violence.

Celebrations On Buddha Jayanti
Devotees and pilgrims from all over the world celebrate Buddha Purnima to celebrate Gautam Buddha's teachings of life. The day has a special significance, not only among Buddhists, but among people from all religions. This day, the Mahabodhi Temple is decorated and the day is marked with prayer, sermons, decoration of the Buddha statues, and special events that highlight the life and teachings of Gautam Buddha.

Buddha Purnima, from the start, has been a very important festival and highlights the significance of Gautam Buddha's teachings of life, love, peace and spirituality. One of the holiest of Buddhist holy festivals, Buddha Jayanti is an important festival because it celebrates Gautam Buddha's birth, enlightenment or attaining Nirvana and death. While these anniversaries are observed in all Buddhist countries, they are not only celebrated on the same day. However, the beginning of this festival is marked on the full moon of 'Vaisakha'.