Though we follow many rituals, most of us won’t even know why Buddha Purnima is celebrated.
Buddha Purnima is celebrated to mark the birth of Gautam Buddha who was the founder of Buddhism. As per Hindu calenders, the day falls on the full-moon day, called Purnima, hence it is called Buddha Purnima.
Here are some facts about Gautam Buddha, his life story, and the foundation of Buddhism:
Named Siddhartha Gotama at the time of his birth, Gautam Buddha was the founder of Buddhism. He was a religious leader, meditator, and philosopher. His insights about the ‘dukkha’ meaning sufferings and Nirvana meaning the end of suffering are the basis of his teachings.
Why Buddha Purnima is celebrated
He was born as a Prince, got married to Yasodhara, and a son was born to him named Rahul. But, he left everything and his family in search of enlightenment. His life changed when on a trip to see the outside world, he saw a sick person, then an old man and at last a corpse. The realization came upon him that no one can escape the cycle of life irrespective of how privileged one is. He set out on a journey of spiritual quest.
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After passing through various places, Gautam sat below the Bodhi tree for meditation until he realized enlightenment or awakening. Gautam Buddha spent his life teaching people about enlightenment. He walked across many places on his journey which started from Sarnath where he gave his first sermon. He died in 483 BCE in Kushinagar, Uttar Pradesh.
Four Noble Truths form the foundation of Buddhism teachings. The first truth is that life is ‘dukkha’ meaning sufferings. The second truth is ‘samudaya’, cause for dukkha which is attachment, desire or craving. The third truth is ‘nirodha’, the ending which means that one can get relieved from dukkha by eliminating all attachments, desires or cravings. The last and fourth truth is ‘magga’ which can end the dukkha.
why Buddha Purnima is celebrated
Buddism is the fourth largest religion in the world. The followers of Buddhism are called Buddhists, who try to live by following the teachings of Buddha. Buddhists believe that to avoid suffering in life, one should follow the Noble Eightfold Path, which is Right understanding, Right thought, Right speech, Right action, Right livelihood, Right effort, Right mindfulness, and Right concentration.
As the original teachings of Buddism were written on palm leaves which were stored in baskets, they are called ‘Tipitaka’ literally meaning three baskets. The teachings are called ‘dharma’. Some teachings are also written in ‘Sutras’ which are majorly followed by the Mahayana Buddhists.
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