Buddha Purnima 2024: Celebrating Buddha's Legacy

General Knowledge  •  21 May, 2024  •  47,451 Views  •  ⭐ 4.9

Written by Anand Swami

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Buddha Purnima, also known as Vesak, is a significant and auspicious festival for Buddhists worldwide. It marks the birth, enlightenment, and death (Parinirvana) of Siddhartha Gautama, who later became the Buddha. Celebrated on the full moon day in the month of Vaisakha (April or May), Buddha Purnima 2024 offers an opportunity for reflection, meditation, and a deeper understanding of the Buddha's teachings. This festival is a time for devotees to honour the Buddha's legacy, engage in acts of kindness, and promote peace and compassion in their communities.


Historical Significance

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Buddha Purnima commemorates the three pivotal events in Buddha's life: his birth, enlightenment, and death. Siddhartha Gautama, born in 563 BCE in Lumbini (modern-day Nepal), was a prince of the Shakya clan. Despite his royal upbringing, he was deeply troubled by the suffering he witnessed in the world. At the age of 29, he renounced his princely life to become an ascetic, embarking on a quest to find the truth about human suffering.

After six years of intense meditation and asceticism, he attained enlightenment under the Bodhi tree in Bodh Gaya, India, on the full moon day of Vesak. Following his enlightenment, he spent 45 years teaching the principles of Dharma to a diverse range of followers. At the age of 80, he passed away in Kushinagar, achieving Parinirvana. These events are celebrated on Buddha Purnima, marking its immense historical and spiritual significance, as they encapsulate the key milestones in the Buddha’s spiritual journey and his enduring legacy.



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Rituals and Traditions

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Buddha Purnima is observed with a variety of rituals and traditions, reflecting the diverse practices within Buddhism. Devotees visit temples and stupas, offering flowers, candles, and incense to statues of the Buddha, symbolising respect and gratitude. Many participate in processions, chanting hymns and reciting scriptures such as the Tripitaka and Jataka tales, which recount the Buddha’s previous lives. A common practice is the bathing of Buddha statues, symbolising the purification of the mind and soul.

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