Prime Minister Narendra Modi will deliver a key-note address on 26th May 2021 at the international event organized to mark Buddha Purnima Diwas.
- The event is being organized by the Ministry of Culture and International Buddhist Confederation.
- This year marks the 2583rd birth anniversary of Lord Buddha.
- It is the most important festival for the followers of Buddhism across the world.
- The festival falls on the first full moon day (Purnima) of the Hindu month of Vaisakha, which corresponds to April-May in the Gregorian calendar.
- Buddha has been termed as the ninth avatar of Lord Vishnu as per the Hindu scriptures.
- This auspicious day marks the birth, enlightenment and death of Gautama Buddha, the founder of Buddhism
- Buddha Purnima is also known as Buddha Jayanti, Vesak, Vaishaka and Buddha’s Birthday.
- The decision to celebrate Buddha’s birth anniversary on the first full moon day of Vaisakha was taken by the World Fellowship of Buddhists in May 1960.
Buddha Purnima and Vesak:
- The Birthday of Buddha is also celebrated as Vesak in several countries of South and Southeast Asia.
- On this day, Countries all over the world such as Malaysia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, South Vietnam, Myanmar, China, Cambodia, Singapore, Indonesia, Taiwan, Australia, Canada, United States (US) celebrate the essence of Buddhism.
- It is a public holiday in many countries.
- It is celebrated by commemorating different ethnicities and cultures.
- As per the UN General Assembly (UNGA) resolution 54/115 adopted in 1999, the first full moon of May is recognized as International Day of Vesak.
- United Nations recognized this day to acknowledge the contribution of Buddhism in the world.
About Gautama Buddha:
- Gautama Buddha (also known as Siddhattha Gotama or Siddhārtha Gautama or Buddha Shakyamuni) was born as Prince Siddhartha in Lumbini, Nepal as per the Theravada Tripitaka scriptures.
- Although the date and time of Lord Buddha’s birth and death are uncertain, the assumptions are that he lived between the 6th and 4th century BC.
- According to legends, he was prophesized to become a great king or a great sage, much before his birth. Grown-up with princely luxury, Siddhartha remained shielded from the hardships of human life till he was in his late 20s.
- At the age of 29, the prince decided to see more of the world and began excursions off the palace grounds in his chariot.
- Upon encountering sickness, old age and death, the prince decided to leave his royal palace and set out on a quest to find an answer to the cause of all suffering.
- Over the next few years, he investigated many different teachings.
- He studied medication under Alara Kalama and Udraka Ramaputra and soon mastered their systems.
- He reached high states of mystical realization but as he was unsatisfied, he went out in search of nirvana, the highest level of enlightenment.
- He seated himself under a banyan tree (Bodhi Tree) at Bodh Gaya and attained enlightenment.
- He gave his first sermon in Sarnath.
- This is how at the age of 35, Siddhartha Gautama became the Buddha or the Awakened One.
- For the remaining part of his life, he preached the Dharma to lead other people along the path of Enlightenment.
- Gautama Buddha breathed his last at the age of 80 in Kushinagar, Uttar Pradesh.
- During Vesak, dharma wheel symbol is commonly seen.
- Dharma wheel is also called dharmachakra.
- It has eight ribs.
- The great teachings of Gautam Buddha are represented through this wheel.
- The precious eightfold path of the Buddhist community is symbolized through eight struts.