Celebrated In: India in Spring Season
Celebrated By: Bodh (Hindu)
Within the Buddhist tradition, Buddha Purnima is a major festival commemorating the birth, enlightenment, and death of the Buddha; it usually takes place in April or May. Mahavira Jayanti, the principal Jain celebration, honors the birth of Mahavira, the great reformer of the Jain monastic community.
Buddha Poornima is celebrated in remembrance of Lord Buddha. It falls on the full moon night in Vaisakha. Lord Buddha was the founder of the Buddhist religion and is said to be the ninth avatar of Vishnu. It was on Buddha Poornima that the three important events of Buddha's life took place i.e. his birth, his enlightenment and his death (nirvana).
Today is Buddha Purnima, the day Buddha was born. He got Enlightened, he attained Nirvana and he died also on the same day. There is a little Buddha in everybody, and that Buddha is in the form of Siddhartha.
Do you know who Siddhartha is? Before Buddha became Buddha he was Siddhartha. He was wandering, lost. He had tried everything but he couldn’t find; but he had that spirit of enquiry.
He said, ‘The world is all sorrow and I want to get rid of sorrow.’ Siddhartha understood everything is sorrow, but he did not know the way. So everybody has a little Buddha inside of them, only he has to wake up.
Buddha tried this and that and that and this. He ran from pillar to post, he did technique after technique after technique, but nothing worked. Because while doing all this, his mind was outward, and when he got sick and tired of everything and dropped everything, that moment he got enlightened. This is the story as it goes.
So, when he got tired of trying hard and trying hard and trying hard, then he said, ‘Okay, let me just relax. I give up.’ So he gave up and sat, and the mind turned inward and then he became Buddha.
So turn the mind inward.
Unfortunately Buddha never got a Guru. He couldn’t get a Guru at that time. But Adi Shankaracharaya had a Guru. So he met the Guru and the path became much easier, smoother. He could just sit and go into Samadhi. But for Buddha to go into Samadhi and meditation was not possible. It was hard for him. So he fasted. Somebody told him to fast and he fasted, because he was a King from the royal family and he did not know about surrender, or about devotion, or about letting go. Doing, doing and doing, that is what he heard, and what he knew as he was trained. So the big ego, and that big doing, made him run around for several years.
Finally he gave up and then he got enlightened;
The main celebrations of Buddha jayanti takes place in Bodh gaya.On this large number of Buddhist devotees from all over the world assemble to pay their respectful homage to Lord Buddha. Besides decorating the temple and area around with colorful Buddhist flags, the Morning Prayer, colorful procession of the Monks, worship with large offerings, distribution of sweets and snacks takes place.
One of the greatest spiritual teachers of mankind which Bharat has produced is undoubtedly, Buddha. Edwin Arnold has fittingly called him the "Light of Asia". Buddha's message has traveled far and wide and captured the hearts and minds of billions of people outside Bharat also.