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Buddha Poornima, which falls on the full in the month of Vaisakha (either in April or May), commemorates the birth anniversary of , founder of Buddhism. Notwithstanding the heat (the temperature routinely touches 45 degrees C), pilgrims come from all over the world to Bodh Gaya to attend the Buddha Poornima celebrations. The day is marked with prayer meets, on the life of Gautam Buddha, religious , continuous of Buddhist scriptures, , processions, worship of the . The Mahabodhi Temple wears a festive look and is decorated with colourful flags and flowers. The Chinese scholar, Fa-Hien has recorded celebration of this festival.
It is an important to give a summarized description on the Buddhist festivals in India, especially in the main places of worship. The principal annual ceremony for all the Buddhist is the Vaisaka Purnima known in Sri Lanka as Wesak festival and in India as Buddha Jayanti. Vaisaka Purnima day is fixed by the full-moon day of the month Vaisaka, which falls in May. Like all other Buddhist festivals it falls according to the Lunar year. It was of this day of the year, according to the year.
He attained Supreme Enlighten or Buddha hood, beneath the Bodhi-tree at Boddha Gaya. Forty-five years later at the age of eighty, he finally passed away in Parinivana on the same day of the year at Kushinagar. Vaisaka Purnima is celebrated especially in Boddha Gaya, Lumbini and in Kushinara as they are the holy places that were connected with the blessed ones birth, enlighten and the Parinirvana. Buddhists in Sri Lanka, Burma, Thailand, Tibet, China, Korea, Laos, Vietnam, Mongolia, Bhutan, Cambodia, Nepal, Japan and quite a number of western Buddhists participate 'Vaisaka' Purnima Day religious activities in a festive mood. Sarnath the capital of Buddhism too celebrates Vaisaka Purnima day in a grand way.
The great Buddhist festival 'Vaisaka', although is an occasion for rejoicing doesn't encourage hectic gaiety and abandon. The happiness that the Buddhists feel when they are celebrating it is a tranquil, peaceful joy. The festival has its gay side as well. In most of the Buddhist countries the villages, roads, streets, temples and houses are brightly illuminated with color, and colorful decorations.
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According to Hindu mythology, Lord Buddha is considered the ninth avatar of Vishnu. The important ritual for all the Buddhist is the Vaisaka Purnima known asWesak or Vesak festival in Sri Lanka. It is also known as Buddha Jayantiin India.
The three most significant events in the life of Gautama Buddha occurred on the same day. His birth, enlightenment and death (nirvana), all happened on a full moon night in April/May. This makes the day - called Buddha Purnima or Buddha Jayanti - all the more sacred for Buddhists.
At Bodh Gaya where Lord Budha attained enlightenment, a special prayer was organised under Bodhi tree for world peace Thousands of monks across the world have assembled at the Mahabodhi temple to offer prayer.
The decision to agree to celebrate the Vesākha as the Buddha’s birthday was formalized at the first Conference of the World Fellowship of Buddhists held in Sri Lanka in 1950, although festivals at this time in the Buddhist world are a centuries-old tradition.
Bringing happiness to others
Celebrating Vesākha also means making special efforts to bring happiness to the unfortunate like the aged, the handicapped and the sick. To this day, Buddhists will distribute gifts in cash and kind to various charitable homes throughout the country. Vesākha is also a time for great joy and happiness, expressed not by pandering to one’s appetites but by concentrating on useful activities such as decorating and illuminating temples, painting and creating exquisite scenes from the life of the Buddha for public dissemination. Devout Buddhists also vie with one another to provide refreshments and vegetarian food to followers who visit the temple to pay homage to the Enlightened One.
history of Buddha in India : Buddhism began in India and then got populated in the East Asia. Gautam Buddha lived and died in about the fifth century before the Christian era. He attained Nirvana i.e. the complete liberation at the age of 80.
Teachings of Gautam Buddha :
The teachings of the Buddha are solely to release human beings from the sorrow and sufferings of life. For which he suggested one kind of meditation called as “Vipassana” (Vi – important and Passana – see) which means to see what is happening in your body. According to the Buddhism, sorrow and need are the main cause of all the iniquity and suffering of this world.
Lord Buddha suggested “Arya Ashtangik Marg” to all human beings which consisting of eight principles to gain victory over suffering. By following this marg one can easily reach the position of Nirvana. Nirvana is the state of complete liberation. The great Emperor Ashoka followed the teachings of Buddha and helped in spreading it far and wide.