धम्मं शरणं गच्छामि: मैं धर्म की शरण लेता हूं
संघं शरणं गच्छामि: मैं संघ की शरण लेता हूं”
18th May 2019 is the auspicious occasion of Buddha Purnima which is celebrated to commemorate the birth of Lord Buddha. This year it will be the 2,581st birth anniversary of Lord Buddha. It is also known as the “Vesak Day” as it is celebrated in the month of Vaisakha. This was the spiritual day when Lord Buddha attained salvation and enlightment under the Mahabodhi tree which is located at “Bodh Gaya” in the state of Bihar. The festival of Buddha Purnima falls on the full moon night which signifies the importance of enlightment, liberation and peace in our life. As per scriptures, Many Hindus believe Buddha to be the ninth incarnation of Lord Vishnu who appeared on the earth to establish the religion and spread knowledge, fraternity and restore the value of peace and harmony in life. The occasion of Buddha Purnima is celebrated by the Buddhists and Hindus by following every religious ritual and the day is viewed as a cultural festival which lasts for three days to one week.
The Journey from Siddhartha Gautama to Lord Buddha
A scientific quote says “Curiosity is the mother of Invention”. This curiosity led the “Siddhartha Gautama”, the prince of Kapilavastu, the son of Suddhodhan, the king of Lumbini, Nepal to renounce the his entire kingdom (to which he was the heir) and wander in deep woods for the quest to search the eternal truth of life. The journey commences when the prince of Lumbini “Siddhartha Gautama” led a very royal and princely life in his palace. He was highly adored and loved by his parents. This charming prince got married to princess Yashodhara at a tender age and soon became a father. One day while he was traveling in his chariot he came across an old man, a sick person, a dead body and an ascetic. The scene was stuck to his memories. Being a prince he never experienced such phase of life, but this was the first time when he witnessed such worldly sufferings and grievances.
The scene made him realize about the old age which is the final cycle of life and stuffed with pain, unhappiness, sorrow and resentment. He also realized that death is the ultimate truth of life and worldly treasures are just like the shine of a glittering gold with a harsh reality. Witnessing this strident reality, he decided to renounce his kingdom and family to venture out to get his questions answered about life and death. One night, when everyone in the palace was sleeping, the 29 year old prince left his kingdom to search the eternal truth of life. He had easily renounced his princely life to know the reasons behind his bitter realization of life. However, to get the answer of his search was not that easy. Hence, his journey to meditation begins.
He took the life of an ascetic and started to meditate as this mode was the only medium to get his queries answered. He decided for meditation and a 49 days continuous meditation under the Bodhi tree at Bodh Gaya, gifted him the power of enlightenment also called “Nirvana”. Soon after getting enlightenment, he started to preach to a group of followers and made them realised the value of life, karma, birth and rebirth. He also preached about how past karmas affects the present life and the importance of Karmic accounts which every human being carries with them throughout the life-cycle. After enlightenment Siddhartha got the most honored title of his life ‘Gautama Buddha’. This was the place where a new religion “Buddhism” was born. This was the pious journey of Siddhartha Gautam to Lord Buddha.
Three Core Teachings of Buddhism:
After enlightment Lord Buddha went to the Deer Park near the holy city of Varanasi and shared his new understanding with five holy men. They understood immediately his teachings and became his disciples. In Buddhism, the law of karma depicts “for every event that occurs there will follow another event whose existence was caused by the first, and this second event will be pleasant or unpleasant according as its cause was skillful or unskillful.” Buddhism comes with three core teachings:
- The Three Universal Truths;
- The Four Noble Truths; and
- The Noble Eightfold Path
The Three Universal Truth of Life is:
- Nothing is lost in the universe
- Everything Changes
- The Law of Cause and Effect
The Four Noble Truths:
The Four Noble Truth in Buddhism related to the human sufferings. The four noble truths are:
- Dukkha: Suffering is real and every human being has to experience.
- Samudaya: Every suffering has a reason. Attachment is the biggest reason.
- Nirodha: Human suffering can come to an end. It can be overcome by renouncing attachment.
- Magga: Follow the Noble Eightfold Path to end sufferings.
The Noble Eightfold Path:
The Noble Eightfold Path is on one of the teachings of Theravada Buddhism which teaches eight practices in life to cease sufferings and attain spirituality. These eight preaching are Right View, Right Intention, Right Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood, Right Effort, Right Mindfulness, and Right Samadhi or Right Concentration. These principles make human beings sagacious, intelligent which ads wisdom to life.
Saatvic Food during Buddha Purnima:
Kheer (sweet rice porridge) is the relishing dish which is consumed on this occasion as a prasad. However, Buddhism promotes to consume saatvic food and Buddhists abstain themselves from consuming non-vegetarian food. They are considered as Tamsic which generates the feelings of worldly desires and sensual pleasures. The special food prepared on the day directly relates to the saatvic living and eradicate the destructive influence on our mind and body. If you have planned a trip to Bodh Gaya to explore the treasures of Buddhism, the nearest station to drop is the Gaya Station. After dropping, book a taxi/cab or board Bihar Tourism Buses to visit and feel the sanctity of Buddhism at Bodh Gaya. You can order pure Sattvic Jain food in train during your trip to Bodh Gaya. Jain Executive Thali and veg thali (Mini, Standard, Deluxe and Maharaja) is the most loved and ordered in train.
Celebrations of Buddha Purnima:
Over the years, this festival has come up like a social, religious, spiritual and cultural festival. At Bodh Gaya, the Mahabodhi temple drapes a festive look and is lavishly decorated with flowers and flags. Special prayers, meditation, religious speeches, recitation of Buddhist scriptures, processions along with worshipping of Lord Buddha Statue are organised. Several events like Bodhidroom Mela, Sutrasraban, Sutrapath, Ashtasheel, Panchasheel, are also organised which attracts tourist from all over the globe. Thousands of Buddhists and the members of international Buddhist Council take part in the procession and other activities. The festival is celebrated by a visit to common Viharas in white attire. The statue of Lord Buddha is placed in a basin filled with water and decorated with flowers. This is a ritualistic bath which symbolise the day as a pure and new beginning. The festival and the teachings of Buddha also depict that donating and helping poor is doorway to heaven. On the occasion of Buddha Purnima monks and organisations donate money and food which can help the poor and elderly people who are sick. Another destination “Sarnath” also celebrates Buddha Purnima with great show and grandeur. It’s a location where Buddhist monks throng in a huge number to celebrate the festivity.
Teachings by Lord Buddha:
- WE ARE SHAPED BY OUR THOUGHTS
- WE BECOME WHAT WE THINK
- NO ONE SAVES US BUT OURSELVES
- DO NOT DWELL IN THE PAST, DO NOT DREAM OF THE FUTURE, CONCENTRATE THE MIND ON THE PRESENT MOMENT.
- HEALTH IS THE GREATEST GIFT
- FAITHFULNESS THE BEST RELATIONSHIP
- ENLIGHTEN YOURSELF ON THE PATH OF LOVE, PEACE AND TRUTH
MAY THE FULL MOON OF BUDDHA PURNIMA, WASHES THE DARKNESS OF IGNORANCE AND HATRED AND HERALD CONTENTMENT PEACE AND ENLIGHTENMENT FOR THE WORLD! RAILRESTRO WISHES YOU ALL A VERY HAPPY BUDDH PURNIMA