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Buddha Purnima Festivals

 
Buddha Purnima Festivals: Commemorating Buddha's Birth, Enlightenment and Death
Day of Celebrations: 

Places of Celebrations: Bodh Gaya (Bihar), Sanchi (Madhya Pradesh) and Sarnath (Uttar Pradesh)

Meaning
Amongst all multifarious festivals celebrated in India, the Buddhists rejoice annually in a grandeur style. Well's that Buddha Purnima?reverberating three in one life precious moments of the world's greatest teacher of humanity. His name was Lord Buddha or Gautama Buddha.

Hailed as a 'Beacon of Light' in South East Asian countries, the teachings of Lord Buddha is still pertinent in today's times. The followers of Buddhism still hail Lord Buddha as their supreme spiritual redeemer.

Information on Buddha Purnima - When Is It Celebrated?
The term 'Purnima' means a full moon day. In the Hindu calendar, every month has a full moon night, which is very sacred. However, for the followers of Buddhism, the full moon of the months of April-May called as 'Vaisakh' is beyond its sanctity. On this day, the three strange co-incidence episodes of Lord Buddha were significant. These include:

The day of Birth
The day of Enlightenment
The day of attainment of Nirvana, when he passed away.
Reflections On Buddha's Teachings
Buddha Purnima is not only the day of celebration, but also a day for reflection on the life and teaching of Lord Buddha. On this day, the Buddhist community reaffirms their faith in Panscheel?meaning?five basic principles of Buddhism. These are

Not to kill
Not to steal
Not to lie
Not to drink alcohol or other intoxicants
Not to commit adultery.

Buddhist Monks: Enriching Minds
The monks at the Buddhists monasteries recite verses uttered by the Buddha twenty-five centuries ago. They pray for world peace and happiness for the Government and the people. They are reminded to live in harmony with people of other faiths and to respect the beliefs of other people as the Buddha had taught. Thereafter, it is followed by a meditation session.

Places of Commeration
Buddha Purnima is far and wide celebrated at following places in India.

Bodh Gaya in Bihar
Sarnath in Uttar Pradesh
Sanchi and Kushinagar in Madhya Pradesh

In New Delhi, the mortal remains of the Buddha are taken out at the National Museum for public viewing.

The Illuminated Pipal Tree
The Bodhi (Pipal) Tree in Bodh Gaya is a delight to watch during Buddha Purnima. On this day, the branches are decorated with colorful garlands and flags. Rows of lamps are illuminated around the trees. Milk and scented waters are sprinkled on its roots.

Rituals During Buddha Purnima
The month of Vaisakh is devoted to paying obeisance at architectural Buddhists monuments and stupas beautifully decorated with flowers and lights. On this day, Buddhists from all over the country gather to join for the holy celebrations at the prayers halls. Dressed in spotless white clothes, the devotees offer incense, flowers, candles and fruits; prostrates several times in front of the statue for their happiness and joy. Thereafter, the family prepares kheer?a sweet milk pudding in rice.

As a part of its cultural tradition, the Buddhists carry out different acts of compassion to keep alive the teachings of Lord Buddha. Some of them include:

Birds are freed from the cages
Fruits and clothes are distributed among the ailing and needy patients
Non-vegetarian diet is strictly forbidden.
Buddha Purnima is not only celebrated in India, but also celebrated around the world.

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