Buddha Purnima or Buddha Jayanti falls on May 5. The auspicious festival of Budhha Purnima is just around the corner. Also known as Buddha Jayanti, the occasion is celebrated with much pomp and marks the birth anniversary of Lord Gautam Buddha, revered as the founding figure of Buddhism. On this day, devotees vow to follow the teachings of Gautam Buddha, take a bath early in the morning to cleanse themselves of all impurities, clean their homes and follow rituals dedicated to the festival. Additionally, Buddha Purnima holds cultural and spiritual significance for the global community who follow Buddhism and is celebrated majorly in East Asia and South Asia, including India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, Tibet, Thailand, Tibet, China, Korea, Laos, Vietnam, Mongolia, Cambodia, Indonesia, and more. Find out all about the date, history, significance and celebrations related to Buddha Purnima below.
Buddha Purnima is marked on a full moon day in the month of Vaisakh. This year, it falls on May 5. The date coincides with Penumbral Lunar Eclipse. While the precise dates of Buddha's birth and death are unknown, historians typically estimate his lifespan to be between 563-483 BC. This year marks the 2585th birth anniversary of Gautam Buddha. According to Drik Panchang, the Purnima Tithi on Buddha Jayanti will commence at 4:14 am on May 5, 2023, and conclude at 3:33 am on May 6, 2023.
Celebrated majorly in East Asia and South Asia, the significant and auspicious festival of Buddha Purnima marks the birth anniversary of Prince Siddhartha Gautam or Gautam Buddha, the founder of Buddhism. Gautam Buddha was born in Lumbini, Nepal. He attained Nirvana at the age of 35.
It is believed that a full moon day is auspicious for Buddhists because three major events in the life of the Gautam Buddha took place on this day.
The full moon in May holds the most importance as Prince Siddhartha was born at Lumbini Grove. Secondly, after six years of hardship, Prince Siddhartha Gautam attained enlightenment under the shade of the Bodhi tree and became Gautama Buddha at Bodh Gaya. Thirdly, after 45 years of teaching the Truth, when he was eighty, at Kusinara, he passed away to Nibbana (Nirvana) - release from the cycle of rebirth.
On Buddha Purnima, devotees begin their day by cleaning their homes, taking a bath and sprinkling Gangajal around the house. They also light a candle and adorn their homes with flowers, create a swastika with Haldi, roli or kumkum in front of the entrance door, and light a candle and pour milk near the Bodhi Tree. Additionally, people donate food and clothes to those in need.
2567th Buddha Jayanti being observed today
The 2567th birth anniversary of Gautam Buddha- Buddha Jayanti- is being observed across the country by commemorating his contribution to the establishment of world peace.
The birth anniversary of Buddha, the apostle of non-violence and peace, is being observed with spiritual leaders and gurus at monasteries. The government has appealed to all people to observe the Buddha Jayanti with illumination at homes.
Grand programmes are being held at Lumbini, Swayambhu, and Bauddha on Buddha Jayanti.
Buddha born in the royal family of King Suddhodhan and Queen Mayadevi had left his palace at the age of 29 for penance. He is regarded also as the 'Light of Asia'.
Buddhist philosophy is taught in the internationally acclaimed universities like Oxford, Cambridge and Harvard. There are also MA level programmes on Buddhist philosophy at Tribhuvan University, Nepal Sanskrit University, Lumbini Bauddha University in Nepal.
The teaching and sermons given by Lord Buddha during his lifetime of 80 years are collected in 'binaya', 'sutta', 'abhidhamma' and 'tripitak'.
Buddha, regarded as the ninth incarnation of Lord Bishnu, was born on Shukla purnima of Baisakh month in the lunar calendar. There is a coincidence that the dates (lunar calendar) the Buddha got birth, wisdom, and mahaparinirvan (passing away) fall the same. The Buddhist communities in the world including Nepal observe the Day with much reverence.