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Buddha Purnima 2021: Date, Significance and All You Need to Know

Gautam Buddha. (Image: Shutterstock)

Gautam Buddha. (Image: Shutterstock)

Buddha Jayanti: Buddha was born as Siddhartha Gautama, a prince, on the Purnima Tithi, the full moon day in the 563 B.C. in Lumbini (a region in modern day Nepal).

Buddha Jayanti will be observed on May 26. Buddhists and Hindus all over the world celebrate the birth of Gautama Buddha as Buddha Jayanti. Buddha was born as Siddhartha Gautama, a prince, on the Purnima Tithi, the full moon day in the 563 B.C. in Lumbini (a region in modern day Nepal). Hence, the day of his birth anniversary is also known as Buddha Purnima or Vaisakhi Buddha Purnima or Vesak.

Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Cambodia, Java, Indonesia, Tibet, Mongolia, commemorate the special day of Buddha Jayanti as ‘Vesak’ through an elaborate festival.

As the date of Buddha Jayanti is based on Asian lunisolar calendar, the exact date tends to differ every year. Though it usually falls on the Hindu month of Vaisakha on the full moon day, the date in the Western Gregorian calendar varies.

Buddha Jayanti, 2021 will mark the lord Buddha’s 2583rd birth anniversary.

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Buddha Purnima Tithi will begin at 08.29 pm (May 25) and end at 04.43 pm (May 26).

Significance of Buddha Jayanti, 2021:

Buddha Jayanti is one of the most sacred Buddhist, joyous events in honour of Gautama Buddha, the ‘Enlightened One’ who has transcended ‘Karma’, got liberated from the cycle of birth and rebirth.

He was a phenomenal being – a philosopher, spiritual guide, religious leader, meditator who attained enlightenment after continuous meditation for 49 days under the Bodhi (banyan) tree in Bodh Gaya; and unravelled the secret to end the ‘suffering’. The solution, he said, lied in The Four Noble Truths.

Gautama delivered his first sermon in Sarnath. Also known as Shakyamuni (Sage of the Shakyas), Tathagata, He is considered the ‘Fully Awakened One’.

He preached ‘Dharma’, non violence, harmony, kindness, path to ‘nirvana’ for 45 years.Buddhism is founded on the Lord Buddha’s teachings, a compilation named ‘suttas’.

Despite being born into a royal family, He relinquished the luxurious life and left home at the age of 30, led a life of penance, austerity, in search of the truth that liberates one from the pangs of suffering (duhkha).

Buddha is considered as the ninth Vishnu avatar (reincarnation) according to Hindu beliefs.

There is immense significance attached to Buddha Purnima. Buddhist communities around the world, monasteries offer prayers, chant, meditate, observe fast, discuss His sermons and cherish his teachings. The tradition of taking a dip in the sacred Ganges on Buddha Jayanti stems from the belief that it washes away sins.

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first published:May 25, 2021, 08:40 IST