When is Buddha Purnima in 2009? 2009 Buddha Purnima is on 8th May i.e Friday.
When is Buddha Purnima in 2010? 2010 Buddha Purnima is on 27th May i.e Thursday.
The festival commemorates the birth of Lord Buddha who was the founder of Buddhism. It is celebrated during the month of Vaisakha.
Legends of Buddha Purnima
On Visakha day, which happens to be a full moon day in the year 544 B.C. Siddhartha was born to Queen Mahamaya. It was predicted by an old sanyasi, who also happened to be a court astrologer, that the child would redeem the world. Siddhartha grew up in riches and had all the comforts that life could offer. Although, he was Kshatriya(warrior), he did not wage wars, but rather questioned why one grew old, why people were poor etc. He was a child who questioned the surroundings around him. He was in search of truth. He discarded his royal robes and comforts and went in search of it. Near Gaya, under the Bodhi tree he sat and meditated and achieved enlightenment (Nirvana). He found the answers to pain and suffering. He became the enlightened One. He traveled far and wide preaching the truth. Many kings, scholars and sanyasis became his followers. From Gaya he traveled to Sarnath, near Varanasi where five men were his disciples. He formed the first sangh.
Celebration of Buddha Purnima
It is celebrated in a peaceful and joyous manner with great piety. In many of the Buddhist countries, the roads, streets, houses and temples are decorated with colorful lanterns, colorful decorations and electrical lights. In the monasteries, Buddhist monks read out the Buddhist scriptures throughout the day. Bodh Gaya in Bihar and Sarnath in Uttar Pradesh are the main areas where this festival is celebrated the most. These are the places one must visit during the festivities.
Rituals of Buddha Purnima
Pilgrims visit Bodh Gaya from all parts of the world to attend the birth celebrations. Prayer meets are held, sermons read, Buddhist scriptures are continuously read, group meditation is organized, processions are held and Lord Buddhas statue is worshipped. Flowers, candles, incense and fruits are offered to it. The Mahabodhi temple is decorated with colorful flowers and flags. The Buddhists wear white clothes. They meet in the Viharas and give alms to the Buddhist monks. They listen to the teachings about the life of Lord Buddha in the viharas or invite the monks to their homes. They reaffirm their belief in the Panchsheel- not to take life, not to lie, not to steal, not to take liquor or commit adultery. They refrain from meat and eat kheer ( rice that is cooked in milk and sugar), which they also share with the poor. They set up drinking stalls in public places and shower kindness on animals.
Buddha Purnima is a festival dedicated to Lord Buddha. His birth proved to be an eye-opener to many people all over the world. Buddha Purnima commemorates Lord Buddha’s birth in all its glory.