Essay on Buddha Jayanti
We, humans, celebrate many festivals and follow various norms, each unique to their own society and culture. Some may be celebrated out of beliefs while others are based on actual facts. We also celebrate the birthday of a person that has/had placed an impact on our lives. This includes famous personalities, historical figures, and such. Out of many historical figures that have great importance in shaping our present, Lord Buddha is one of them. Lord Budhha was the founder of Buddhism which in the present age has around 535 million followers making it 8-10% of the world’s total population. Buddhism teaches us true human virtues and encourages its followers to avoid self-indulgence but also self-denial.
Buddhism teaches us the correct path and believes in non-violence and peace. These teachings were given by Lord Budhha himself. Such teachings were well received in many countries and regions and he became an influential person. Followers from all around the world commemorate the birth of Prince Siddhartha Gautama who was later on called Gautam Buddha. Gautama Buddha was born in 623 B.C in the famous gardens of Lumbini, Nepal. He was born a prince and raised in the Shakya capital of Kapilbastu. It is believed that immediately after his birth, Siddartha took seven steps towards the North and raising a finger in the air, indicating that ‘he was the supreme of the world and that was his final birth’.
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Even at a young age, the prince was a very loving individual. He was kept inside the palace premises enjoying all the wealth and luxury. He was even married to Yasodhara at 16 and had a son Rahul. But as time went on, he started to witness all the suffering around him. He later found out that he would try and understand the reasons for such suffering more deeply during his enlightenment and find the end to it. He was moved by all the suffering that was not seen inside the palace premises so he decided to leave the palace against his father’s will.
He moved out of his palace at midnight and went on to live his life as a saint. As he moved around he could see the suffering of people and saw a monk who had donated all he had for the welfare of others. So he decided to be one too. He started to meditate under the tree to find remedies for such illnesses. It took him a very long time to understand the facts of life and at the age of 80, he attained nirvana. he found that sorrow and desires are the main cause of all the evil and suffering of every living being. He then continued the rest of his life giving teachings. People started to follow his words and hence the start of Buddhism. It spread worldwide, especially in East Asian regions.
Even after such a long time, his teachings still remain and people continue to follow and preach them. The first conference of the World Fellowship of Buddhists was held in Sri Lanka in 1950. A resolution was passed to celebrate Lord Buddha’s Birthday on the full moon day of May. It has been followed since then. Buddha Jayanti / Purnima is also celebrated to commemorate the enlightenment and Nirvana of Gautam Buddha as it consists of three important events in his life. On the eve of the festival, devotees sprinkle scented water and milk to the Bodhi tree, the tree that he sat under to meditate.
All the temples and statues of Budhha are decorated with Flowers and other related statutes. Although worldwide, this festival is widely celebrated in South East and East Asian countries. Other activities include sermons, prayers, recitation of Buddhist scriptures, group meditation, and worship of the statue of Buddha. Monks and Nuns give money, goods, or relief to people in need and organizations that help the poor, elderly and sick. Caged animals are also set free this day. The Worshippers wear pure white and non-vegetarian good is avoided most times. A sweet rice porridge, Lheer is also commonly served to recall the story of Sujata, a maiden who offered buddha milk porridge and then achieved enlightenment. All and all it is an extremely uplifting festival to celebrate as it believes in peace and tranquility, much different from other festivals.
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