The birth of a legend. It’s where the story begins. Yeah, there’s a story before that, that makes this whole thing have a meaning. But, the birth is the important plot point that starts off the story. So that makes it an important part of the whole thing. And that’s where the story of the festival of Buddha Jayanti begins. At an ancient kingdom of Kapilvastu (present-day Lumbini), when the Queen of the Shakya King Suddhodhana gave birth to the Prince Siddhartha Gautam, on the first full moon day of the month of Baisakh.
This day is special not just because it’s the day of Siddhartha Gautam’s birth but also the day when he achieved enlightenment and Nirvana, in different progressing years of his lifetime. The exact date is based on the Asian lunisolar calendar, so the date varies from year to year, but usually falls in April-May.
The day is celebrated by the followers visiting Buddhist monasteries and shrines. It is known by various names. Buddha Jayanti. Buddha Purnima. Baisakh Purnima. Saga Dawa. And also Swānyā Punhi which translates to, the full moon day of flowers. There are peace rallies in different parts of the country, especially in the Lumbini area, with the Siddhartha Gautam being born there and all that. People go to biharas for full-length Buddhist sutras. The day is a huge celebration in all of Asia and beyond.
The Legacy of the Buddha
We all have heard the story of Buddha, how he gave up the comfort of the royal life after seeing the sufferings of his people and went on to find answers. The answer that he found after the long meditations, the enlightenment is what formed the basis of the teaching of the Buddhist religion.
He sought after peace and a way for people to be able to be relieved of all suffering. The Buddha travelled far and wide to spread his message. And it must be something good because it transcended him and his time. Him and his teachings are still spread and followed today. The day this all was given to him and us is thusly celebrated by all those that follow what he preached. Even those who don’t follow him entirely also have an appreciation and respect for him and his words. And this is the day that we celebrate it all