BUDDHA JAYANTI & PURNIMA AND BUDDHA
7 May 2020 HYN Himalayan Yoga Academy
BUDDHA JAYANTI & PURNIMA AND BUDDHA
“Happy Buddha Jayanti” to all beloved souls for peace, love and light
Memory of Buddha by Japa;
“Om Mani Padme Hum.” May Lord Buddha enlighten to all on the path of love, peace and truth.
Buddha Purnima, the traditional Buddhist holiday is celebrated in Nepal and across the globe like India, Bhutan, Tibet on May 07, today. This day is a very important commemorative holiest day for people of Buddhist faith and general populace in Nepal is regarded to be the day when Lord Buddha got enlightenment. This is the 2564th Birth Anniversary of Gautama Buddha today. It is also known as Kurma Jayanti or Buddha Jayanti, the festival lies during the month of Vaisakh as it usually falls during the month of May and is celebrated by the Hindu community , especially in Nepal as well.
The word ‘Buddha’ means ‘intellect’ or ‘one who is awake’ or also the enlightened one. The Buddha was born in 563 BC as Siddhartha Gautama into the royal family of a small kingdom in Kapilavastu District, Nepal. Siddharth grew without ever knowing about the miseries that were faced by commoners. Siddharth became more inquisitive about the life outside his palace. He did and gave up all materialistic pleasure. Although he was the prince living with all the availabilities and possibilities in the palace, out of his sheltered life upon realizing that life includes the harsh realities of old age, sickness, beggar and death which then made him to seek about the meaning of life.
This encouraged Siddharth to choose this path. One day, at midnight, he finally left his palace to discover the answers about these questions. For seven years, he underwent several austerities. After enlightenment, he was known as Gautam Buddha. The supreme light of enlightenment dawned on Buddha on the Vaisakha Purnima Day, under a Bodhi tree at Bodhgaya. At the age of 80, Gautam Buddha left the world on the full moon day of Vaisakha. He attained Nirvana at Bodhagaya. It is one of the most sanctified places of pilgrimage.
As per the Buddhist legend, his wife Yashodhara, his first disciple Ananda, his charioteer Channa, and his horse Kantaka were all born on this sacred day. The Bodhi Tree, under which he attained nirvana, was also believed to have been created on this day.
As his views, everyone had the ability to unfold their potential to its fullest capacity. The teachings of Buddhism may be seen as attempts by the Buddha to fulfill this vision and to help people grow towards first in peace, love and intellects, then showed the path of Enlightenment as well.
Buddha Jayanti or ‘Buddha Purnima’ is celebrated in Nepal, India, Bhutan and Bangladesh. Gautam Buddha is one of the greatest spiritual Masters across the world. His messages for peace, love and light, also known as the ‘guiding light of Asia,’ won the millions of devotees and lovers across the world. He is considered as the 9th ‘avatar’ of Godhead of Lord Vishnu. He was the founder of Buddhism, the religious and philosophical system that has produced a great culture across southern and eastern Asia. Gautam Buddha’s message spread from Nepal and India, and soon it was assimilated into many cultures. Traditionally this festival is observed by Buddhists as ‘Vaisakha.’
Do not dwell in the past; do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment. – Buddha
The history behind the festival: BUDDHA JAYANTI
Vedic literature tells that Lord Buddha was an incarnation of Lord Vishnu and was sent to earth to spread the message of non-violence and peace and convey love and true knowledge to all living creatures. Buddhist lovers and devotees celebrate and honor the major events which shaped Buddhism including his birth, enlightenment and passing away. Devotees also visit special shrines and undertake a pilgrimage to pay their respects at Lord Buddha’s birthplace. Mahabodhi Tree is one such special shrine. To seek peace, tranquility, intellect and ward off negative energy, devotees offer prayers, candles, flowers and joss-sticks at the shrine. Many even spend the day meditating, chant Buddhist mantras or reading important religious texts and scriptures. Today spiritual Saadhaka meditates on “FULL MOON’ for peace and prosperity.
Many also observe a fast, especially in the Hindu community to pay homage to the full moon, which is considered very auspicious. People also worship Lord Satyanarayan, holding pooja, fast or vrtta who is an incarnation of Lord Vishnu too. It indeed is a special day of learning for holy worshipers. In Nepal, all Kiranti people in the country and abroad on the occasion of the great festival of the Kirants, celebrate the Ubhauli festival and the diverse cultural traditions in the country help enhance mutual trust and goodwill, and also in building a prosperous social structure.
Buddha Purnima has been a very important festival which highlights the significance of Gautam Buddha’s teachings of life, love, peace and spirituality. One of the holiest festivals, Buddha Jayanti, celebrates Gautam Buddha’s Birth Day, his Enlightenment Day, and his passing away Day as well.
We all know, and are very much known in the world for reclaiming that “the Buddha was born in Nepal”. Buddha has indeed become an icon of national unity, identity of country, pride and “spiritual hero”, but as a matter of fact, having him born in the place which is by its virtue located now inside the geographic territory of Nepal, but from other perspectives of the millions of Buddhists are living in all over the world, whether we have some space in our heart or mind for the man who is named the Buddha.
While being proud of Buddha, only a few take time to learn some basic teachings of Buddhism. We need to follow the right path of Buddha as teachings and meditating. Buddha did talk only about peace and light; he also showed the applied way by spiritual sadhana. Major path is to meditate like Vipasana Dhyana, Japa of Mantras, Prayers, etc. Apart from this, now, after a long hardship, a Lumbini Buddhist University has been set up and classes of higher education have started. Anybody can be benefited from there.
SHAMATHA OR MINDFULNESS DHYANA (MEDITATION):
Shamatha (mindfulness) is a well-known Buddhist practice that focuses on developing calmness, clarity and equanimity. With the proper guidance and commitment, the cultivation of these qualities can ultimately lead to deep inner peace. The initial stages of mindfulness meditation are essentially non-denominational and can be practiced by anyone, regardless of their faith tradition.
The basis of Shamatha, or mindfulness Dhyana is:
- Sit in a comfortable at any meditation posture; find a pose that doesn’t hurt your back or legs. Keep your back straight and try to find a happy medium between too rigid and too relaxed. Totally prepare yourself physically, mentally and emotionally.
- Observe your breath: You don’t have to manipulate your breath, use abdominal breathing or have long, deep in-breaths and out-breaths. Just breathe normally and pay full attention to your breathing process, one breath at a time. Keep your awareness focused but be gentle; just be witness.
- Acknowledge the thoughts that still into your mind without engaging them. Simply observe them and let go. Come back to the breath. Just watch and hear the movement and sounds “So Ham”. Let the thought arise, touch on it gently, and then let it go but no judgment, no identify.
- Stay 15 to 20 minutes silently and consciously.
- Gently get back consciously watching the breath, the body and then release it.