“You cannot travel the path until you have become the path itself”, Gautam Buddha! Today is Buddha Purnima.Today is also the full moon of Vaishakh month, which is also known as Buddha Purnima. Gautam Buddha was born on this day. He was the one who founded Buddhism. Along with this, he is also considered as the ninth incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Buddha Purnima is one such festival of the Buddhist community, which is celebrated every year on Buddha Jayanti Purnima. It is said that on this day Lord Gautam Buddha attained salvation. Along with Lord Buddha, Lord Vishnu is also worshiped on this day. Apart from this, worshiping the moon god is also considered auspicious. There is a big coincidence today due to the simultaneous occurrence of Buddha Purnima and years first Lunar Eclipse together.
Jyotishacharya Acharya Manish Swamy, chapter chairman of the Indian Council of Astrological Sciences, told that the first lunar eclipse of the year will happen on Vaishakh Purnima, which will not be visible in India. Although this too will be special only from the astronomical point of view, it will not have an inauspicious effect due to its lack of religious importance.
On Buddha Purnima we recall the principles of Lord Buddha and reiterate our commitment to fulfil them. The thoughts of Lord Buddha can make our planet more peaceful, harmonious and sustainable.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) May 16, 2022
PM Modi is also travelling to Lumbini, the birthplace of the Buddhism’s founder, in Nepal to mark the day. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on the occasion of Buddha Purnima prays that the thoughts of Buddha can make our planet more peaceful, harmonious and sustainable.
On the day of Buddha Purnima, let us know the places in India, where Gautam Buddha spent some special moments of his life.
Bodh Gaya: This place is one of the four major Buddhist pilgrimage sites. Buddha attained enlightenment under the Bodhi tree in Gaya, Bihar. The Mahabodhi Temple here, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is one of the most famous temples. It houses the Bodhi tree and the Vajrasana or Diamond Throne, the Mahabodhi Stupa, an 80-foot Buddha statue, a lotus pond, a meditation garden, Chinese, Japanese, Bhutanese, Taiwanese, Bangladeshi, Thai and Tibetan monasteries.
Sarnath: Situated near Varanasi, it is a holy site where the Buddha gave his first sermon, taught the Dhamma, and formed the Sangha (monastic community). Sarnath houses the Dhamek Stupa (128 feet high) as well as the remains of other ancient stupas. The remains of Ashoka Pillar are also here. To see the national emblem of India i.e. National Emblem, definitely visit Sarnath Museum. Apart from this, one can also visit the many monasteries of other Buddhist countries.
Kushinagar: Another major pilgrimage site, Kushinagar is the place where Buddha attained parinirvana (nirvana after death). Here Buddha breathed his last. This place is mainly visited by tourists and less by Buddhist followers and monks. The Parinirvana Stupa has a reclining statue of the ‘Dead Buddha’, the Rambhar Stupa which is the cremation ground of the Buddha and the Math Kur Teerth which houses a huge Buddha statue are considered important sites. Kushinagar is located near Gorakhpur.
Rajgir and Nalanda: The Vulture Shikhar in Rajgir was the favorite place of Buddha, where he used to give many important sermons. There are Buddhist caves in Saptaparni, where the first Buddhist council was held after his death. There are many Shanti Stupas to see in Rajgir, where you can see four beautiful sculptures, Griddhakuta Hill where he gave the Lotus Sutras and Pragyaparamita, Jivakamevan Garden and Ajatashatru Fort are worth visiting. To see the world heritage site of Nalanda Mahavihara, one can go to Nalanda, about 15 kilometers away. It is an important teaching place where Buddhist ideas were introduced.
Vaishali: Buddha gave his last sermon before attaining Parinirvana at Vaishali in Bihar. After renunciation, his spiritual training began here and it was here that he initiated and saved the female disciple, Gautami. Here you can visit the Ashoka Pillar and its surrounding stupa, where he gave his last sermons.