Purnima or the full moon is the most auspicious time of the month to perform
yagna, tapa (meditation), japa (chanting) or any form of sacrifice.
To mark the birth of Sri Budh-ji, the full moon day (purnima) of Veishaki month this
year. It was on this day, that Sri Buddh was born and it also
the day that he disappeared after 1000 Purnimas (full moons).
Sri Buddha - though worshipped more predominantly outside of India than locally -
was born, gained enlightment and found nirvana - on this day.
Born around 543 BC the young Siddhartha (Buddha's birth name) was the only son
of King Shuddhodana, of Kapilavastu, at the base of Himalayas.
As a royal prince he was brought up with the best of everything, and his father
made special efforts to ensure his son would become a great ruler.
An astrologer had told the King that his son would transcend into a great King or a
So the King did his best to steer the boy in the direction of a ruler, rather than
towards the austere path of an ascetic.
When the young prince Siddhartha asked to see the city one day, the King ordered
that the city be made to look bright and happy for the boy's viewing, so that
nothing might disturb him on his tour.
However, while the prince was being shown around the city he happened to see
amongst all the brightness and happy people, an old man, with no teeth and
emaciated limbs, crippled by his condition.
Siddhartha asked Chenna his charioteer what was this sight before him. Chenna
told him that we will all end up like him. Just as that man was once full of youthful
vigour, we will one day grow old as he has.
This experience of seeing the old man put Siddhartha into a pensive mood. To
brighten the boy's spirits the King arranged for his son to be taken on several more
tours of the city, where he subsequently saw a sick man, and a corpse on its way to
the funeral pire, and on his last tour he saw the tranquil form of an ascetic who had
conquered all desires and attachments and reached enlightenment.
Siddhartha's charioteer Chenna described all these sights to the young prince,
explaining to him the fragility and vulnerability of the human condition.
With all this weighing heavily on his mind the prince decided he must leave his
parents, his wife and young son, and all the luxuries of the palace, and seek
answers to the mysteries of life. He left the palace on a full-moon night and roamed
the forests for seven years undergoing great tapas and spending much time in
meditation and contemplation, until on Veishak Purnima he achieved enlightenment
at Bodhgaya under a pipal or Sacred Fig tree.
He was from then onwards known as Gautama Buddha, or enlightened one.
Hindus revere the great Sri Buddha as an avatar of God and Hinduism has been
enriched by Lord Buddha's teachings, which encouraged compassion to all and
discipline of the mind in pursuit of enlightenment. Indeed Lord Buddha is revered
around the world as a great teacher by both Hindus and non-Hindus.
Lord Buddha died on Veishak Purnima in his 80th year, after 1000 full moon days.
Thus His birth, enlightenment and death are all celebrated on this same day.
Buddha Purnima today is celebrated around the world by Buddhists and Hindus
alike. And Sri Buddha's message of compassion and peace continues to shed its
light globally. On Buddha Purnima or Buddha Jayanti, all three significant events
that occurred on this day are celebrated and in India thousands of pilgrims flock
to Bodh Gaya to participate in prayers and scripture readings in worship of the
great Sri Buddha.
On Buddha Purnima special effort is made to help those beings who are suffering,
and avoid cruelty of any kind. Lord Buddha particularly dismissed acts of animal
sacrifice and other forms of cruelty as impediments on the path to enlightenment,
and causing unnecessary suffering to all.
Sri Buddha's message to the world: love, peace and compassion for all. .