Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Buddha Day or Vesak Day

Today is the Buddha Day. Buddha's Birthday is traditionally known as Vesak. It is the celebration of Buddha's Birthday, i.e. Visakah Puja. Every pious Buddhist gives respect to Vesak day. As it celebrates the Buddha's explicit prophecy, birth, enlightenment and death on the one day, the Buddha Day is worthy of respect for all Buddhists.

This day is the full moon day in May. But in the leap year the festival is held in June. According to the Indian calendar name of the month Vaisakha (Sanskrit) or Visakha (Pali) the celebration is called Vesak (Sinhalese).

In Myanmar the full moon day in May is the same in Kason. Being the hottest month the Buddhists are used to water on the foot of Bo Tree to be alive in hot climatic condition. This major Buddhist festival is written as “Kason Watering Bo Tree” in Burmese literature. The festival is descended from the Bagan period into the present day Myanmar culture.

The Buddhist devotees assess the value of four distinctive heritages of historical Buddha Day. They are:

(1) Dipankara Buddha knew and announced his prophecy that after four eons and one hundred thousand millions years, Sumedha would be a Buddha named Gotama. That day was the full moon day of Kason or Visakah.

(2) The Bodhisatta, Siddhattha Gotama was born in 68 Maha Era (623 BC) on Friday, the full moon day of Kason (Visakha, May) in Lumbini, Nepal. His parents were King Suddhodana and Queen Mahamaya, of Kapilavastu in Northern India.

(3) On the full moon day of Kason (Vesak), in 103 Maha Era (588 BC) on Wednesday, and on the 35th anniversary of his birth, under a Bo tree in Buddha Gaya, the Bodhisatta Siddhattha attained subbannuta nana and became the supreme Buddha, the Exalted One, the Fully Enlightened One. This Bo Tree, one of the seven co-natals also grows on the full moon day of Vesak.

(4) Finally, after having done his duties and responsibilities as a Buddha, he realized cessation of all Dukkha of Khandha (Maha Parinibbana). In 148 Maha Era (543 BC), on Tuesday, the full moon day of Vesak before dawn, lying under two beautiful sal trees, the Buddha passed away at the age of 80, in Kusinara, India.

Hence on the Buddha Day (Vesak Day), the Buddhists all over the world commemorate those events: the Birth, the Enlightenment and the Passing Away of Gotama the Buddha.

Posted by Nyan U

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