Buddha Pournima : A global festival spreading message of peace, harmony

Nagpur : Buddha Pournima or Vaishakhi Pournima or simply Vesak in Pali language is the full moon day in the month of Vaishakh. This is the day on which Tathagat Bhagwan Gautam Buddha gave his first universal peace message to mankind. Millions of Buddhists across the world are celebrating Vesak on May 18.

This day is the birthday, enlightenment day and Nirvana day of Gautam Buddha. It was on the day of Vesak two and a half millennia ago, in the year 623 BC that Buddha was born. It was on this day Buddha attained enlightenment, and it was on this day Buddha, in his eightieth year, passed away.

“It is recommended by UN council to celebrate International Buddha Day on Vesak to acknowledge the contribution that Buddhism continues to make to the spirituality of humanity,” said Shuddhadhamma, who travelled many Buddhist countries to study the dhamma.

UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres in his message said, “In a time of growing intolerance and inequality, the Buddha’s message of non-violence and service to others is more relevant than ever.” This year’s Vesak day theme is “Buddhist Approach to Global Leadership and Shared Responsibilities for Sustainable Societies.” The Vesak 2019 celebration aims to contribute to realising the UN’s Sustainable development Goals.

On this day Lord Buddha had delivered his first address; “By day shines the sun; by night shines the moon; in regalia shines the king; in meditation shines the arahat; but the Buddha in his glory shines at all times, by day and by night.”

Many countries are celebrating this day on the theme of ‘Light’. Venerable Mahinda says, “The teaching of the Buddha is open to all to see and judge for themselves. The universality of the teachings of the Buddha has led one of the world’s greatest scientists, Albert Einstein to declare that ‘if there is any religion that could cope with modern scientific needs, it would be Buddhism.’ Realising the transient nature of life and all worldly phenomena, the Buddha has advised us to work out our deliverance with heedfulness, as ‘heedfulness is the path to the deathless’. His clear and profound teachings on the cultivation of heedfulness otherwise known as Satipatthana or the Four Foundations of Mindfulness is the path for the purification of beings for the overcoming of sorrows and lamentation, for the destruction of all mental and physical sufferings, for the attainment of insight and knowledge and for the realisation of Nibbana. This has been verified by his disciples. It is therefore a path, a technique which may be verified by all irrespective of caste, colour or creed.”

“In the yogic culture, Buddha Pournima is a very significant day in any spiritual aspirant’s life because this is the third Pournima after the earth shifts to the northern run of the sun. Today, in commemoration of Gautama the Buddha, we have named it after him. The energies of this night are considered to be very conducive for one’s inner evolution.”

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