Buddha Purnima 2023: Date, time, significance and famous sites

Buddha Purnima holds a special significance among Hindus as it marks the 2585th birth anniversary of Lord Buddha. It is also famous by the name of Buddha Jayanti among people. Buddha Purnima falls on a full moon day in the month of Vaishakh, as per Hindu Panchang. And, this year it is being celebrated today, […]

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Buddha Purnima holds a special significance among Hindus as it marks the 2585th birth anniversary of Lord Buddha. It is also famous by the name of Buddha Jayanti among people. Buddha Purnima falls on a full moon day in the month of Vaishakh, as per Hindu Panchang. And, this year it is being celebrated today, May 5.

The teachings of Gautam Buddha are celebrated worldwide with great enthusiasm and zeal. According to the Hindu Panchang, the Purnima Tithi begins on May 4 at 11:44 PM and ends on May 5 at 11:03 PM.

Significance of Buddha Purnima

Buddha Purnima holds great religious significance among people who follow Buddhism. People recite the teachings of Lord Buddha and also spread his teachings among people around them. It is also believed that Gautam Buddha was born in 563 BCE in Lumbini, Nepal and died at the age of 80 in Kushinagar, Uttar Pradesh in 483 BCE. Though nobody knows the exact date of his birth and death.

According to the methodology, this is the day when he attained enlightenment under the Bodhi Tree in Bodh Gaya, and also celebrated as Vesak. There are three major pilgrimages of Lord Buddha, first is Sarnath where he taught the Dharma and in Kushinagar where he left his body, and the most important site is Bodh Gaya where he spent his life. Many people visit the place to offer prayers.

Famous sites of Lord Buddha

One of the well-known Buddhist places in Odisha is Dhauli or Dhauligiri, where many Buddhists congregate year-round and even more on Buddha Purnima. It is situated 8 kilometres to the south of Bhubaneswar.

On the bank of the Daya River, between the state of Kalinga, ruled by Raja Ananda Padmanabha, and the Maurya Empire, ruled by Emperor Ashoka, is where the Kalinga War took place. Emperor Ashoka won the bloodiest battle. Thereafter, Emperor Ashoka accepted Buddhism and started spreading it. The teachings were first spread by Emperor Ashoka in Odisha, which consequently started spreading worldwide.

Shanti Stupa, often known as the Peace Pagoda globally, was built atop the Dhauli hill as a reminder of the tragic Kalinga battle. Both the Kalinga Nippon Sangha and the Odisha Government worked together to build it. The gleaming white historical landmark with a dome-shaped design took two years to build. It was formally opened on November 8th, 1972.

On each of the four sides of the monument are four enormous statues of Lord Buddha, each in a different position, including a relaxed position. In addition, there are several stone panels on the walls that show episodes from the Kalinga War and Emperor Ashoka’s metamorphosis.

People from around the nation keep visiting around the year to these famous sites. The tranquility of the place keeps attracting them.

When was Buddha Purnima considered a National Holiday?

Dr B R Ambedkar, then the minister of law and justice, was the one who started India’s national holiday to celebrate Buddha Purnima. Although it is observed throughout India, according to the Indian calendar, it is particularly observed in Sikkim, Ladakh, Arunachal Pradesh, Bodh Gaya, the Lahaul and Spiti district, Kinnaur, various regions of North Bengal, including Kalimpong, Darjeeling, and Kurseong, and Maharashtra (where 77 percent of all Indian Buddhists reside). Buddhists visit common Viharas to participate in a service-like, full-length Buddhist sutra that is a little longer than usual.

The day is remarked by different names all over the world and is celebrated with great enthusiasm. Asian countries, like Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, Mainland China, Hong Kong, India, and Japan also celebrate Buddha’s birthday as per the Tibetan calendar.