Buddha the synonym of peace is the laminitis of Buddhism. The adoring of Lord Buddha is the center of attention in the ceremony called Buddha Jayanti. It is celebrated at the end of the day of a bright lunar fortnight of Baishakh month of every year according to the Nepalese calendar.
Buddha Jayanti is concerned with the life story of Gautam Buddha and discerning his teachings. Along with Nepal, Buddha Jayanti is celebrated in Thailand, Myanmar, and Bhutan, and by Buddhist people all around the world.
Buddha Jayanti celebrates the birth of Buddha with an all-night vigil of butter lamps and electric lights in late April or early May at the Swayambhunath stupa in Kathmandu Valley.
Overshadowing hundreds of smaller images, a massive gilded figure of Buddha is carried in a colorful procession down the many steps to a cloiter where religious rites continue throughout the day before the Buddha is returned to its hilltop shrine.
At the Bodhnath stupa, on the other side of the valley, and image of Buddha is mounted on the back of an elephant and paraded around the dome. Ribbons of colorful flags stretch from the gilt-copper pyramid that surmounts the stupa, as the monks below blow their long copper horns. In the crescendo of the climax, everyone hurls fistfuls of ground wheat into the air.
The centerpiece of the festivities is the large portrait of the Dalai Lama held head high and shielded under a large canopy.
Gunla (July to August) is a month-long celebration marked by massive pilgrimages to the Buddhist shrine at Swayambhunath.
Buddha Jayanti in Nepali Date
Next year in 2080 B.S. in the Nepalese calendar, the 2564th Buddha Jayanti is going to be celebrated on the 22 of Baisakh month.
Why is Buddha Jayanti Celebrated
It is believed that Lord Gautam Buddha was born On the day of Buddha Jayanti. It is also believed as the day on which Lord Buddha got enlightenment and the day on which Lord Buddha died. He is born in the family of Shakyamuni King Suddhodana, ruling over Kapilvastu of Nepal. Lord Gautam Buddha, he was born in 6th Century B.C. in Lumbini, Kapilvastu from the queen Maya Devi as Siddhartha Gautam.
During his birth, the astrologers predicted that prince Siddhartha Gautam will be either the great ruler or the great saint. So, King Suddhodana wants to see his son as a great ruler and want to prevent him from being a saint. So, he kept his son in the separate palace with all pleasures and services cutting off him from the outside world. King perform marriage ceremony of Siddhartha Gautama to the princess Yasodhara, daughter of King Suppabuddha. They gave birth to a son Rahula.
After happening all these activities, King Suddhodana convinced himself that from then his son Siddhartha Gautam could not become a saint. But his prediction becomes wrong.
When Siddhartha Gautam comes in contact with the outer world, he realizes the harsh reality of life. His mind is struck by numerous questions after seeing the sick person, the old age man, and the dead person. He became so desperate to find the answer to his questions. So, at the age of 29, he left his palace to find his own quest for life.
In the search of his quest, he met different talented scholars and learn their teachings. He performs fasting, meditation to find his quest.
Lastly, he was able to get enlightenment at Bodhgaya under the Bodhi tree at the age of thirty-five and became known as Lord Gautam Buddha from Prince Siddhartha Gautam.
After getting enlightenment, he begins to teach people of various countries nearly forty-five years of his life and made many faithful disciples. Finally, at the age of 80, he passed away (Maha parinirvana) at Kushinagar of India.
Later, King Ashoka of India, he built the pillar of the inscription at Lumbini, marking Lumbini as the exact place of birth of Buddha. King Ashoka is also the followers of Lord Buddha.
Many monasteries, temples were built around the birthplace of Buddha. So, people worship Lord Gautam Buddha from very ancient times. There is diversity in worshipping Lord Buddha.
People of some countries pay special attention to the Bodhi tree on Buddha Jayanti, some people show kindness to an animal. Though there is diversity in worshipping, the devotee of Buddha all over the world is the lover of peace.
In Nepal, Late King Mahendra is the first person to a declared national holiday on Baishakh Purnima as Buddha Jayanti in 2012 B.S. He also banned killing an animal on this day. United Nations gave international recognition to Buddha Jayanti on 2056 B.S. So, by this way tradition to perform Buddha Jayanti was set up.
So, as a whole Buddha Jayanti is the day to worship, to show respect to Lord Buddha. It is the day of peace, enlightenment, and kindness.
CELEBRATED BY: Buddhist people in the whole world.
CELEBRATED AT: in the whole world by a devotee of Buddha.
Read More: Festival and events in Nepal
How is Buddha Jayanti Celebrated in Nepal, rituals performed:
This is the day of great devotion to Lord Buddha. In Nepal, along with Buddhist people, Hindu people also show equal respect to the Lord Gautam Buddha and worship him with deep respect and gratitude. So, Buddha Jayanti is also the synonym of religious harmony and love among people.
On this day, a special ceremony is performed at Bouddhanath and Syambhunath of Nepal. The circulation of the statue of Lord Buddha occurs at various places in Nepal. Also, people perform rallies at different places on this occasion. A devotee of different countries visits Lumbini of Nepal to worship Lord Buddha. Along with Nepal, Bodhgaya of India is also visited by devotees during this occasion. So, both India and Nepal carry equal historical evidence of Lord Buddha. It also helps to keep the warm relationship of being a good neighborhood between Nepal and India.
A devotee of Buddha buy birds and animals of the cage and set them free on this occasion. So, this occasion is also the day with full of kindness. Devotee also performs charity to monk and nun on this occasion.
Deliverance of speech by famous Buddhist Gurus about the life of Lord Buddha and his teachings is performed on this day. Devotee also visits stupas and shrines on this occaision.
Family members are gathered and go to a sacred places such as Bouddhanath, Syambhunath and various Gumbas and shrines on this day. Family members also pray Lord Buddha on this occasion for the peace of the departed soul of the dead family members. Along with this family members enjoy by gathering and one place and eat delicious food and show love to their family members.
So, as a whole, Buddha Jayanti is the day of peace to worship light of Asia, Lord Gautam Buddha. Everybody should follow the path of Lord Buddha to bring peace in their country and in the whole world.