Kathmandu: Buddha Purnima is being celebrated today. It not only marks the day when Gautam Buddha was born but also the day when he attained Nirvana under the Mahabodhi tree at Bodh Gaya. Lord Buddha was born as Prince Siddhartha Gautama on the full moon day in 563 BC at Lumbini in Nepal. In Hinduism, Buddha is considered as the ninth avatar of Lord Vishnu. His birth anniversary is also known as Vaisakhi Buddha Purnima or Vesak.
This day is commemorated by Buddhists and Hindus all over the world and is a major festival in countries like India, Nepal, Bhutan, Burma, Thailand, Tibet, China, Korea, Laos, Vietnam, Mongolia, Cambodia, Singapore, Indonesia and Sri Lanka.
Buddha Purnima: The Purnima or full-moon day of the month of Vaisakha is connected with 3 important events in the life of the Buddha – Birth, Enlightenment and Parinirvana. It is the most sacred day in the Buddhist calendar.
Some of the places associated with Lord Buddha :
1. Lumbini : Lord Buddha was born in 623 BC in the sacred area of Lumbini located in the Terai plains of Nepal, testified by the inscription on the pillar erected by the Mauryan Emperor Asoka in 249 BC.
2. Bodh Gaya: Buddha attained enlightenment here.
Bodhgaya Buddha temple is made entirely of brick and is one of the few marvels of architecture standing from the Gupta period.
3. Sarnath: The deer park in Sarnath is where Gautama Buddha first taught the Dhamma, and where the Buddhist Sangha came into existence through the enlightenment of Kondanna.
4. Kusinagara: Lord Buddha left his corporal self here and attained Mahaparinirvana.
5. Shravasti was the capital of ancient Kosala kingdom. It is here that Lord Buddha performed the greatest of his miracles to confound the Tirthika heretics. These include Buddha creating multiple images of himself, which has been a favourite theme of Buddhist art.
6. Sankasya is said to be the place where Lord Buddha, according to legend, descended from heaven where he went to preach AbhiDharma to his mother and other Gods.
7. Rajgir was a place where Lord Buddha frequently went into retreats and where his wicked cousin Devadatta made numerous attempts on his life. The first Buddhist Council was also held at the Saptaparni cave on Vaibhara hill, soon after the parinirvana.
8. Vaishali: Gautama Buddha is said to have visited it three times during his life- time. In one of these visits several monkeys are said to have offered the Lord a bowl of honey, an incident mentioned among the eight great events in the life of the Master
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