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Lord Buddha was the founder of Buddhism. He was born as Siddhartha to the king Shuddhodhana and his wife Maya Devi, in Lumbini, present day Nepal, in 623 B.C. and was raised in Nepal. He achieved enlightenment at Bodh Gaya under the Bodhi tree. Sarnath was the place he had delivered his first sermon at after achieving enlightenment. He reached the Parinirvana or the deathless state at Kushinagar.
Got Married At A Mere Age Of Sixteen Years
Siddhartha's mother died much early after his birth because of which he was taken care of by his mother's sister. It was out of the fear that he might give up the materialistic world that his father got him married at a young age of 16 years. He lived as a prince in Kapilvastu for 29 years of his life, after which he renounced the world and became a hermit.
Predictions About Siddhartha's Life
A story goes that once, after the birth of Siddhartha, a sage had told his parents, that the boy will take up a renunciation from the world. A famous sage had examined the footsteps of the boy Siddhartha and said that the boy will either become a sage or a famous king. At the time of the naming ceremony of the child, his father invited eight priests. All of them predicted that the boy will either become a king or a learned sage. Kondana, one of them declared that the boy will become a Buddha.
This brought the parents in fear. Fearing this, they gave him all the pleasures of the materialistic life. They tried all that they could, to keep him from becoming a hermit, but all in vain.
What Inspired Siddhartha To Become Buddha
One day, while Siddhartha was out, he observed three unpleasant sites on the way, which were that of an ill person, an old person and a dead body.
The intelligent boy realized the reality of life and knew that there is no denying to the truth that materialistic life is sure to end up in sorrow. He even realized that desires are the cause of all the sorrows on earth. He propagated the same belief throughout his life and gave various sets of principles that could help in freeing oneself of these desires.
He believed in the eight-fold path of right view, right resolve, right conduct, right speech, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness and right samadhi.
Siddhartha Renounces The World And Becomes Buddha
After he had decided to renounce the world, Gautama first went to Rajagaha and began begging in the street for alms. The king of the Rajagaha came to know about this and offered Siddhartha his throne. But the determined Siddhartha denied for it and promised to return to the king's palace once he attains enlightenment.
Siddhartha then left Rajagaha and went to practice meditation under two teachers. He had realized that meditation was the right path for attaining knowledge and for self-awareness. However, he was still unsatisfied and continued the quest further.
According to one incident, when Buddha was not satisfied by any of the methods, he finally sat under a peepal tree and vowed never to arise until he had found the truth. This made the five companions of Buddha believe that his search with the self had failed and that he had become indisciplined, as a result of which, they stopped staying with him. After a period of 49 days, he achieved the enlightenment under the same tree. This tree became famous as the Bodhi Tree and the place as Bodh Gaya in Bihar.
He was in search of a path that should be the most suitable for asceticism. This is how he found the eightfold path. The path that is the most desirable and should be adopted by all, as he had said. This eight-fold path has been discussed in the holy book of Buddhism - Dharmachakraprvartanaay, also known as the Dhamma.
Buddha Purnima is the day when Lord Buddha was born. This day falls every year on the fifteenth day in the month of Vaishakh during the Shukla Paksh. This year Buddha Purnima is on 29th April, 2018. the timings are 6:37 AM on 29th to 6:27 AM on the 30th.
It Is Celebrated In Many Countries
The event is called Buddho Purnima in Bangladesh. The President and the Prime Minister deliver speeches on this day and fairs are held, in and around the temples. Processions depicting the life of Buddha are also conducted.
In China, people light incense before the deity and offer food to the monks. The festival is celebrated with huge religious fervor in other countries as well, such as Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, North Korea, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea and many more.
People visit the temples associated with Buddha on the day of Buddha Purnima and conduct pilgrimage at the places associated with his life such as his birthplace and the place of his enlightenment, the Bodhi Tree.