Kolkata, May 10, 2017: The birth anniversary of Gautama Buddha is celebrated today as Buddha Purnima or Buddha Jayanti during the month of Vaishakha. Gautama Buddha, whose birth name was Siddhartha Gautama, was a prince who later went on to become a spiritual and philosophical leader and founded Buddhism based on peace, love, and harmony.
Even though the exact time of Gautama Buddha’s birth and death is uncertain, his lifeline is dated between 563-483 B.C by most historians and researchers. Lumbini in Nepal is widely considered as the as the birthplace of the prophet. Buddha passed away at the age of 80 at Kushinagar, Uttar Pradesh.
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Buddhists have a number of pilgrimage sites but Bodh Gaya is the most important pilgrimage site as it is related to the life of Gautama Buddha. Sarnath, Lumbini and Kushinagar are other three important pilgrimage sites for Buddhists. The followers of Lord Buddha believe that Gautama Buddha obtained Enlightenment at Bodhgaya and he first taught the Dharma and his philosophies at Sarnath.
It is also believed that the day Gautama Buddha obtained Enlightenment and the day he passed away are the same. Buddha Purnima is also popularly known as Buddha Jayanti, Vesak, Vaishaka and Buddha’s Birthday.
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Lord Buddha is considered as the 9th incarnation or ‘Avatar’ and Lord Krishna as the 8th incarnation of Lord Vishnu in North India. However, In South Indian belief, Buddha is never considered as an Avatar of Vishnu. Instead, in South India it is believed that Balarama is the 8th incarnation and Krishna is the 9th incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Even the majority of Vaishnava movements count Balarama counted as an incarnation of Vishnu, not Buddha. Buddhists don’t consider Buddha as an incarnation of Lord Vishnu as well.
This year it will be the 2579th birth anniversary of Lord Buddha. The Purnima timings are:
Purnima Tithi Begins around 01:07 on May 10, 2017. Purnima Tithi Ends around 03:12 on May 11, 2017.
Here’s wishing a very happy Buddha Purnima to all!
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