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Significance of Buddha Purnima

Published : Wednesday, 22 May, 2024 at 12:00 AM  Count : 544

Significance of Buddha Purnima

Significance of Buddha Purnima

Happy Boishakhi Purnima or Buddha Purnima. The day is an unforgettable day for the Buddhist community. It is because there are three memorable events of the Tathagata Buddha around this date.  The significance of this tri-smritivijirit tithi is very great.  All Purnima Tithis hold some significance for the Buddhist community.  However, the Baisakhi Purnima Tithi is very different from other Tithi.  About three years ago, due to the coronavirus, Bangladeshi Buddhists could not celebrate a full moon festival in Bihar collectively. It was because the event was shortened to comply with government-mandated hygiene rules.  Currently, the Buddha Purnima is being celebrated with great pomp and festivity.  

All the Buddhist communities of the world including Bangladesh celebrate the eventful aspect of Baisakhi Purnima on this day.  This day is a public holiday.  Every Buddhist monastery forms a committee and prepares for the celebration of Baisakhi Purnima fifteen days in advance.  We rejoice in the three-membered Baisakhi Purnima.  Buddhas words are very important during the transition period of the nation.  In the struggle of life, we are very helpless in many ways.  Being able to overcome man-made adversities is the true characteristic of a human being.

Late at night, Punyavati Mayadevi is fast asleep on the throne.  He dreamed while sleeping.  That day was the Ashadi Purnima festival in Kapilavastu city.  The queen, tired of the whole days festivities, saw in her dream last night that four dykes came from all directions and picked her up along with the bed.  The queen saw thousands of lotuses in a beautiful moonlit lake.  Red in beauty and blush.  A white elephant is frolicking in that lake.

The elephant came forward at the arrival of Mayadevi.  The elephant inserted a colourful lotus into Mayadevis right nostril.  This awakened a wonderful sensation in the queens body.  Mayadevi woke up.  He sat up on the couch.  He is the royal buffalo of King Shuddhodhana, the king of Shakya kingdom.  I saw one!  The next day the queen narrated the dream in detail to King Shuddhodhana.  The king without delay summoned the astrologers and asked them astrologers for a detailed interpretation of the queens dream.

The astrologers said - Maharaj, Queen Mayadevi will have a son. This son will be Mahatejaswi and Yasaswi Mahapurusha.  You will be the father of a son who is calm, deep, rare in the world, suffering from suffering and great wisdom.  But there is also news of despair and pain involved. There are some minus-separation signs.

King Shuddhodhana looked on in awe and directed the astrologers to reveal the facts.  They said Mayadevi would die prematurely seven days after giving birth to a son.  This death is inevitable.  On the one hand, the news of the arrival of the great man in the palace, on the other hand, the news of the imminent death of Mayadevi, King Shuddhodhan is upset.  In due course, Mayadevi sought the kings permission to go to Pitralaya Devdahnagar.  Mayadevi is the eldest daughter of King Sutrabuddha of Devdahnagar.  Baisakhi Purnima Tithi has arrived.  Earlier the king had made all arrangements for the queens visit to her fathers house.  On the appointed day, the pregnant Mayadevi started her journey towards her fathers house on a chariot with Sakhidal.  The beauty of his face was pain, mercy and softness of touch.  She will give birth to a bright divine man.  On her way to her fathers house, Mayadevi went into labour as soon as she reached Lumbini Kanan.

A Padma-Palasha-Lochan Brahmayoga self-absorbed child was born the future Buddha of the world.  Lumbini Gardens became a sea of light sourced from creation.  Absolute charm of perfection.  Mayadevi is apathetic yet joyful, Jagajjanani Jyotirmayi.

The mother and Tejaswi were brought back from Lumbinikakan to the royal palace in Kapilavastu Nagar in a grand procession. Gaya Bodhi tree, Rahulmata Gopadevi, four Nidhikumbhas, four Mars elephants, charioteer Chandaka and Amatyaputra Udayi were also born on this day.  Each of them was specially associated with the great Gautama.  That day was Baisakhi Purnima Tithi.  Mayadevi died prematurely seven days after the birth of Jyotirmaya Purusha, who was devoted to divine knowledge. Mayadevis death was mourned by the kingdom.  All the lights in the courtyard of the palace were extinguished.

Polygamy was practiced among kings in ancient times, so King Shuddhodhana also had several buffaloes.  Among them, Monomadhuri Mayadevi was the kings main wife.  The king requested his other wife Gautami to take over Siddhartha.  Gautami also accepted the responsibility of Siddhartha without thinking at all.  As a result, Siddhartha spent his childhood with the endless affection of his wife Gautami.

Prince Siddharth is now the perfect adolescent, quiet figure.  King Suddhodhana started thinking about his sons education. Appointed Vishwamitra, the chief scholar of Shakyaraja, for the highest and all forms of education.  Later, on an auspicious day, the chief scholar Vishwamitra brought the prince to King Suddhodhana and said, "Your majesty, the princes education is over."  I have nothing left to give him. Rajkumar developed his talent even in daily education in a very short time.  He has no more education left.  A prince skilled in all sciences.

After achieving so much, the prince is worried and lonely but undaunted.  This news spread around in a short time.  King Shuddhodhana is also worried about his son.  He knew something like this would happen. This is his fortune, written on his forehead.  The king saw that Siddharthas body was becoming more radiant as he grew older.  His belief and concern about something is increasing.  What faith, what confusion!  King Suddhodhana can guess anything.

Despite various efforts to overcome the apathy of the prince, the king could not succeed.  One day he organized a chariot race in the state just to get Siddharth back.  The contestants are - Nanda, Ananda, Devadatta and Prince Siddhartha.  It was announced that the first person in the competition will be specially rewarded.

As usual, the competition started.  Four contestants added horses to the chariot.  Then the journey began.  First slowly, then fast, faster, faster and finally meteoric.  The scene began to change moment by moment.  In the blink of an eye, the prince crossed the Sakya kingdom. Behind, far behind Nanda, Ananda and Devadatta.

Prince Siddharth came first in the competition.  He was awarded a special award as announced by the king.  This established the confidence of the king.  The family members of the royal palace and the assembled crowd brought Siddhartha to the royal palace with joyous sounds. Siddharth wins, unopposed in the competition.  But he has no interest, no joy in this competition.  However, he did this work out of a sense of duty, it was his duty to obey his fathers orders.

I wrote very briefly about the tri-amnesia incident.  Vaishakhi Purnima Tithi was also the day Kumar Siddhartha left home and attained Buddhahood through severe sadhana and penance.  Todays Baisakhi Purnima Tithi is also the day on which he attained Mahaparinirvana by spreading Buddhism after attaining Buddhahood.  Lets all forget caste differences and join in one row and take the oath of human welfare in this turbulent world.  May everyones life be filled with endless joy.  May all beings in the world be happy.

The writer is a researcher, PhD on Comparative Religions, University of Rajshahi

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