Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on May 16, 2011
– His birth in 623 BC.
– His enlightment i.e. attainment of supreme wisdom, in 588 BC.
– His attainment of Nirvana i.e. the complete extinction of his self at the age of 80.
This day is a thrice blessed day. Lord Buddha is considered the ninth avatar (incarnation) of Vishnu (Preserver in the Hindu Holy Trinity of Creator-Preserver-Destroyer). Gautam Buddha “lived and died in about the fifth century before the Christian era”. Buddha means “enlightened one” – someone who is completely freefrom all faults and mental obstructions.
Gautam Buddha was not a god and the philosophy of Buddhism does not entail any theistic world-view. The teachings of the Buddha are solely to liberate human beings from the misery and sufferings of life.
According to the Buddhism, sorrow and desire are the main cause of all the evil and suffering of this world. Lord Buddha advocated the Eightfold Path consisting of precepts like right conduct, right motive, right speech, right effort, right resolve, right livelihood, right attention and right meditation to gain mastery over suffering. It is only after following this path one can reach the ultimate aim of Nirvana. Nirvana is the transcendental state of complete liberation. Gautama Buddha lived and taught in northern Inda in the 6th Century B.C.
Buddha travelled far and wide teaching hundreds of followers. Even after death his disciples continued to spread his teachings.
Rich and poor alike were attracted by the simplicity of Buddha’s teaching and his emphasis on complete equality of all, a notion antithetical to the existing Hindu caste system. The Mauryan Emperor Ashoka espoused the Buddhist religion in the 3rd century B.C. and helped in spreading it far and wide. Sarnath and Bodhgaya are two of the most important pilgrimage centres for the Buddhists.
Though Buddha was born in Lumbini, Nepal and the religion has gained tremendous popularity throughout the Far East in Asia, there are very few practising Buddhists in the country. The number of Buddhists in the world ranges “from less than two hundred million, to more than five hundred million, with the lower number closer to reality.”
Buddha Purnima 2011 Date: May 17