Vesak Day 2020 or Buddha Purnima 2020 is the commemoration of Lord Buddha’s birth, enlightenment, and death. This day holds special significance for Buddhists everywhere. Purnima, i.e., the full moon day of the hindu month of Vaishakha was decided to be celebrated as Vesak Day or Buddha Purnima by the World Fellowship of Buddhists. As Buddhism spread from India and was assimilated into other religions, the celebrations for Vesak Day 2020 now differ from place to place. Consequently, the date for this festival also varies among the countries. Thus, in India the celebration occurs on the Purnima of Vaishakha month, which means that Vesak Day 2020 will fall on Thursday, 7 May this year. However, there can sometimes be two full moons in May during which most countries celebrate Buddha Purnima 2020. Therefore, Vesak Day 2020 festivities occur according to the local traditions. For example, Taiwan celebrates the second Sunday of May as Vesak Day 2020, the same day as Mother’s Day, since 1999.
On Vesak Day 2020, devout Buddhists and followers will gather in temples before dawn and hoist the Buddhist flag, ceremonially and honorably; while singing hymns in praise of the holy triple gem. This holy triple gem; namely, Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha describe Gautam Buddha, his teachings, and his disciples, respectively. Followers of Buddhism offer flowers, candles, and incense sticks in the feet of their teacher; symbolizing that just as these things will come to an end through burning out or decay, so will human life. Vegetarian food is encouraged on Vesak Day 2020, while some countries like Sri Lanka will even close all the liquor shops and slaughterhouses, by decree of the government.
|Vesak Day 2020||Thursday||May 7, 2020||Vaishakha Purnima|
Vesak Day 2020 is the most sanctified festival of Buddhist community, dedicated to their prince Gautam Buddha. As per the Hindu Calendar, this day is observed on the full-Moon night (Purnima) in the Hindu month of Vaishakha. Let us learn everything we can about Vesak Day 2020.
Vesak Day 2020 is known by various names in different parts of the country. Some of these include: Buddha Jayanti, Buddha Purnima, Buddha’s birthday, Wesak, Vesak, Hanamatsuri, and Saga Dawa. The significance behind the Vesak Day 2020 boils down to three main reasons in Buddhism. Let us read all about it.
Vesak Day 2020 is celebrated as the birthday of Gautam Buddha, who is said to have founded Buddhism. Buddha Jayanti is a day of celebration of Gautam Buddha’s life and his journey from life to death. For the buddhist community Vesak Day 2020 is of utmost importance and the following are the reasons for it:
On a full-Moon night, Gautam Buddha, originally named Siddharth (one who attains all goals) Gautam was born to King Kapilavastu and Mayadevi. Being an only child, he has access to all the luxuries and led a pampered childhood. He didn’t know anything beyond his castle gates. At the time of his birth, it was predicted that Siddharth will become a great sage, and enlighten the world with his teachings. Thus, the King and his Queen did all they could to ensure that he was not allowed to witness any atrocities or appalling crimes of humanity. Siddhartha Gautam was married early to Yashodhara and was blessed with a son.
But at the age of 29, fate intervened and Siddhartha stepped out of his palace. When he came face to face with the cruelty of humanity, like old age, disease, and death, he came to realize the cycle of birth and death. Post this, Siddharth left all the luxuries, pleasures, and comforts of life in order to understand the real meaning of life, and thus became Gautam Buddha.
Buddha on his quest for the truth, traveled to different places and reached Bodhgaya. He followed the path of self denial, discipline, and shunned the path of self indulgence. Under the Bodhi tree at Bodhgaya during the month of Vesak (Vaishakha month of Hindu calendar) on the day of Purnima, Gautam Buddha attained enlightenment. He delivered his first sermon to a group of five companions at Varanasi, who were thereafter given the name Sangha (company of Buddhist monks).
Another important event associated with the celebration of Vesak Day 2020 is the attainment of Salvation by Gautam Buddha. According to some scriptures, on this day itself, Purnima of Vesak, Gautam Buddha attained Nirvana or Moksha and left this world.
Below are the teachings of Lord Buddha, that are still practised today. Let us know about these teachings in detail, in commemoration of Vesak Day 2020.
Gautam Buddha gave the Four-Noble truths when he founded Buddhism. These noble points of Buddhism are:
The Eightfold Noble Path
In Buddhism, along with the eightfold path, five basic principles are also followed, as laid by Gautam Buddha. These “Panchsheel” or five principles are:
On Vesak Day 2020, some special arrangements are made in order to please Gautam Buddha and humanity. This Vesak Day 2020, we will once again witness the same rituals being practiced. Let us find out what these rituals are:
Thus, this Vesak Day 2020 celebrate the birth, enlightenment, and death of Gautam Buddha with these rituals.
The occasion of Buddha Purnima is celebrated across the globe. Let’s take a look at Vesak Day 2020 celebrations and what you should look forward to.
Bodhgaya is an extremely special place for the celebration of Vesak Day 2020, as Gautam Buddha attained enlightenment on this day at Bodhgaya. People in huge gatherings decorate the Mahabodhi temple with flowers, lights, and colorful flags. Along with that, people worship the Bodhi tree, as this tree holds a lot of importance and spiritual significance, because Lord Buddha attained enlightenment under this tree.
The National Capital of Delhi will also witness tremendous celebrations of Vesak Day 2020. On this day, the mortal remains of Lord Buddha are taken out of the National Museum. People visiting the museum can see these remains. Similarly, the Buddhist Temple is also a center of attraction on Vesak Day 2020.
In Gangtok, a procession of the monks is carried out on Vesak Day 2020. Sacred texts and scriptures are read on this day.
The celebrations of Vesak Day 2020 are not confined only to India, but are also spread across the globe. Let us have a look at these Vesak Day 2020 celebrations outside India.
Vesak Day 2020 or Buddha Purnima is known as Hanamatsuri 2020 in Japan. Every year on April 8, as per the solar calendar, this day is celebrated as Buddha Jayanti. It is also believed that on this day, a dragon appeared in the sky and offered Soma (drink used in vedic rituals) to Lord Buddha. Therefore, on this day, devotees offer sweet tea (Shinbutsu Shugo) to Buddha Idols.
In Sri Lanka, the celebration of Vesak Day 2020 will continue for about a week. During this week, no alcohol or non veg is bought, sold, or eaten as decreed by the government. During Vesak Day 2020 festivities, Toranas (temporary structures) are placed across the street, depicting the stories of Buddha. People in Sri Lanka hang lights (Vesak Koodu) at their doorsteps. These lights are a symbol of enlightenment.
Nepal is considered to be the home and birthplace of Lord Buddha. Thus, Vesak Day 2020 is a major festival for the natives there. The streets of Nepal witness the celebration of the birth of Lord Buddha, and the temples are elaborately decorated. The Swayambhu Temple’s main entrance is especially opened for the devotees to offer their prayers and worship Lord Buddha on Vesak Day 2020. Various pilgrims visiting the temple, offer their donations in terms of money, food, and clothes to the needy and homeless.
This Vesak Day 2020, devotees from all around will celebrate the day with full enthusiasm and zeal. Gautam Buddha may not be a God, but his teachings, practices, and the eightfold path, almost equates him to God. As a result, Vesak Day 2020 is an important day when one should remember, follow, and preach his teachings for all of humanity, whether they follow Buddhism or not.
This Vesak Day 2020, you don’t look for happiness and bliss around, as it is right inside you.