Buddha Purnima 2022: It is one of the main festivals celebrated in the Baisakh month and marks the birth anniversary of Siddhartha Gautama. He later came to be known as Lord Buddha. It is believed that on this day he attained enlightenment. Buddha Purnima falls on a full moon night mainly between April and May. This year, it is observed on 16 May.
Buddhism was atheistic in nature and accompanied by cosmic rise and fall. It never questioned the existence of God but believe that there is nothing like a supernatural of different forms. That is Buddhists don't believe in a personal god. They believe that nothing is fixed or permanent and change is always possible. The Enlightenment path is through the practice and development of morality, meditation, and wisdom.
1. He was born in Lumbini near Kapilavastu which is now in Nepal.
2. He belongs to the Sakya clan. Suddodhana was his father and Mayadevi was his mother.
3. Prajapati Gautami was his foster mother who brought him up after his mother’s death.
4. He married Yasodhara at the age of 16. Rahul was his son.
5. Three incidents compelled him away from worldly life. I.e. an Old Man; a Diseased Man; a Corpse; and an Ascetic.
6. He left home in search of ‘Truth’ at the age of twenty-nine but his seven years of wandering hadn’t given fruitful results.
7. At the age of 35, he got enlightenment under a ‘Bodhi Tree’ after intense penance called ‘Nirvana’.
8. He delivered his first sermon at Sarnath.
9. He died at Kushinagar when he was at the age of eighty.
10. Sariputta, Moggallanna, Ananda, Kassapa and Upali was the disciples of Buddha.
11. Prasenjit of Kosala, Bimbisara & Ajatasatru of Magadha accepted the Jainism.
Teachings of Buddha
Buddhism was essentially a congregational religion and the reason for human misery is ignorance- a sort of cosmic ignorance which leads to the delusion of selfhood.
1. Four Noble Truths of Buddha: The world is full of suffering; desire causes suffering; getting rid of desire; suffering will be removed; Eightfold path will help to win over desire.
2. Eightfold Path consists of the right view, right resolve, right speech, right conduct, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration.
3. Condition of humans in their life depends upon their own deeds. Hence, he advocates the law of Karma.
4. He laid great emphasis on the code of practical ethics and the principle of social equality.
Spread of Buddhism
1. Monks (Bhikshus) and Lay worshipers (Upasikas) were two types of disciples of Buddha.
2. Sariputta, Moggallana and Ananda were important monks of Buddhism.
3. Mauryan Emperor Asoka embraced Buddhism after the death of Buddha.
1. First Buddhist Council was held at Rajgir immediately after the death of Buddha presided by Mahakasapa for the purpose to maintain the purity of the teaching of Buddha.
2. Second Buddhist Council was held at Vaishali.
3. Third Council was held at Patliputra under the patronage of Asoka and presided by Moggaliputta Tissa. The final version of Tripitaka's was completed in this council.
4. Fourth Council was held at Kashmir by Kanishka under the Chairmanship of Vasumitra. Mahayana Buddhism came into existence in this council.
After the Fourth Buddhist Council, other small Buddhist councils were held.
Reason for the decline of Buddhism
1. The revival of Brahmanism and the rise of Bhagavatism led to the decline of popularity.
2. Birth of Mahayana started idol worship which was not propagated by Buddha that deteriorated the moral standards of Buddhism.
3. Invasions of Huns (5th & 6th century) and Turkish (12th century) resultant the mass destructions of monasteries.
Contribution of Buddhism to Indian Culture
1. The concept of Ahimsa became one of the cherished values of our nation.
2. The architectural concept of stupas, monasteries, chaityas, and viharas was notable. For example- Stupas of Sanchi, Bharhut, and Gaya.
3. Promoted education through residential universities like Nalanda, Taxila, and Vikramshila.
4. Development of languages like Pali and Prakrit