Today is Buddha Jayanti– the Day of the Full Moon in the month of May (Baisakha –Nepali calendar month).
On the occasion of the 2567th Buddha Jayanti, pilgrims are flocking to Buddhist pilgrimage sites across the country today. Likewise, the Buddhist shrines in Kathmandu on the hill tops of Swayambhu as well as Boudhhanath in the downtown capital have been thronged by Buddhist followers since early morning.
Buddha Jayanti is celebrated every year on the full moon day of Baisakh. Today, Siddhartha Gautam, who was born as the ninth incarnation of Lord Vishnu, is celebrated by worshiping and preaching to commemorate the contribution made by Siddhartha Gautama for the establishment of world peace.
Buddha Jayanti is the most sacred day to millions of Buddhists around the world. Today—full moon day of Baisakh is Lord Gautam Buddha’s tri-conjunction. It was on the day Siddhartha Gautama who is also known as “Light of Asia” was born in Lumbini garden in Rupandehi district in 563 BC i.e. 2567 years ago to father King Suddhodhan and mother Mayadevi on the full moon day of Baisakh. It was also on the Day that the Buddha attained enlightenment, and it was on the Day that the Buddha in his eightieth year passed away.
Buddha was born in Lumbini of Nepal, enlightened in Sarnath of India and Mahaparinirvana (died) in Kushinagar of India on the same day in his life.
Thus, various programs have been organized in Lumbini where the Prime Minister and other high-level personalities attended the events.
The Astu Dhatu of Lord Buddha is kept for public viewing in the Anandakuti Vihara in the Swayambhu complex.
World observed Buddha Jayanti by expressing great respect and devotion to Gautama Buddha. On this day, various programs including special worship of Buddha are celebrated in Buddha’s temple, Gumba, Vihar, Math, Stupa and Chaitya.
Delivering the message on the occasion, President Ramchandra Paudel has said that it is a matter of pride for Nepalese that Nepal is the birthplace of Gautam Buddha, who is respected as the beacon of world peace.
“Lord Gautam Buddha’s message of non-violence and peace will always inspire the best interests and progress of individuals, families, society, country and the world and can be made developed and attractive destination by following the inspiring teachings and guidance of the Lord Gautam Buddha – the Messenger of Peace,” stressed the President and added further that “National unity can be made stronger and stronger by maintaining tolerance and mutual harmony between religious, social and cultural diversity.”
Likewise, Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ has said activism coupled with mutual harmony, collaboration and unity being proud of Buddhist philosophy and teaching was a true homage to Buddha.
In his message, on the occasion of the 2567th Buddha Jayanti, the PM Dahal said Buddha’s renunciation, thoughts and practice for the overall welfare and peace of human beings was a historical moment for Nepali people.
“The self-knowledge the peace apostle Gautam Budhha had attained through a rigorous process and sense of great departure is still a matter of wider significance. The teaching of non-violence, human welfare and peace shown by Buddha is popular and epochal across the globe”, the message reads.
PM Dahal expressed the government’s commitment to promote and develop all Buddhist areas including Lumbini, the birthplace of Buddha.
The United Nations’ General Assembly, by its resolution 54/115 of 1999, recognized Buddha Jayanti as an International Day to acknowledge the contribution that Buddhism, one of the oldest religions in the world, has made for over two and a half millennia and continues to make to the spirituality of humanity.
This day is commemorated annually at the UN Headquarters and other UN offices, in consultation with the relevant UN offices and with permanent missions, which also wish to be consulted.
The teachings of the Buddha, and his message of compassion and peace and goodwill have moved millions. Millions around the world follow the teachings of the Buddha and on the Day commemorate the birth, the attainment of enlightenment and the passing away of the Buddha.
Delivering a message on the day, UN Secretary-General António Guterres has said that “At this time of strife, the Buddha’s teachings of tolerance, compassion, and service to humanity are a source of solace and strength. As we navigate the path to a better future, let us seize the spirit of Lord Buddha’s Day.”
For Buddhists everywhere it is indeed a felicitous opportunity to celebrate his message of compassion and devotion to the service of humanity.
“The Buddha’s philosophy lies at the heart of the Charter of the United Nations and should be prominent in all our thinking, especially during this International Year of Peace” said the then Secretary General of the United Nations Javier Perez de Cuellar.
“In today’s world, the teaching and guidance of Lord Buddha is perhaps more relevant than ever before. Peace, understanding and a vision of humanity that supersedes national and other international differences are essential if humanity is to cope with the complexities of the nuclear age,” the Secretary-General, Javier Perez de Cuellar said in his message delivered on the Buddha Jayanti Day in May 1986.