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Buddha Purnima 2024

Focus: GS I- History

Why in News?

The President of India greets the nation on the eve of Buddha Purnima.

Buddha Purnima: It is a celebration of Buddha’s birthday and, for some Buddhists, marks his enlightenment (when he discovered life’s meaning). Buddha Purnima is also known as Wesak (Vesak) or Buddha Day.

Vesak is celebrated once a year. This year, it falls on Thursday 23rd  May.

About Gautama Buddha:

  • He was born in Lumbini, near the Indo-Nepal border, as Siddhartha Gautama to a royal family in around 563 BCE.
  • His ancestors belonged to the Sakya clan, which governed from Lumbini’s Kapilvastu.
  • At the age of 29, Gautama left home and abandoned his affluent lifestyle in favour of asceticism, or intense self-discipline. Gautam gained Bodhi (enlightenment) under a pipal tree in Bodhgaya, Bihar, after 49 days of meditation.
  • Buddha preached his first sermon in Sarnath, Uttar Pradesh, near Varanasi. Dharma Chakra Pravartana is the name given to this occurrence (turning of the wheel of law).
  • He died at the age of 80 in 483 BCE at Kushinagara, Uttar Pradesh. The event is known as Mahaparinibban or Mahaparinirvana.
  • He is believed to be the eighth of the ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu (Dashavatar).

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.

Four Noble Truths of Buddha: 

  1. World is full of suffering;
  2. Desire causes suffering;
  3. When we get rid of Desire, suffering will be removed;
  4. Eightfold path will help to win over desire.

Eightfold Path consists of 

  1. Right view,
  2. Right resolve,
  3. Right speech,
  4. Right conduct,
  5. Right livelihood,
  6. Right effort,
  7. Right mindfulness and
  8. Right concentration.

Condition of Human in their life depends upon their own deeds. Hence, he advocates law of Karma.

He laid great emphasis on the code of practical ethics and the principle of social equality.

June 2024