May 24, 2017: Maasa Sivarati
May 25, 2017: Rohini Karthe
May 26, 2017: Kara Veera Vratam, Bhadra Chatustaya Vratam
You may also be interested in quotations on Buddhism.
Lord Gautama Buddha, actually named Siddhartha by his parents, was born on the Full Moon night in the Lunar month of Vaisakh (Also known as Vaisakha or Vesak as in Sinhalese). The month of Vaisakha has a significance in the life of Lord Buddha. His birth, enlightenment and nirvana all happened in the month of Vaisakha masam, on the full moon night that generall falls in the months of April or May. Gautama Buddha is the founder of the Buddhist religion and is believed to be an the 9th avatar of Lord Vishnu.
Prince Siddhartha is born a Kshatria (rulers / worriors) in 543/556 BC in Kalpataru, now called as Lumbini in Nepal. He is believed to have lived a very sheltered and life in luxuries of palaces till the age of 29 under his father's instructions and was kept completely ignorant of the tragedies of everybody in day to day life. Once, he persuaded one of his charioteers to take him out of the palace walls to the outside world. A tour in the kingdom however made Siddhartha see some shocking incidents. Siddhartha saw the harsh realities of life. He saw an old man, a sick and disabled person and a dead body for the first time in his life.
The fourth vision was of an ascetic who looked peaceful, led Siddhartha to search for the true meaning of life, renounce the luxury and worldly pleasures and look for enlightenment. After years of study, meditation and sacrifice, wandering over many places, he ultimately got attainment (Nirvana) in Bodhgaya under a Peepal tree. Since then, Siddhartha became to be known as Gautama Buddha.
The teaching and principles of Gautama Buddha have imbibed into a religion called Buddism. Buddhism is one of the most ancient and highly philosophical Indian Tradition. Buddha means awakened one, someone who has awakened from the sleep of ignorance and sees things as they actually are. Buddhism is Buddha's teachings and the inner experiences has eighty four thousand teachings. All these teachings and the inner realizations of them constitute Buddhism.
Incidentally, Buddha Purnima is also the day on which Lord Buddha attained enlightenment. Lord Buddha is popular for his Five Principles of Life and the Path of Eightfold Truth.
Pilgrims from all over the world come to Bodh Gaya in India to participate in the Buddha Purnima celebrations that highlight prayer meets, religious discourses, recitation of Buddhist scriptures, group meditation, processions and worship of the statue of Buddha.
According to Indian Calender, this day falls in the month of Vaisakha masam. Prayers, sermons and non stop recitations of Buddhist scriptures resonate in monasteries, religious halls and homes. In monasteries in Sikkim, monks hold day long readings of the scriptures before Buddha's statue. The lay people listen to these recitals, and also give gifts to the monks and the statue. The statue of Buddha, in fact, receives special attention everywhere with the people offering it incense, flowers, candles and fruits. The Banyan tree called the Bodhi tree for its part Buddha's enlightenment also receives a fair share of garlands and colored flags adorn it. People also sprinkle milk and scented waters on its roots and light rows of lamps around it.
Buddha Poornima falls on the following days in the respective years:
2013: September 10, 2013
2012: September 21
2009: May 9
2007: Tuesday, May 2
2006: Saturday, May 13