Buddha Jayanthi festival

By: Tanya

Culture Class: January 5th

Who is buddha?

Lord Buddha is considered the ninth avatar of Vishnu. Buddha means the "enlightened one" free from all faults and obstructions. He preached that sorrow is the cause of all evil and suffering in the world. Lord Buddha also constructed the eightfold path which included the freedom of speech, religion, movement and effort. He was the founder of Buddhism and did not consider himself as a God. The most famous pilgrimage centers for buddhists are Sarnath and Bodhgaya centers. He was born in Lumbini, present day Nepal.

What is the Buddha Jayanthi festival?

This festival commemorates Buddha's birth in 623 BC, his enlightment and attainment of wisdom and attainment of Nirvana. It is celebrated all over the world where Buddhism is practiced. Buddhists bring flowers, sweets, and candle offerings. Devotees chant prayers and teachings buddha preached. Devotes are encouraged to be Vegetarian for the day. In some countries such as Sri Lanka, all liquor shops and slaughter houses are shutdown for two days in honor of the festival. Also, birds,insects and animals are released because of the "symbolic act of liberation", giving freedom to ones who are caged or imprisoned against their will.

When is the Buddha Jayanthi festival celebrated?

The festival is celebrated on the full moon of the Baisakh month. It will be celebrated in 2013 on May 25th. The festival usually falls in April or May depending on the country.

What did Buddha Teach?

Summary of teachings:
Do not harm or kill any living creatures.

Do not steal things or do not take anything which is not yours.

Do not do any misconduct.

Do not lie, speak truth always.

Do not drink or eat anything which intoxicates your brain.


First Noble Truth: The first truth is that life is suffering. Life includes pain, getting old, disease, and ultimately death. Buddhism explains how suffering can be avoided and how we can be truly happy.

Second Noble Truth: The second truth is that suffering is caused by craving and aversion. Craving leads to physical suffering because it causes us to be reborn.

Third Noble Truth: The third truth is that suffering can be overcome and happiness can be attained; that true happiness and contentment are possible. We then have more time and energy to help others. This is Nirvana.

Fourth Noble Truth: The fourth truth is that the Noble 8-fold Path is the path which leads to the end of suffering.

Noble 8-fold Path: In summary, the Noble 8-fold Path is being moral (through what we say, do and our livelihood), focussing the mind on being fully aware of our thoughts and actions, and developing wisdom by understanding the Four Noble Truths and by developing compassion for others.

The Lotus

The most common flower seen in Buddhist shrines, or on the base of statues, are lotuses, as they represent the potential or actuality of Enlightenment.

• The lotus grows out of the mud and blossoms above the water surface, yet it is not dirtied by the mud from which it grows.
• The Buddha is likened to the lotus. Like a lotus that rises out of a muddy pond, the Buddha rose above the defilements and sufferings of life.

This is a preview of the movie "Life of Buddha" which is available to watch on Youtube in it's entirety.

"Life of Buddha" (trailer)
Buddham saranam gacchami I go to the Buddha for refuge. Dhammam saranam gacchami I go to the Dhamma for refuge. Sangham saranam gacchami I go to the Sangha for refuge.