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GK of the day: Why Buddha Purnima is celebrated?

GK of the day: Why Buddha Purnima is celebrated?

The festival Buddha Purnima is the celebration of Gautam Buddha’s birth and falls on the full moon in the Hindu month of Vaisakha. Buddha Purnima 2019 was commemorated on 12 May.

The festival is also recognized as Vesak or Buddha day. Vesak holds immense significance for followers of Gautam Buddha and his path.

Buddha Purnima is an international festival which is celebrated by people who have chosen to walk on the path of Gautam Buddha and is also observed as a public holiday in countries like India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and others.

Gautam Buddha who was earlier known by the name of Prince Siddhartha Gautama has a long history and his stories that led to the foundation of Buddhism are inspiring and enlightening at the same time. The Celebration of this festival promotes the two basic beliefs in Buddhism Karuna or kindness and ahimsa or non-violence.

Buddhism Timeline

Date(s)

Historical Event(s)

5th Century BCE

Life of Shakyamuni Buddha, based on whose teachings Buddhism developed.

269-231 BCE

Reign of King Ashoka, patron of Buddhism; sends first Buddhists to Sri Lanka in the third century.

100 BCE to 100 CE

Rise of Mahayana Buddhism.

First half of 2nd century CE

Reign of King Kanishka; Mahayana Buddhism spreads to Central Asia.

1st century CE

Buddhism first enters China.

520

First Zen patriarch Bodhidharma arrives in China.

538

Buddhism enters Japan from Korea.

7th to 8th century

Vajrayana Buddhism established in Tibet.

11th to 14th century

Theravada Buddhism established in Southeast Asia.

1199

Nalanda University destroyed; demise of Buddhism in India.

13th century

Zen, Pure Land, and Nichiren Buddhism established in Japan.

1881

Pali Text Society founded.

1893

World Parliament of Religions (Chicago).

1956

Celebration of 2,500 years of Buddhism.

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