This weekend many people around the world celebrated the 2560th Buddha Jayanti, also referred to as the birth anniversary of the Gautam Buddha.
Groups of Buddhists gathered across India, Nepal and many other countries around the world to pay particular focus on advocating respect, world peace and non-violence everywhere.
The Buddha’s birthday is also known as the Buddha Purnima and is celebrated on the full moon day as per the lunar calendar every year.
One of the Buddhist Monks said on the day:
“We have all gathered on this auspicious occasion this weekend to pray for happiness for everyone, to wish for an end to suffering everywhere and to promote world peace during a time of much difficulty for many people. We feel this is the least we can all do in order to make good things happen.”
According to legend, briefly after the birth of young prince Gautama, an astrologer named Asita visited the young prince’s father King Suddhodanand and prophesied that Siddhartha would either become a great king or renounce the material world to become a holy man, depending on whether he saw what life was like outside the palace walls.
Śuddhodana was determined to see his son become a king, so he prevented him from leaving the palace grounds. But at age 29, despite his father’s efforts, Gautama ventured beyond the palace several times. In a series of encounters—known in Buddhist literature as ‘the four sights’ he learned of the suffering of ordinary people, encountering an old man, a sick man, a corpse and, finally, an ascetic holy man, apparently content and at peace with the world. These experiences prompted Gautama to abandon royal life and take up a spiritual quest.
I’m drawn to the story of Buddha, and I do love historic fables like this which my grandparents would often talk to us about when we were kids. The concept of observing many ills of societies as by-standers that we have become is something I find quite a challenge in adulthood and proactively taking action even in small ways is something I would certainly advocate, and something I guess the story of Buddha can help us understand in some way too.
And even just the concept of groups of people wishing well for others selflessly, and without any intention but to promote goodness all-round for others is something I guess we could all try and attempt in order to make our very own small difference to others and our own lives daily. Bring Altruism back into fashion I say… and lets get rid of the darn selfie-obsessed, “Me, Me, Me” trap so many of us fall into! FEEL FREE TO SHARE YOUR OWN THOUGHTS VIA OUR TWITTER PAGE.
Music in video by: Kevin Macleod