Visakha Puja Day marks the three important incidents in the life of Lord Buddha on the same day – the full moon of the sixth lunar month. The three significant separate event are :
1. The Buddha’s Birth – the Buddha was born into a royal warrior clan in the Lumbini Garden (in an area of Northern India known today as Nepal) In the morning of the Vesak full moon day, 80 years before the Buddhist Era. He was named Siddhattha five days after his birth.
2. “The Enlightenment of Buddha – While sitting under the Bodhi tree, he found his answer and attained the enlightenment at the age of 35 years at Uruvelasenanigama subdistrict, Magadha state, (nowadays, located in the area of Buddha Kaya, Bihar State, India), on Wednesday, the Vesak full moon day, the zodiac of the cock, forty five years before the Buddhist Era.
3. The Nibbana – The Buddha passed away on Tuesday, the Vesak full moon day in the zodiac year of the small snake under the two Sal trees in the Sala Grove of the Mallas in Kusinara, the capital of the Malla state, (nowadays located in Kusinagara of Uttrarapradesa, India) at the age of eighty years (around 2547 years ago).
Visakha Puja (Vesak) means the worship of the Buddha on the full moon day of the sixth lunar month. It usually falls in May. In the case of a year with an extra eighth lunar month–Adhikamasa (there are 13 full moons in that year)– the Visakha Puja Day falls on the full moon day of the seventh lunar month.
1.2 Significance ::
Visakha Puja Day is recognized as most important memorial day in Buddhism for the Lord Buddha who wandered from place to place teaching his discoveries to people who are accessible to the instruction, helping large a number of people achieving various levels of spiritual attainment. He sent his followers to spread Buddhism in capitals, cities and upcountry, until Buddhism was firmly established and widely spread. Visakha Puja day is also recognized by the UNESCO in 1999 as “World Heritage Day”. Thailand where is the permanent location of the World Fellowship of Buddhists, is chosen to host celebrating event for the day.
1.3 An International Day of the United Nations ::
On December 13, 1999, the United Nations as the World Organization performing various activities accepted by the world wide population has unanimously resolved to declare the Visakha Puja Day (Vesak Day) as an International Day on December 15, 1999. This brings a lot of joy to the worldwide Buddhists.
1.4 Custom of Visakha Puja Day Rite ::
Every year when this important day comes around again, all Buddhists throughout the world gather together to perform the worship to recollect the wisdom, purity and compassion of the Buddha. Activities generally to be observed on the Visakha Puja Day are :
‘TUM BOON’ *;Going to temples for special observances, making merit, listening to Dharma preaching, giving some donations and join in the other Buddhist activities.
‘RUB SIL’ *;Keeping the Five Precepts, including abstinence from alcoholic drinks and all kinds of immoral acts.
‘TUK BARD’ *;Offering food to the monks and novices (in the alm bowl).
Practice of renuciation: Observe the Eight Precepts, practice of meditation and mental displine, stay in the temple, wearing white robes, for a number of days.
‘VIEN TIEN’ *;Attending the Candle Light Procession around the Uposatha Hall, in the evening of the Vesak full moon day.