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The never-ending journey of peace continues as the world celebrates 2564th Buddha Jayanti. Mostly Celebrated by Buddist and Hindus Buddha Jayanti is an extremely peaceful and uplifting occasion with its main aim of sharing the message of world peace. Also known as Buddha Purnima it is an auspicious day for every Nepalese and devotes all over the world. Which celebrates the life of the Siddhartha Gautam Buddha who is the first founder of Buddism which stands for peace, non-violence, and harmony.
Uncertainly this year Buddha Jayanti fell-short due to Global Crisis.
The sacred festival observed a completely different atmosphere compared to its previous year activities. All predominantly Buddhist regions of Nepal witnessed very little movement due to Strict Lockdown. One of Holy stupa Swayambhunath main entrance were sealed by the administration to control the mass gathering while the country is dealing with increasing coronavirus Cases each and every day. The nation had Just extended the lockdown for few more weeks. Which resulted in canceling all major events suggesting people stay home for their own safety.
But celebration still continued in the nation with strict lockdown measures continued. As Buddha Purnima celebration is all about praying with the purest of feelings. Activities like prayer meet, religious discourses, group meditation, and worship of the statue of Buddha were conducted in a low profile with very little gathering. Various Special program was organized in different parts of the country, which one of them is a दीप प्रज्ज्वलन समारोह (candle lighting ceremony) in the birthplace of Gautam Buddha Lumbini Nepal. The ceremony was to honor hundred of peoples who lost their lives in this global pandemic and support frontline forces who are battling against Covid-19. Special prayers, chanting, and monuments were decorated with flowers and lamps.
Some special parts of the festive celebration remained unaffected. Devotees had herself busy in the kitchen continuing ongoing culture of preparing Kheer, (a sweet rice porridge). The sweet kheer traditionally served to recall the story of Sujata, a maiden who offered the Buddha a bowl of milk porridge.
Buddhists paid special attention to Buddha’s teachings. Alongside everyone, they stand with humanity in this time of Global difficulty. They Actively helped each other distributing economic relief like food or goods to organizations that help the poor, elderly, and those who are sick. While Nation’s statement to make no one starve during lockdown is yet to be justified.
A Virtual World took a big leap.
Prayer ceremonies on the occasion were streamed live from the Sacred Garden Lumbini (Nepal), Mahabodhi Temple (Bodhgaya, India); Mulgandha Kuti Vihara, Sarnath; Parinirvana Stupa, Kushinagar; Pirith Chanting from Ruwanweli Maha Seya in the sacred and historic Anuradhapura stupa premises, Sri Lanka; Boudhanath, Swayambhu, Namo Stupa, Nepal, apart from other popular Buddhist sites. All Global Buddhisms organizations came together holding a virtual prayer event with the participation of all the supreme heads of the Buddhist Sanghas from around the world.
This year Buddha Jayanti was an unexpected turn facing sudden irregularity. Most of the people remained home recalling the message stories of Gautam buddha without any mass gathering in the outer surface. Whereas, Hundreds of people marked this different Buddha Jayanti day to be remembered. While the celebration started in the early morning and ended at the end of the day.
Buddha is one of the greatest pride of Nepal holding a great responsibility for the start of Buddhism all over the world. The fundamental goal of Buddhism is peace in all worlds. As the current world is suffering from a great deal of mental and psychological problems. Buddhist teachings can help us to overcome to eliminate mental suffocation, suffering, and unhappiness. As one great teaching of Buddha illustrates,
If the minds of living beings are at peace, the world will be at peace.
May this Buddha Jayanti lead mental peace and good health of all our surroundings.