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Hindu Festival

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Buddha Jayanthi

The year 2550 B.E. falls on 12th May  2006 CE( Wesak Full Moon Poya Day). On Full Moon Poya day in the year 623 BC a Prince was born to Queen Maha Maya in the park called Lumbini at Kapilawassththu which was on the borders of Nepal. He was a noble Prince of Sakyan Clan. King Suddodana was his farther. Queen Maha Maya - the mother died after seven days of the birth of prince. The Royal baby was named Siddartha as he was the future Buddha.

Prince Siddartha after having engaged in his studies and at the age of sixteen was married to beautiful cousin Princess Yasodara. After the marriage he led a happy and luxurious life in the Royal palace. The Prince was so compassionate towards humanity, and he was reluctant to enjoy the luxuries in the Royal palace. He felt the sorrows and the suffering the humans experienced outside the Royal Gates. The sensual pleasures valued highly by the ordinary people were not accepted by the Prince. Prince Siddartha was a person destined to be a Buddha and finally made his historic journey at the age of twenty-nine, leaving his beautiful Princess and the infant son on a Full Moon Poya Day of Esala in search of truth. The Prince Siddartha was not worried about the departure as Yasodara and the infant son had everything in abundance and utmost protection in the Royal palace.

Prince Siddartha became and Ascetic and followed the doctrines of several leading teachers of that time. However, he was not satisfied with their final achievements. The Ascetic Siddartha decided to achieve the realization of truth in an independent way. He followed a life of strict asceticism. He followed practices of harsh and severe methods for six long years to find the truth. Those practices tormented him and left no strength to achieve his goal. His efforts were futile and he changed his mind through his personal experiences to give up self-mortification to adopt the independent path called the middle path.

During the course of middle path, one Wesak night at Gaya under a Pippala tree (now called Bodhi tree) the ascetic Siddartha attained Enlightenment. In the first watch of the night he developed through meditation the super normal knowledge which helped him to recall his past lives. This faculty is called "Pubbenivasanusmathi Gnana". In the middle watch he developed the super normal vision. This vision deals with death and rebirth of beings and it is called "Chutuppata Gnana". In the last watch of that night he developed the super normal knowledge with regard to the elimination of passions. This knowledge is called "Asavakkya Gnana". This knowledge comprehends things in their true nature. As such he attained the perfect enlightenment called "Samma Sambodhi".

The ascetic Siddartha attained Buddha hood in his thirty fifth year and he devoted the remaining years of his life to help humanity to get rid of suffering. He preached Dharma to all intelligent beings to understand the real situation prevailing in the world. Hence sever all attachments which promote Thanha and halt the Sansaric journey.

This extra ordinary human being attained Parinibbana at the age of eighty. It is Two Thousand and Five Hundred and Fifty years since his passing away, as a gesture of respect and devotion all Buddhists in the world celebrate the occasion on 12th May 2006. Wesak Poya Day is not recognized for Parinibbana alone but also for Prince Siddartha's birth and enlightenment, which took place on Wesak Full Moon Poya Day.

The Government of Sri Lanka celebrates this occasion with great patronage. In addition to Sri Lankan Government involvement all Buddhists Organizations celebrate this 2550 Buddha Jayanthi in May with great veneration.


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