This year, Vishaka Bucha day, is of great importance to Buddhists throughout the world, as it’s the 2,600th anniversary of Lord Buddha’s enlightenment. Vishaka Bucha day falls on, the full moon, of the sixth lunar month, which this year, coincides with June 4th. It commemorates three significant but separate events of Lord Buddha, which fell on the same day of the full moon, and sixth lunar month, those being:
• the birth of the Lord Buddha;
• his attainment of enlightenment, and;
• his passing, from this temporal world, to Nibbana.
An extraordinary aspect of these three separate occasions; is that the three incidents, took place on the same day, but in different years.
However, as I said before, this year, Vishaka Bucha, holds a special significance as it will also mark the 2,600th anniversary of Lord Buddha’s Enlightenment.
On this occasion, the Sangha Supreme Council (Mahathera Samakhom) and the Office of National Buddhism of Thailand, have organized celebrations, throughout the Kingdom of Thailand, to commemorate the birth of the Buddhist religion under the theme of “Buddha Jayanti: 2,600 years of Buddhist Enlightenment”. The Sangha Supreme Council, resolved, that the Buddha Jayanti celebrations, should be held during the week-long Vesak, or Visakha Bucha, Festival. The Royal Thai government, every Buddhist temple, and other organizations, will join force, in holding the celebrations of Buddha Jayanti, not only during Vishaka Bucha day, but throughout the year.
The word, “Jayanti” is derived from the Sanskrit term “Jaya”, which means victory. This refers to the triumph of \\\ //// Siddhartha over the Maras (demons) and Kleshas (temptations), which then led to the enlightenment of Lord Buddha, and the birth of the Buddhist religion. Nowadays, the term “Buddha Jayanti” has also been interpreted as the victory of the Buddhist religion and its followers as well.
The Buddha Jayanti celebration in Thailand, was officially launched on the recent Makha Bucha day, which fell on March 7. The celebrations, which were hosted by the Thai government, included activities to allow Buddhist followers to worship the Lord Buddha as well as dedicate the fruit of their merit-making to \\ ///// ////// \\ //// on the occasion of his 84th anniversary.
Major celebrations to mark the Buddha Jayanti will take place on the three most important days of the Buddhist religion: Makha Bucha, Visakha Bucha and Asalha Bucha. Academic seminars and other activities to promote Buddhist teachings, or Dharma, to families and community members will also be held at various venues, including the Phutthamonthon grounds, the Queen Sirikit National Convention Center, Muangthong Thani, Siam Paragon, and temples nationwide.
In Thailand the activities planned and instituted to celebrate this special occasion will focus on spreading the Buddha’s teachings and Dhamma practice, throughout the year. The Government has included the celebrations in the national agenda. Buddhist leaders from all over the world will be invited to join the celebrations in Thailand, especially the international seminar of Buddhists. A mass ordination of 99 monks has been held from last May 25th to this June 8th, as part of the Visakha Bucha Festival, and as a tribute to \\ ///// the //////.
The Buddha Jayanti celebration flag, consists of a sacred green leaf of the Bho tree, decorated with traditional kanok motifs, which encircles the Dharmachakra resting in the center, of the Thai national flag. The flags will be widely distributed to people, so they can be flown or hung in their homes; they will also serve as a token to remind us of the significance of this reverent celebration.
Apart from rejoicing in the 2,600th anniversary of Buddha’s Enlightenment, the objective of the Buddha Jayanti celebrations is to remind Buddhist devotees to “do good deeds, avoid evil actions and purify the mind”, which is one of the core teachings of the Buddhist religion.
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