There were many sages who came, preached about the need and path to be followed for harmony and got their teachings imprinted in the pages of history, after their decease. Many had their followers then and have a huge following till now that worship them as their divinity. Among this league of monks, arose a legendary figure in form of Buddha, who redefined the essence of life and the way of annihilation of sufferings. We find Buddha Idols ubiquitously and that speaks of the number of believers in the ascetic’s principles and the respect, he is looked upon with. The historical character has achieved this reverence, not only through his sermons, but the struggle that he went through for gaining the eternal knowledge.
The Buddha Purnima Festival:
The day of Buddha Purnima on the Full moon day in the fourth lunar month or Vaisakh and is the commemoration of three significant events- Birth of Buddha, Reaching Enlightened Stage by Him, Release from Life and Death cycle through attainment of Nirvana (extinction). Visiting Buddhist temples, feeding deprived people, donating them food and necessities, freeing birds from cages, etc. are common practices on this day. The day is also named as Vesak and is considered a highly auspicious occasion.
The observance on this day takes the form of a huge celebration in Bodh Gaya, the place where he is believed to have attained enlightment. Many pilgrims from all around the world congregate in this small town which has many shrines and monasteries dedicated to Him. The environment is filled with the divine vibes during group prayers and meditation, as well as, processions. Decoration of temples having Buddha idols is also done along with the recitations of Buddha’s teachings and resolutions to abide by them.
The Sacred Preaching of Buddha:
Buddha, the ascetic, who gained the spiritual state after many years of renouncing his royal life, is an example of greatest will power. He did not opt to stop till he gained the eternal wisdom or “truth of life”. His teachings are generally embedded in the ‘Eightfold Path’ laid as principles of Dharma to get relief from worldly sufferings. These principles of the Eightfold Path are symbolised through eight spokes of the Dharma Wheel, an emblem of Buddhism and they are – right view, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness and right concentration.
The best thing about faith in Buddhism is that, the religion does not preach the concept of a Spiritual Guardian who protects us from various atrocities and help us find the liberation path from this earthly world of illusion. Instead, the faith is all about recognising oneself, washing away one’s own impurities and making efforts all through meditation and good practices to advance to salvation or Nirvana. Although the great sage never considered himself as a God, but advertised himself as a teacher, he is worshipped with all heart by lakhs of people worldwide. His idols are found in form of Online Divine Gifts in e-shops, as well as, in all the markets, where Puja products are found.