On coming May 16, Lumbini, the birthplace of Lord Buddha, will be seen abuzz with a host of events in celebration of the 2566th Buddha Jayanti, the day Lord Buddha was born.
The Lumbini Development Trust is preparing for celebrating the 2566th Buddha Jayanti in a grand manner as the celebration was limited to a symbolic presence in two previous years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Trust will not only organize programmes on the birth anniversary of Lord Buddha, on May 16 but there will be a three-day celebration, prior to and post the Buddha Jayanti, said Dhundiraj Bhattarai, treasurer of the Trust.
Bhattarai, who is also the coordinator of the publicity sub-committee, shared that a special programme will be organized at Devdaha, the natal home of Buddha’s mother. Another sideline event will be held at Ramgram in Nawalparashi where the Astadhatu, literally meaning eight metals, is kept.
On May 16, President Bidya Devi Bhandari and Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba will participate in the main event in Lumbini. A chariot procession will be held at Tilaurakot, the place where Buddha spent 29 years, on May 17, informed the Fund.
On Buddha Jayanti, traditional lamps are lit surrounding the Mayadevi Mandir, the spot where queen Mayadevi is believed to have given birth to Prince Siddhartha. Special worship is offered to Lord Buddha where monks and nuns and followers also meditate forming a commune and praying for world peace.
A total of Rs 10 million has been allocated to observe Buddha Jayanti with fanfare. Lumbini Day is also being observed on the same day for some years.
Lord Buddha was born to the queen of Kapilvastu Mayadevi and king Suddodana in 623 BC as Prince Siddhartha Gautam on the full moon day of the Nepali month of Baisakh.
Born and brought up in the royal palace, prince Siddhartha left his palace and consort and newborn son in quest of supreme knowledge. He attained enlightenment in Bodhgaya after meditating in various places for nearly 6 years.
In the Hindu faith, Buddha is also considered the 9th incarnation of Lord Vishnu.
Coincidentally, his birth, enlightenment and death occurred on the full moon day of Baisakh. The propounder of Buddhism, Buddha’s teachings is followed by millions of people not only in Nepal and neighbouring India and China but also in many countries across the world such as Sri Lanka, South Korea, Cambodia and Japan among others.
The government of Nepal has been declaring a public holiday on Buddha Jayanti since 22 May 1951.