Buddha Purnima is a good time to remind ourselves of the Buddhas that walked the earth. According to tradition, the historical Buddha, Gautama Siddhartha was born during the full moon in the month of May, attained enlightenment on the same day in the 35th year of his life, and died on this day when he was about 80 years of age.
In India the day goes largely unnoticed. My conjecture is that because Buddha Purnima is not celebrated in the West with the traditional gusto accorded to Valentine’s Day, Christmas, Santa Clause (the fat man is an event all by himself), Halloween, and other such secular holidays, Indians don’t have a clue that this day is of any importance. One of these years, when Buddha Purnima is added to the list of events enthusiastically promoted by the commercial interest of the West, the innate desire to ape the West will add Buddha Purnima to the current list of celebrations observed by Indians. I hope the American marketers wake up and smell the incense and promote Buddha Day soon so that it will no longer go unnoticed by Indians.
The Bodhisattva Vows:
However innumerable sentient beings are, I vow to save them.
However inexhaustible the defilements are, I vow to extinguish them.
However immeasurable the dharmas are, I vow to master them.
However incomparable enlightenment is, I vow to attain it.
May I attain Buddhahood for the benefit of all sentient beings.
Here is something that I had written last year on The Birth Anniversary of the Buddha.