Vesak Full Moon Poya Day.
Vesak (Buddha Purnima, Buddha Jayanti) is a Buddhist festival that marks Gautama Buddha’s birth, enlightenment and death. It falls on the day of the full moon in May and it is a gazetted holiday in India.
Of all Poya days, the Vesak Full Moon Day is of utmost significance as it marks three major events in the life of Lord Buddha. It was on a day like this that the birth, enlightenment and the passing away of Lord Buddha took place.
On Vesak Full Moon Day, over two thousand and six hundred years ago the last birth of Bodhisattva took place at Lumbini Sal Park.
It is said that the newborn child had walked on seven Lotus flowers which emerged suddenly before him.
After coming into direct contact with the stark realities of life, “Sathara Pera Nimithi” – a sick man, a decrepit old man, a corpse and a monk – the prince was determined to become an ascetic.
One peaceful Vesak night, as he was seated under the famous Pippala tree at Buddha Gaya, he attained Perfect Enlightenment- and became Sammasambuddha. .
According to Buddhist history, Buddha’s third visit to Sri Lanka was also taken place on a Vesak Full Moon Day. Buddha visited Kelaniya at the invitation of Naga King Maniakkhika of Kelaniya.
At the age of eighty years, Gautama Buddha had his last meal offered to him by cunda. He rested on the couch placed between two Sala trees in the Upavattana Sala grove and attained Parinibbana on a Vesak Full Moon Day.