Devotees marks Buddha birthday

By SHALENDRA PRASAD, Fiji Daily Post, May 9, 2009

Suva, Fiji -- IN what is believed to be a first for Fiji, locals are gearing up to celebrate the birth of Gautama Budh, commonly known as Buddha by disciples all over the world.

The Buddha has millions of followers mostly in Asian countries.
Siddhartha was born in Lumbini and raised in the small kingdom or
principality of Kapilvastu, both of which are in modern day Nepal.

At the time of the Buddha’s birth, the area was at or beyond the boundary of Vedic civilisation, and it is even possible that his mother tongue was not an Indo-Aryan language.

After seeing the troubles and despairs of this world, he gained
enlightenment and left to preach in China and the rest of the ancient
Asian nations.

Buddha has had millions of followers all over the world over thousands of years.

One devotee most commonly remembered with Buddhism was emperor
Ashoka who was a key figure in promoting the teachings of Buddhism to far-reaching areas together with his son Mahendra and daughter Sanghamitra.

They were able to convert followers to Buddhism in masses including the king, queen and people of Sri Lanka in ancient times.

Ashoka, who ruled as far as Iran and Afghanistan during the Maurya dynasty, is believed to have built many Buddha temples and statues in the greater Asian area of the ancient times.

Buddha Purnima or Buddha Jayanti is the most sacred day in the Buddhist calendar.

The most important festival of the Buddhists, Buddha Purnima falls on the full moon day of the lunar month Vaishaaka (that corresponds to the month of April-May).

To mark this auspicious occasion the Vatuwaqa Sai Centre has teamed up with Toorak, Narere, Nausori & Wainibokasi Sai Centre’s for this
celebrations today (Saturday May 9) from 4pm to 5:30pm at the MGM High School Hall in Vatuwaqa.

The Sai Centre has extended an invitation to all EduCare children and their parents to try and make it to this auspicious occasion as devotees contemplate on ‘The Life and Teachings of Lord Buddha’.