To the Buddhists all over the world this day is of three-fold importance. This is so because this day commemorates three important events of Buddha's life. Thus, this day is thricely blessed. It was on this day that Lord Buddha was born, gained enlightenment and also gained Nirvana when he died. It is believed that Lord Buddha is the ninth avatar or incarnation of Lord Vishnu. It was about in the fifth century that Lord Gautam Buddha lived and died. And this is much before the Christian era. Lord Buddha is the founder of the religion Buddhism and Buddha Purnima is celebrated in his remembrance.
Enlightened one is the meaning of Buddha. This if explained means someone who is completely free from all faults and mental obstructions. Here it should me mentioned that the philosophy of Buddhism does not entail any theistic world-view. To liberate the human beings from the miseries and sufferings of life are the main aim and teachings of Buddhism. As per Buddhism, sorrow and desire are the main causes of all the evil and suffering in this world.
Lord Buddha advocated the Eightfold Path which consisted of notions and percepts like right conduct, right motive, right speech, right effort, right resolve, right livelihood, right attention and right meditation to gain mastery over suffering. One can reach the ultimate aim of Nirvana if the person is able to follow this principle fully. The state when one achieves complete liberation is called Nirvana. To spread this message Buddha traveled far and wide and there were widespread followers who believed in his teachings and practised it
On how Buddha Purnima is celebrated-
There are certain simple methods and rituals associated with the celebration of Buddha Purnima. There are prayers, sermons, and non-stop recitation of Buddhist scriptures in the monasteries and homes alike. The monasteries in Sikkim see day long reading of the Buddhist scriptures by the monks before the statue of Buddha. The common people listen to this recitals. Moreover, people offer gifts to the monks on this day. Devotees offer to the Buddha statues flowers, candles, incense sticks, fruits etc. The Bodhi tree under which Buddha attained enlightenment is also adorned with garlands and colored flags. People also sprinkle milk and scented waters on its roots and light lamps around it.
Moreover, on this day the Buddhists wear only white clothes. And they also reaffirm their faith in the Panchsheel, which are the five principles. These are not to take life, not to steal, not to lie, not to imbibe liquor or other intoxicants, and not to commit adultery. Also on this day the Buddhists do not eat meat. Buddhism thus follows certain simple principles and their followers try to adhere to these.