The three most significant events in the life of Gautama Buddha occurred on the same day.

His birth, enlightenment and death (nirvana), all happened on a full moon night in April/ ay. This ma!es the day " called Buddha #urnima or Buddha $ayanti " all the more sacred for Buddhists. Belo% %e have provided a brief biography of Gautam Buddha.

Buddha &elic

The Buddha %as born 'iddhartha Gautama in ()) B*, to +ing 'huddhodhana and ,ueen ayadevi, rulers of -umbini, .epal. According to legend, 'iddhartha/s %ife 0ashodhara, his charioteer *hanna, his disciple Ananda and his horse +anta!a %ere also born on Buddha #urnima day. The Buddha or the 1nlightened 2ne %as also !no%n as 'ha!yamuni because he belonged to the 'ha!ya clan, %hile his family name %as Gautama.

The ,ueen died shortly after his birth and the ,ueen/s younger sister, aha #a3apati Gotami, %ho %as also married to the +ing, adopted the child %hile entrusting her o%n son, .anda, to the care of the nurses.

2ne night, ,ueen ayadevi dreamed that a %hite elephant descended from heaven and entered her %omb. The %hite elephant entering her %omb indicated that on that very night she had conceived a child %ho %as a pure and po%erful being. The elephant/s descending from heaven indicated that her child came from Tushita heaven, the #ure -and of Buddha aitreya. -ater, %hen she gave birth to the child, instead of e4periencing pain the 5ueen e4perienced a special, pure vision in %hich she stood holding the branch of a tree %ith her right hand %hile the gods Brahma and 6ndra too! the child painlessly from her side. They then proceeded to honor the infant by offering him ritual ablutions.

2n the fifth day after the prince/s birth he %as named 'iddhattha %hich means 7%ish fulfilled7. His family name %as Gotama. His 8ather invited a brahmin to ma!e predictions about the prince/s future. The brahim prophecied that 'iddhartha %ill get disillusioned %ith the material %orld and %ould venture out as a sage in search of %isdom to overcome suffering and misery from the %orld. 8earing that the prophecy might come true, +ing 'uddhodana brought up his son in immence lu4ury ans a %orld devoid of

Gradual disenchantment %ith %orldly pleasures compelled him to leave his beautiful %ife 0ashodhara and son in the middle of the night to lead the life of a mendicant. he convinced his charioteer to ta!e him outside the %alls of his palace and he %as shoc!ed to see the sight of an old man. days of intense meditation under the Bodhi Tree in Bodhgaya near . he reali:ed the universality of sorro%. as the Bodhisatta %as seated under the A3apala banyan tree in close pro4imity to the Bodhi tree. His contemplative nature and boundless compassion did not permit him to spend his time in the mere en3oyment of the fleeting pleasures of the &oyal palace. thin!ing that this divert Gautam/s mind from misery and sorro%. 2ne day. Amidst comfort and prosperity. 'iddharta received royal education. As a #rince. in deep contemplation. #rincess 0asodhara. He also received special training in the art of %arfare. he married his beautiful cousin of e5ual age. He then reali:ed that enlightenment could not come through mortifying the flesh. specially prepared by her %ith great care. blissfully ignorant of the vicissitudes of life outside the palace gates. 8or nearly thirteen years. immediately preceding the morn of His 1nlightenment. and a corpse. This substantial meal he ate.iran3ana near Gaya. named 'u3ata. he led a lu4urious life. The reali:ation that there %as more to life than the lavish and lu4urious life he %as leading. But fate had something else in store for him. after his happy marriage. made him abandon all the %orldly pleasures and search for enlightenment and the true meaning of life. under the Bodhi tree and in its neighborhood. a generous lady. une4pectedly offered Him some rich mil!rice. 6n the memorable forenoon. truth gradually da%ned upon him. After ). a cripple. and after His 1nlightenment the Buddha fasted for seven %ee!s. At the early age of si4teen. Gautam practiced meditation and penance for si4 years yet nothing happened. 8inally in a forest at the edge of the river . He had no personal grief but he felt deep pity for suffering humanity. 9ith the march of time. Gautam %ent from one religious center to another and from one hermitage to the ne4t see!ing in vain ans%ers to his 5uestions. and spent a 5uiet time.sorro%.

he preached the sermon of the iddle #ath. He gathered a number of follo%ers. %ith the afternoons reserved for private meditation. He became ill through eating 'u!ara"maddavam. %hich sho%s the %ay to a balanced and harmonious life. prepared for him by a lady adherent named *undo. He %as strongly opposed by the Brahmins for teaching that gifts to the Buddhist order %ere of more merit than the sacrifices. The famous sermon %as held at the <eer #ar! in 'arnath. After he became the 1nlightened 2ne.Benaras he attained enlightenment. Buddha died of an illness brought on by some error in diet. . %hich Hindus practiced. Buddha travelled far and %ide to preach his teachings. His day %as divided bet%een itinerant preaching in the morning and receiving visitors for discussion at night.