There are people that belong to a different religion, like Muslims, Hindus, Jewish, Sikhs, Christians, and Buddhists. Every religion has its festivals and occasion, and it is celebrated with great enthusiasm by the people of that religion. Like Muslims have their eid, Hindus have Diwali, Christian have Christmas. Similarly, people that belong to Buddhism celebrate this Parinirvana day also known as Nirvana Day.
But before I tell you about that day, it is important to know things in context. Therefore, we will first have to know who Buddha was and why this day is so important for Buddhist and why it is celebrated.
We all know as Parinirvana Day is around the corner so how are you planning to spend it.
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Who was Buddha?
Buddhism is basically about the journey of a person named Siddhartha Gautama, who was a prince by birth and belonged to a warrior caste. Since his family needed a great ruler and it was predicted that he might become a ruler or spiritual leader. Therefore, his father kept him away from all the suffering and provided him with everything. But when he 29, he saw people suffering from and how old people are dependent on others for everything. This made him extremely upset and went to a mediator, and within an instant, they both clicked, and he saw his future in the eyes of that mediator.
After that, he decided that to reach that level of mental satisfaction, he has to meditate somewhere alone and not his palace. Then for six years, he met different mediators and learned more about this technique and then he decided to do it himself. He practiced the technique for 6 days and nights and reached enlightenment on the full moon morning of May. After which he started feeling very light and relaxed, and he could see everything clearly, that is when he realized he had become Buddha, the Awakened one.
From there his journey began, and he taught for 45 years. People would come to him and ask questions, and he would give them an answer. He reached that level where you only feel happiness, and no negative emotions affect you, and this is what he calls enlightenment.
Buddha died at the age of 80; it is believed that he was so week and got so fragile that he got ill and then died.
About Parinirvana Day:
This day is celebrated in East Asia on 15th Feb, as the celebration of the death of Buddha. You must be wondering how can someone celebrate the death of their religious leader, but there is a reason why they celebrate this day. According to the common belief, Buddha reached Nirvana upon his death, i.e., when you are free from all the sufferings and needs. He was meditating when he died, and he knew he was going to die soon and told all his followers that he is going to reach parinirvana and will get rid of the birth and death cycle.
According to the teachings of Buddhism, it is not easy to achieve Parinirwana it can only be achieved by the person who has achieved nirvana in his life. That means that if you have settled all your debts with the karma, then you come out the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth and after your death, you will not be born again as you have reached Parinivarna.
How it is celebrated:
This day is celebrated meditating and praying for the people who have died. People go to temples and bring gifts like food, clothes, money for poor people. They try to achieve nirvana on this day and read Parinibanna Sutta. People visit the place where Buddha died, i.e., Kushinagar based in India. On this day Buddhist, think about their future and their death and the death of their family members. Buddhism is not limited to Nepal only, but many people around the world follow this religion. People also make homemade food and offer it to other people.
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How to spend Parinirvana Day :
You can spend Parinirvana Day by going to the Nirvana stupa temple, where it is believed that there are ashes of Buddha or you can visit the wat thai temple that is the most beautiful temple in India, and it was previously known as Wat Thai Kushinara Chalermaraj Temple. Also, you can visit Ramabhar Stupa and do meditation.
Parinirvana Day is going to be celebrated by all the Buddhists around the world and there will be an event and will be celebrated as a festival around the world and make sure you attend those. But this is more about self-assessment and less about celebration; it’s a great day to assess yourself and take yourself away from all the worries and negativity. You will meet many practitioners and meditators in your life but no one can teach how you can control your mind, only you can do that. That is why Buddha practiced himself and reached nirvana. You can also spend Parinirvana Day by Sutra, i.e., about the last days of Buddha and how he spent it meditating.
The main idea of this religion is everything is temporary sadness, grievances, your life, the life of your loved ones, nothing is permanent. Everyone has to go including you, and there is no need to be sad about it, in fact, accept this fact that everything is mortal. Buddha thought that negative thoughts couldn’t affect you. If you do not let them affect you, it’s all about how you control your feelings and mind. In this way, you will be able to break the cycle, i.e., birth, death, and rebirth and that are only possible when you reach nirvana, i.e., the level of enlightenment. Reaching it is not easy; you have to give up your everything you luxuries everything to attain that level. How would you the meaning of suffering? If you will never face it and how will, you then control that feeling. In short, it is all about how you control your mind.