Buddham Saranam Gacchami

Bhagawan Buddha

Buddham Saranam Gacchami

Bhagawan Buddha (Siddhartha Gautama), the founder of Buddhism and ninth avatar (incarntion) of Hindu god,Vishnu are worshipped directly or indirectly by the devotees of both religions on this planet. I always await his divine grace of darshan (an opportunity to see a holy person or an image of a deity) since my early childhood. Today (auspicious Maghi Purnima or Magha Purnima day) I would like to write a few words for him.

Rajban Vihara Tour

Two years ago I visited Rajban Vihara, one of the most lovely Buddhist vihara and tourist attractions in Bangladesh. It is located in Rangamati, Chattagram, Bangladesh. Like many other devotees I am not averse to visiting holy places of other religions. Rather I always feel one kind of heavenly feeling whenever I get a chance to travel any shrine, particularly a Buddhist vihara. So, after getting an invitation I availed myself of the opportunity of travelling to Rajban vihara. Despite some restrictions I also got a chance to offer prayer and visualize the body of Banvante, one of the prominent spiritual teachers, in the interior of the pagoda. Though photography is strictly prohibited in the temple premises, I got chances to take some snaps. One of our fellow travellers, a Buddhist devotee and our guide, helped us to travel there. I can’t explain here the feeling of my heart of that day. It is really one of the most memorable day in my life. The silent and spiritual environment of the vihara enchanted me most. When I was leaving the vihara, nothing but a few words echoed every moment in my heart –

Buddham Saranam Gacchami
Buddham Saranam Gacchami

Buddham saranam gacchami

Dhamam saranam gacchami

Sangham saranam gacchami…

Buddha in Hinduism

Buddha was not only the founder of Buddhism but also an avatar of Lord Vishnu according to Hindu Vaishnava sect. It is mentionable that Vaishnava Hindus believe in 24 avatars of Lord Vishnu but the devotees worship usually two primary avatars named Rama and Krishna. Buddha is considered as a secondary avatar of Vishnu as per Vaishnavism. According to an article published in Hindu Faq (https://­www.hindufaqs.com/) “he expounded the four noble truths (Arya Satya) concerning suffering, its cause, its destruction and the way to the elimination of sorrow. He was against the extremes of both self-indulgence and self-mortification. A Middle Path was advocated consisting of right views, right aspirations, right speech, right conduct, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness and right contemplation.”

Buddha in Hindu Scriptures

“The Buddha is described in important Hindu scriptures, including almost all the major Puranas. It is considered that ‘not all of them refer to the same person: some of them refer to other persons, and some occurrences of “buddha” simply mean “a person possessing buddhi”; most of them, however, refer specifically to the founder of Buddhism. They portray him with two roles: preaching Atheistic Vedic views in order to restore Dharma, and criticizing animal sacrifice. A partial list of major Puranic references of the Buddha is as follows:

Harivamsha (1.41)

Vishnu Purana (3.18)

Bhagavata Purana (1.3.24, 2.7.37, 11.4.23) [2]

Garuda Purana (1.1, 2.30.37, 3.15.26)

Agni Purana (16)

Narada Purana (2.72)

Linga Purana (2.71)

Padma Purana (3.252) etc.

In the Puranic texts, he is mentioned as one of the ten Avatars of Vishnu, usually as the ninth one.

Another important scriptures that mentions him as an Avatar is Rishi Parashara’s Brihat Parashara Hora Shastra (2:1-5/7).”

Buddha’s Teaching

Buddha (Siddhartha Gautama) announced his impending death on the auspicious day of Maghi Purnima (full moon day of the Bengali month, Magh). It is believed that there was an earthquake as soon as he pronounced this event. It is also believed that the earth was shaken this way when Buddha was born, when he received his enlightenment, and when he breathed his last. Buddha’s words made his followers very sad. He advised them, ‘Death is inevitable, so it is not proper to grieve over it. You should practice religion with conviction; only then will you conquer sorrow by crossing over this world of birth, infirmity, disease and death’.

Maghi Purnima

Today (Maghi Purnima or Magha Purnima day) is an important day for both Hindus and Buddhists that falls every year on the purnima (full moon day) in the Bengali month of Magh. This day is importnt for Hindus for some other reasons. On this day Hindu devotees in thousands perform the ritualistic bath at the Triveni Sangam in Prayag, Allahabad and Gangasagar, Westbengal of India. During this time the famous Kumbha Mela and Magha Mela is also held there. A popular Kumbha Mela or Hrishi Kumbha Mela is also held in Chittagong, Bangladesh on this occasion. According to many Sanatan devotees, Lord Krishna killed Jarasandha on the auspicious day of Maghi Purnima.

Conclusion

As Buddha is mentioned as a spiritual personality in both Hindu and Buddhist mythologies, the days regarding his life and death are very auspicious to the devotees belonged to both religions. In other words, the significance of this day is to develop inner strength and acquire power to overcome all sorrows and sufferings of this materialistic world. So we should chant once again –

Buddham saranam gacchami

Dhamam saranam gacchami

Sangham saranam gacchami…

Talker:Krishna Das

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