Buddhists are followers of Buddhism and you may question their intent regarding the choice. You may have a certain curiosity about the culture and ritual of Buddhism that you want to learn. Many years ago, Prince Siddhartha of Kapilavastu, left his comfortable royal life in search of truth and salvation and he became Buddha when he got the bodhisattva or eternal truth. The Buddhists have the utmost respect for Buddha and they follow certain rituals and practices to venerate Buddha. if you want to know why Buddhists venerate Buddha, the simple answer would be to attain nirvana or salvation. However, it has a deeper meaning than that and cannot be defined in such simple languages. Worshiping is the mode of venerating the deity or Guru for which they have gained the central position in a faith.
Different Rituals And The Deeper Meaning Behind
Like every other religion of the world, Buddhism has developed a set of practices with time. Mostly these are the rituals followed by early Buddhist communities and that have been essential for all Buddhist traditions.
The first step is venerating the Buddha, bodhisattvas or saints by meditating and emulating their qualities and giving gifts. Buddhists usually give the relics of Buddha or the image that represents him. Many people worship the places where it is believed that Buddha has his footprints mostly the stupas. In the early traditions, worshipping the anthropomorphic images of Buddha were prevalent but with the division of sects, many Buddhists later started worshipping other Buddhas and bodhisattvas and now that is the part of all Buddhist traditions.
Another common tradition of Buddhism is the gift-giving ceremony where monks and laypeople exchange gifts with each other. Monks are thought to be full of spiritual knowledge that they give to the laypersons and they in return gift them material; things to fulfill their worldly demands and their overall condition is lifted.
Buddhists And Uposatha
This is mostly followed in south-east Asia and continue to exist. It is observed in the days of full moon and new moon days of lunar month. Uposatha goes back to the days of Soma sacrifices in early Hinduism and these days, Buddhist monks and laypersons perform their religious duties. The service of the ritual includes the recitation of Pali suttas, meditation, offering flowers to the image of Buddha and sermon by one of the monks for the benefit of those who are eager to listen. These days, Buddhists may follow the precepts of core Buddhism as if not to kill, not to steal and so on. If they fail to follow the practices they confess the sins to the monks as mentioned in the Vinaya Pitaka.
Anniversaries Followed By Buddhists
Buddhists observe many anniversaries throughout the year from the day of birth of Buddha, and the time he got enlightenment and to the day he got the final Nirvana. Other than that there are many popular Buddhist monks popular in different countries that are worshipped and venerated in their anniversaries across South Asia.
Pilgrimage To Get Enlightenment
To follow Buddha’s footsteps, after his death, his disciples started the pilgrimage of all the places Buddha had gone through. Till now, many Buddhists go to these places as pilgrims and follow the rituals.