Our friend Swami Krishnananda captured an image of last night’s moon (May 6, 2020) – and created this composite – and wrote:
I was able to shoot the supermoon with clear skies. We will be celebrating Buddha Purnima i.e. Lord Buddha’s birthday. So I felt it would be nice to greet all the EarthSky community and wish them all a Happy Buddha Purnima by superimposing the face of Lord Buddha on the supermoon.
According to the May 7, 2020 HindustanTimes:
The birth anniversary of Gautam Buddha, the founder of Buddhism, is celebrated as Buddha Purnima or Buddha Jayanti with much fervour across the world. It falls on a full moon day in the month of Vaisakh (April/May) according to the Hindu calendar. This year Buddha Purnima will be celebrated on May 7. In Theravada Buddhism, it is also observed as the day when Buddha, born as Prince Siddhartha Gautama (c. 563-483 BCE) attained Nirvana (salvation) under the Mahabodhi tree at Bodh Gaya, Bihar, as well as his death anniversary. The Vesak full moon day is the most important day in the Buddhist calendar. Several Buddhists go to the pagodas to pour water at the foot of the sacred tree in remembrance of the Buddha’s Enlightenment.
Buddha Purnima is a major festival celebrated with great pomp and fervor in countries like Sri Lanka (where it is called Vesak), India, Nepal, Bhutan, Burma, Thailand, Tibet, China, Korea, Laos, Vietnam, Mongolia, Cambodia, Singapore and Indonesia, though celebrations vary from country to country.
This quote is often attributed to Buddha (although some dispute it). Whether or not he truly said it, or said it in exactly this way, it’s in line with his teachings:
Teach this triple truth to all: A generous heart, kind speech, and a life of service and compassion are the things which renew humanity.
Thank you, Swami Krishnananda!
Bottom line: A composite photo and some info about the May 7, 2020, Buddha Purnima.
Deborah Byrd created the EarthSky radio series in 1991 and founded EarthSky.org in 1994. Today, she serves as Editor-in-Chief of this website. She has won a galaxy of awards from the broadcasting and science communities, including having an asteroid named 3505 Byrd in her honor. A science communicator and educator since 1976, Byrd believes in science as a force for good in the world and a vital tool for the 21st century. "Being an EarthSky editor is like hosting a big global party for cool nature-lovers," she says.