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Significance of Probarona Purnima

Sunday 16 October, 2016 12:00:00 am

Significance of Probarona Purnima

Dhaka, Oct 16: The country’s Buddist community celebrated Probarona Purnima, their second largest festival, on Saturday by releasing paper lanterns (Fanush) in the sky.

This full moon day signifies the end of the three month Lent of Bhikkhus.  To mark the day, Buddhists send up a kind of lighted balloon, made of thin paper, to the sky, called Phanus Baji, in the evening.

When Buddha renounced the world, he cut his hair and threw it into the air, saying "if my aim and mission of renunciation are fruitful, this tress of hair will go upwards, and if my object and ambition becomes fruitless, it will fall on the ground”.

Buddhists believe that the tress of hair went flying into the sky according to the will of Gautama.

The set off sky-lamp is a symbol and commemoration of Gautama's emphatic prediction.

Also known as Ashwini Purnima, the festival marks conclusion of the three-month long seclusion of the monks inside their monasteries for self-edification and atonement of their defilement.

Several other significance of the day includes:

  • Offering of the Buddha Puja in the morning
  • Feeding the monks in noon
  • Illumination of the monastery in the evening by lighting candles as Hindus do during Diwali
  • Vows of Pancha Sila or Attha Sila by the elders and keeping the Sabbath (fast day).

The festival follows a month-long preaching of sermons by the Buddhist monks for the welfare of every beings and whole humankind through yellow robes offering ceremony that begins on that day.