Buddha Poornima: All the Goodness
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Pune has its own Buddhist heritage site in its vicinity, to which devotees travel during the time of Buddha Poornima. The Karla Caves, 40 kilometers from Pune, near Lonavala, is a place known for its intricate sculptures and pillars. This cave temple presents a chapter in the spread of Buddhism. These caves were built in the 2nd century BC, but some of the architecture is still intact. Harish Chandra of Top Tours and Travels, which is based in Delhi but conducts tours to all Buddhist temples of importance in the Indian subcontinent, says, "The number of people wishing to visit these caves during the time of Buddha Poornima increases drastically."
Others like Dr Anjula Taode, an Ophthalmologist, hold prayer or chanting groups to uphold the teachings of Buddha. "Our philosophy is that Lord Buddha resides in each one of us and that when we chant the prayer that he wrote once he gained enlightenment, we bring out that dormant part of us. But we don't pray to his idol," she says.
Tara Narayan, an engineering student, has heard these stories too. "I clearly remember my mother reading the Jataka tales to me, they all had such beautiful messages. I spend each Buddha Poornima reading these stories out to underprivileged children, I feel these stories are a must read, it really doesn't matter whether you're an adult, child, and belong to a different religion," she says.
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