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It is traditionally believed that the Buddha was born, enlightened and passed away on the date(tithi) of Vesak. Now it does not seem to be very probable that all three major incidents of one's life would occur on the same date. What is the earliest source of this information about Vesak in the scripture?

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  • It really is a matter of faith. No archeological evidence can verify with certainty either claim, nor can any literary analysis claim to do the same. One is free to make up one's own mind, to believe or not to believe. It is incidental to the path of liberation in any case.
    – Buddho
    Commented Jul 22, 2015 at 7:21
  • This book may be interesting to you. buddhistelibrary.org/en/…
    – Robin111
    Commented Jul 22, 2015 at 10:23

2 Answers 2

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Without looking too deeply, it seems that the word "visākhapuṇṇamadivase" (day of the full moon of Visākha) only appears in the commentaries. I don't think there is any canonical reference to that date; though I can't think offhand of any sutta that is precisely self-dated.

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You have to imagine whether you are in that time first, at the age of memorizing not reading like nowadays.

They almost always memorize all memories as approximation like we memorize as month, quarter, etc.

In pali, we called this kind of number as approximated number, Anekasankya. It's one of 5 types of number using in Pali canon, missa, gunita, sambandha, sanketa, aneka.

I have no idea for the birth date however it's make sense to say the enlightened month and the dead month are in the same month before VassaMasa (raining season) according to Tipitaka in VN Mahavagga Mahakhandhaka, VN Vassupanayikakhandhaka, VN Pañcasatikakkhandhaka, and DN MahaparinibbanaSutta.

It's make sense because in VN Mahavagga Mahakhandhaka and VN Vassupanayikakhandhaka the Buddha enlightened before walking from ๑(1) to ๒๐(20), see below picture, and lived his first raining season, 8th-11th month, at ๒๐(20).

And in VN Pañcasatikakkhandhaka, and DN MahaparinibbanaSutta, the Buddha was dead before raining season as well.

When we count the raining season, 8th, and walking timing together, it's make sense to be some date around 6th month, Visakha.

Reading without caring of tipitaka memorizer is ruining the readers' right view exactly.

Buddha's Walking Map

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