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Sports and Culture

Buddha Purnima: The connection between Gautam Buddha and Sports

As the country celebrates the birth of one of the most profound souls in human history, let us look at his relation with sports.

Little Buddha
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Scene from the movie Little Buddha

By

Abhijit Nair

Updated: 2021-05-26T22:46:07+05:30

Gautam Buddha is considered to be one of the most enlightened souls to have ever lived on earth. The founder of Buddhism is widely regarded to have rediscovered the path to release clinging and clawing and escape from the circle of birth and rebirth.

Born as Siddharth Gautam during 483 BCE in the modern-day country of Nepal, he is said to have obtained enlightenment at Bodh Gaya situated in the now Bihar district of India.

The birth of Gautam Buddha is celebrated as Buddha Purnima by followers of Buddhism across the world. In India, Buddha Purnima is mainly celebrated in places like Bodh Gaya, Ladakh, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh and others.

As the country celebrates the birth of one of the most profound souls in human history, let us look at his relation with sports.

According to Buddhist literature, Gautam Buddha indulged in the sport with his peers during his days. This has also been depicted in Bernardo Bertolucci's movie Little Buddha which released in the year 1993.

Takamitsu Kono

The impact of Gautam Buddha having played Kabaddi is seen even now, as many Buddhist monks indulge in the sport in modern days especially in the region of Tibet wherein monks playing Kabaddi is an usual sight.

The sport is also said to have reached the shores of Japan through monks. In fact, a Japanese monk, Takamitsu Kono, had even represented Japan during the 2016 World Cup in Ahmedabad and has also played for Puneri Paltan in the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL).

Kabaddi is believed to have been originated from India during the days of Mahabharata, with even Lord Krishna said to have played the game.


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