Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi delivered the keynote address on the occasion of Vesak Global Celebrations on Buddha Poornima through video conference today. Members of Venerated Mahasangha, Prime Ministers of Nepal and Sri Lanka, Union Ministers Shri Prahlad Singh and Shri Kiren Rijiju, Secretary General of International Buddhist Confederation, Venerable Doctor Dhammapiya were also present at the event.
Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister said Vesak is a day to celebrate the life of Lord Buddha and to reflect on the noble ideals and sacrifices he made for the betterment of our planet. He added that he dedicated last year’s Vesak day programme to all the front-line workers leading humanity’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. A year later, COVID-19 pandemic has still not left us and several nations, including India, have experienced a second wave. He remarked that this once in a life-time pandemic has brought tragedy and suffering at the door-step of many and has impacted every nation. He said the economic impact left by the pandemic is huge and our planet will not be the same after COVID-19. He said there have been many note-worthy improvements as well over the last year, like having a better understanding of the pandemic, which strengthens our strategy to fight it and having the vaccine, which is absolutely important to save lives and defeat the pandemic. He lauded the efforts of the scientists for developing the COVID-19 vaccines within a year and said this shows the power of human determination and tenacity.
The Prime Minister remarked that the life of Gautama Buddha was about peace, harmony and co-existence. But today, there are still forces whose existence depends on spreading hate, terror and mindless violence. He said such forces do not believe in liberal democratic principles and thus gave a call for all those who believe in humanity to come together and defeat terror and radicalisation. He said Lord Buddha’s teachings and the importance given to social justice can become a global unifying force.
Pl click here for full text of PM’s address
Addressing at the event VESAK – 2565th Buddha Poornima Diwas, Minister of State for Culture and Tourism(I/C), Shri Prahlad Singh Patel wished everyone on the occasion of Buddha Purnima and expressed his gratitude towards Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi who had taken the initiative to observe Buddha Purnima as national celebration in 2015 and raised it to international stature .Shri Patel said that International Buddhist Confederation (IBC) and Ministry of culture had been organising the event in a grand manner every year and are working together to promote the Teachings and philosophy of Bhagwan Buddha.
The Minister stated that as the nation and the whole world is grappling with the Covid-19 pandemic today, the teachings of Lord Buddha have become very relevant for us.
In his speech, the Minister narrated two short stories related to the life of Lord Buddha and said that we have important lessons to learn from them. These stories pertaining to the life of Lord Buddha inspire us to maintain our calm in the face of adversity and in times of crises. Shri Prahlad Singh Patel once again reiterated that the message of Lord Buddha is very relevant in these trying times and that patience and calmness of mind can help to overcome even the biggest of challenges. He said that today is the day to assimilate the thoughts of Buddha and adopt them in our life.
Addressing the Virtual Vesak-Buddha Poornima Diwas Celebration, Minister of state for Minority Affairs, Youth Affairs & Sports &Ayush (I/C)), Shri KirenRijiju said that it is a unique day in world history that commemorates the Triple Blessed Day of our Lord Buddha’s Birth, Enlightenment and MahaParnirvana.
‘We are dedicating this Vesak – Buddha Poornima to pray for the victims of the second wave of Covid 19 in India, Nepal, and other parts of the world and seek alleviation from the pandemic. I would like you all to join in saluting the Corona Warriors for putting service before self and helping us all in combating the pandemic’, Mr. Rijiju said.
The Minister expressed his gratitude to IBC members and partner organisations working in various countries that offered help during the current covid-pandemic wave to India and Nepal.
He further said that as the world is grappling with the unprecedented crisis of pandemic, this auspicious day also provides us with an opportunity to reflect upon our individual and collective conduct and consciousness especially in the context of interdependent nature, welfare of all sentient beings, compassion and respect of nature and Mother Earth. He further said that on this very auspicious and sacred day of Vesak – Buddha Poornima, let us pledge to truly put the Eightfold Path in practice and conduct our daily lives accordingly.
Shri Prahlad Singh Patel conferred “ VaisakhSammanPrashastiPatra” for 2019, 2020 and 2021 to Dhamma Masters who are outstanding scholars of Buddhist philosophy, having made immense contributions to humanitarian services, inter-religious understanding, and peace and harmony.The Vaisakh Samman Prashasti Patra was instituted in 2015 and is given annually on the auspicious occasion of Buddha Poornima by the Ministry of Culture, Govt of India and International Buddhist Confederation. It is given to honour prominent national and international personalities for their contribution to Buddhist studies, research, writing, dissemination of Buddha’s teachings and preservation of Buddhist cultural heritage.
Pl click here for details of recipients of the Samman
A digitised set of 50 volumes of the rare text of Mongolian Kangyur (Tri- pitika) was virtually presented symbolically by the people of India to the people of Mongolia on the occasion.
This year the Buddha Poornima is dedicated to Global Peace and Relief from the Pandemic- Covid 19.
Ministry of Culture, Government of India in collaboration with the International Buddhist Confederation (IBC), a global Buddhist umbrella organised the Virtual Prayer Event with the participation of heads of Buddhist Sanghas from around the world. Buddha Poornima celebrations were held through a virtual congregation owing to the impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic across the globe. This year the Buddha Poornima is dedicated to Global Peace and Relief from the Pandemic- Covid 19.
Ceremonies and prayers were simultaneously held at Bodhgaya-India, Lumbini-Nepal, Kandy- Sri Lanka and the main Buddhist temples in Bhutan, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mongolia, Russia, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan for expressing solidarity with India for the difficult phase the world is experiencing.
Vesak- Buddha Purnima, is considered the Triple Blessed Day as TathagataGautam Buddha’s Birth, Enlightenment and MahaParnirvana.