Vesak Buddha Purnima: IBC and HBCA celebrate

Vesak Buddha Purnima

Vesak Buddha Purnima: IBC celebrated the auspicious day of Vesak Purnima with reverence and piety today. International Buddhist Confederation (IBC) in coordination with the Himalayan Buddhist Culture Association (HBCA) celebrated the event at the National Museum, New Delhi.

The Buddha’s message of peace, non-violence and the path of truth is as relevant today as it was more than 2500 years ago, said Ms. Meenakashi Lekhi, Minister of State for Culture and External Affairs, emphasizing, “we not only need to recall but also carry it forward as has been done for centuries.”

Speaking on the auspicious day of Vesak Buddha Purnima, at the National Museum where the Holy Buddha Relics are enshrined, Ms. Lekhi called upon the congregations to move from ideas to action. Quoting from the ancient text, the words of Buddha, she said all our thought and ideas are like fragrance, this should reach all and we need to translate them into action.

The Minister added that during the reign of Samrat Ashok, several monks spread out in several countries taking the Buddha’s teaching. “in this respect, we are all connected through blood, thought and culture. The message remains common: be kind in thought and deed, and follow the right action in everyone’s life., she added.

The celebrations to commemorate the Triple Blessed Day of Shakyamuni Buddha’s birth, enlightenment and Mahaparinirvana were organised by the Ministry of Culture along with International Buddhist Confederation and the Himalayan Buddhist Cultural Association. The event was marked by reverence and piety. Prayers for National Unity, Harmony and World Peace were held before the Holy Buddha Relics placed at the National Museum.

The event started with the lighting of a Lamp and the offering of the Maglacharan prayers by Monks. The Dhamma Talk was presented by the Guest of Honour, His Eminence the Kundeling Taksak Choktrul Rinpoche, Drepung Gomang Monastery.

He said, that the essence of Buddha’s teachings remains as fresh and vital as the freshwater from the Himalayan glaciers. It is important to preserve, study and practice his teachings as they are necessary to heal the contemporary world, he added. He concluded that it is an obligation on everyone to serve others to their best ability.

The Special Guest for the occasion was Dr Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, President, ICCR. He said that Buddha is central to India’s conceptualisation and Bharat and Buddha are intricately connected. Buddha’s teachings and thoughts remain unique amongst all the Indian spiritual and philosophical traditions because of its interplay between individualism and collectivism, he added.

Various autonomous Buddhist organisations and grantee Institutions under the Ministry of Culture organised several programmes/events on the occasion.

All the staff and 600 students of the Central Institute of Buddhist Studies(CIBS), Leh participated in the grand celebrations organized by Ladakh Buddhist Association (LBA) & Ladakh Gonpa Association (LGA) at the Polo Ground in Leh. On this occasion ‘Mangalacharan’ (Invocation Prayer) was performed by the students of the CIBS, Leh. Besides, there was a display of two tableaus depicting the birth and delivery of the First Sermon of Buddha, prepared by the students of CIBS, Leh, U.T. of Ladakh.

An organization of ‘Buddha Jayanti Samaroh’ at 6:00 AM was followed by the release of the 63rd edition of the research magazine, “DHIH” on the occasion by Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies (CIHTS), Sarnath.

The Traditional Pooja was performed at the Buddha Temple by the monk-students of Nava Nalanda Mahavihara (NNM), Nalanda, Bihar, followed by a one-day national seminar on the topic, ‘Buddhism and Bihar’.

There was a performance of the puja ceremony and other rituals as well as the organization of a debate competition on this auspicious occasion by the Central Institute of Himalayan Culture Studies (CIHCS), Dahung, Arunachal Pradesh.

Gentse Gaden Rabgyel Ling (GRL) Monastery, Arunachal Pradesh held a World Peace Prayer and ‘Mangalacharan’ through its Monk students on the occasion.

An observance of the Aspirational Bodhisattva Vow was held in the Tibet House, to celebrate this day.

Tawang Monastery, Arunachal Pradesh celebrated the occasion by holding a Speech-Cum-Lecture competition on the topic, “Buddha’s preachings, Peace and Tranquillity”.

Library of Tibetan Works & Archives (LTWA), Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh, is holding an ‘Animal Consciousness Conference (ACC) from May 1st to May 5th, 2023 to commemorate the auspicious day.

Vaishakh Buddha Purnima is the most sacred day of the year for Buddhists all over the world as it marks the three main events of Lord Buddha’s life – Birth, Enlightenment, and Mahaparinirvana. The day assumes special significance since Buddhism originated in India. Since 1999 it has also been recognized by the United Nations as the ‘UN Day of Vesak’. This year the Vaishakh Buddha Purnima is being celebrated on 5th May.

Recently, the Ministry of Culture held the first Global Buddhist Summit (20-21 April) attended by over 500 participants from 30 countries. It was inaugurated by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. The Ministry of Culture along with its grantee body, IBC, a global Buddhist umbrella body, headquartered in New Delhi, also held a successful international meeting of experts from the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) nations on “Shared Buddhist Heritage” from 14th – 15th March, to re-establish trans-cultural links and seek out commonalities, between Buddhist art of SCO countries.