New Delhi: In an attempt to reaffirm India’s historical connection with Buddhism, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to award the UP and Bihar Tibetan studies’ institutes for preserving and promoting Buddhist studies on the occasion of Gautama Buddha's birth anniversary. PM Modi will also offer Sangha Dana (Cheevar Vastram and Sacred Leaf of Bodhi Tree) to the monastic community on Monday.
The Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies in Uttar Pradesh’s Sarnath and Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies in Bihar’s Bodhgaya will be presented Vaishakh Samman Prashasti Patra for preserving and promoting Indian arts and culture and dissemination of Buddhist studies.
Nearly 40 prestigious Buddhist organizations from different parts of the country and 10,000 Buddhist monks, nuns and followers are expected to assemble in Delhi to celebrate Budh Purnima or Vesak.
The Ministry of Culture has proposed to celebrate Budh Jayanti Divas at Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium in Delhi on Monday.
An organising Committee has been set up under the chairmanship of the Minister of State for Culture, Dr Mahesh Sharma, with the Minister of State for Home, Kiren Rijiju as co-chairperson to oversee the organization of the celebration.
Dr Dhammapiya, Secretary General, International Buddhist Confederation (IBC), a global umbrella Buddhist body headquartered in New Delhi, is the Convener of the Organizing Community.
The festival is recognized as the third most sacred day that marks the birth enlightenment and parinirvana of Lord Buddha. The government has been celebrating the occasion to reaffirm India’s historical status as the land of origin of the Buddha Dharma - the land of Buddha’s sambodhiprapti, dharmachakra pravartana and his mahaparinirvana.
“In order to celebrate these historic occasions that changed the religious and spiritual discourse of human civilization, it is important that we celebrate Budh Purnima in befitting manner,” said the source in the ministry.
Recently, on her trip to Mongolia, the Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj established Buddhist connect in Mongolia too. There she said that the two countries are more spiritual in their bond than strategic.
On the birth centenary celebrations of Kushok Bakula Rinpoche, a highly revered Buddhist leader and monk from Ladakh and a former Ambassador of India to Mongolia Swaraj said, “Buddhism has been a great connector of civilizations since millennia. Even though Buddhism originated in India, it spread across the mighty Himalayas to East Asia and across the seas in south-east Asia. Eventually, it also made its way to the vast steppes of Mongolia where it has found a permanent abode for over two millennia.”
While Buddha was born in Lumbini in present day Nepal, he attained sambodhiprapti in Bodhgaya in Bihar. In Sarnath, he set in motion the wheel of the Dharma, and finally attained mahaparinirvana in Kushinagar.
There will be recital of Prraner Pradip, a traditional dance drama based on Gurudev Rabindra Nath Tagore’s thoughts on the essence of Buddhism. The performance will be rendered by Boudha Dharmankur Sabha (Bengal Buddhist Association), West Bengal – the oldest Buddhist organization of India since 1892.