2566th Buddha Jayanti celebrated
Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi has said that whenever visiting Nepal I felt extra energy and more consciousness, reflecting more spirituality than political.
“Thus, I used to get spiritual blessings from Nepal, the land where Buddha was born, and I was lucky to visit the ‘holy birthplace’ of Lord Buddha today.”
“The relations between Nepal and India were as strong as the mountains,” PM Modi added while addressing the 2566th Buddha Jayanti Special Ceremony held in Lumbini on Monday.
This is Prime Minister Modi’s fifth visit to Nepal as an Indian Prime Minister. Earlier he had been to Pashupatinath, Muktinath and Janakpurdham.
PM Modi has also said that “I believe that Nepal is equally happy with the Ram temple being built in Ayodhya of India. Without Nepal, the Ram of India would be incomplete.”
During his 20-minute speech, Modi also uttered a few sentences in Nepali wishing a happy Buddha Purnima to all at a function held in Lumbini.
Saying that the philosophy of Mayadevi temple was unforgettable for him, he said that the message of Buddha should be spread all over the world.
“Buddha was great because he had understanding, research, thought and culture and he left the glorious kingdom and not only preached but also gave the experience of knowledge of humanity, ” PM Modi added.
Modi also said that he had the opportunity to visit various places of worship related to Lord Buddha on the full moon day of Baisakh in the past and this time he was able to visit the ‘holy birthplace’ of Lord Buddha who belonged to everyone.
Lauding Buddha realization, Buddha research, Buddha thought and Buddha rites, PM Modi said that Buddha became great not only because he preached but also because he made humanity feel enlightened.
Buddha was born as Siddhartha in Lumbini on the full moon day of Baishakh and became Buddha by enlightening himself in Bodh Gaya of India. Also, attained Mahaparinirvana in Kushinagar of India on the same day. this is the perfection of human life, said Modi.
“Holy sites like Bodh Gaya, Kushinagar and Sarnath of India and Lumbini of Nepal, are symbols of our shared heritage and values. We must work together to develop and enrich them,” he said.
Nepal is the land of Mount Everest, the land of many holy places and monasteries of the world. It is also the land of ancient civilization and culture of the world, Modi lauded.
Modi informed that Vadnagar in Gujarat, his birthplace, was the first major center of Buddhist learning for centuries and that the three ancient relics found there are still being preserved.
The relationship between Nepal and India is as ancient and enduring as the Himalayas which should be linked with new fields like science, technology and physical infrastructure and realize the dream of India and Nepal together, Modi said.
Speaking at the function, the Prime Minister Deuba said, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Lumbini has helped to make the birthplace of Lord Gautam Buddha more well known around the world and would boost cultural tourism.
PM Deuba said that the past visits of the Indian Prime Minister to Muktinath, Pashupatinath, Janakpur and other places have further strengthened the cultural ties between the people of the two countries.
No doubt, PM Modi’s visit has deepened the socio-religious, cultural and traditional ties between the two countries since time immemorial, said the PM Deuba and added further that Buddha connected Nepal and India emotionally and religiously.
“The teachings of the Buddha are as relevant today as they were in the past,” he said. “Mankind is facing violence, jealousy and war in many parts of the world today.”
Importantly, both the Prime Ministers of Nepal and India have laid the foundation stone of the India International Center for Buddhist Culture and Heritage in Lumbini. The center will be built by the International Buddhist Confederation of India.
It has been decided to establish Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Chair for Buddhist Studies at Lumbini Buddhist University in Nepal today.
PM Deuba also expressed gratitude to the Government of India for building the centre in Lumbini.
Earlier, Deuba and Modi had worshiped at the Mayadevi temple.
Then after, the two Prime Ministers also held bilateral talks.
After attending various functions in Lumbini on the day of Buddha Purnima, the Indian PM Modi who landed in Lumbini at around 10:34 AM, has returned to India in an Indian Air Force helicopter.
Meanwhile, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) of Nepal, during the visit of the Indian PM to Nepal six different agreements have been signed.
The concerned officials of the two countries signed the agreements in the presence of Prime Ministers Sher Bahadur Deuba of Nepal and Narendra Modi of India.
According to the MoFA, the MoU signed today includes establishment of Dr. Ambedkar Chair for Buddhist Studies, establishment of ICCR Chair of Indian Studies in Tribhuvan University and Kathmandu University.
Likewise, MoU signed between KU and Indian Institute of Technology Madras for collaboration.
The Letter of Agreement (LoA) between KU and IIT for Joint degree program at Master’s level and agreement between SJVN Ltd. and Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) for the development and implementation of the Arun-4 Project.
At the function, both Nepal and India have agreed to recognise Lumbini of Nepal and Kushinagar of India as sister cities.
Today- Monday–is the 2566th Buddha’s birthday which is generally known as Buddha Jayanti celebrated all over the country. It is a special day for both Hindus and Buddhists around the world.
Historically, Maya Devi, the Queen of Shakya King Suddhodhan of Kapilvastu, (now in West Nepal gave birth to the Prince Siddhartha while passing through the Lumbini Garden, (also in west Nepal) on the day of “Vaishakha Poornima” (full-moon day of) in 623 BC. The newly-born Prince is believed to have taken seven steps and uttered a timeless message to all humanity.
Buddha Purnima, also known as Buddha Jayanti, is an auspicious day that marks the birth anniversary of Gautam Buddha. The son of a Shakya kingdom’s king Shuddhodhan, Prince Siddhartha was the crown prince. Although his father wanted his son to rule the kingdom, Siddhartha wasn’t interested in politics.
But instead, he was more interested in why the people had to face various problems in life. When he met different people and learnt about their sufferings, he wanted to know what has caused such suffering to mankind.
So, at the age of 29, he left the palace and the family along with his wife and small baby-son in search for the answer to the question-why mankind has to suffer? He meditated for many years in thick forest and suffered a lot before being enlightened. After enlightenment he became Lord Buddha and propagated Buddhism spreading his knowledge. At last, Buddha died in Kushinagar of India at the age of 81.
Buddha Jayanti is celebrated every year on the full moon day of Baisakh Shukla Poornima.
On this day, in Kathmandu Valley, Buddhists of all persuasions as well as pilgrims from abroad, honour the Buddha at the two great stupas Swayambhunath and Boudhanath and in Patan.
Activities at the main Buddhist stupas and shrines begin at dawn and continue till late in the evening.
Outside the valley, Lumbini – the birthplace, Tilaurakot or Kapilvastu-where Buddha spent his first 29 years, Devdaha – his maternal home, and other sacred places and monasteries and other parts of Nepal are crowded with devotees on the day of Buddha Jayanti.
Buddha Jayanti is celebrated in most of East Asia and South Asian nations.
Buddha is also named as the Light of Asia and the Pioneer of World Peace. Besides, Nepal, as Buddha Jayanti, is celebrated with the biggest festivals in Buddhist countries- Sri Lanka, Thailand, Myanmar, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, South Korea, Japan and many other countries. This day is also a public holiday.