The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today issued the following statement on Vesak:
“Today, we join Buddhists in Canada and around the world to celebrate Vesak, the most important of the Buddhist festivals.
“Vesak is an occasion to commemorate the birth, enlightenment, and passing into Nirvana of Gautama Buddha, the founder of Buddhism.
“Traditionally, Buddhists would visit their local temples to pray, and offer gifts to show respect and gratitude for the Buddha’s life and wisdom.
“This year, as we celebrate differently because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are reminded of the importance of the Buddha’s universal teachings of peace, selfless service, and compassion to those in need. Now more than ever, we see these teachings put into practice as we take care of one another during this pandemic. We will get through this together.
“On this occasion, I invite all Canadians to honour our Buddhist communities and to recognize their important contributions to our country.
“On behalf of our family, Sophie and I wish everyone celebrating a happy and peaceful Vesak.”
Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi addressed the virtual Vesak Global Celebrations on Buddha Purnima today. Minister of State for Culture(I/C) and Minister of State for Tourism(I/C), Shri Prahlad Singh Patel and Minister of State for Youth Affairs & Sports(I/C) and Minister of State for Minority Affairs, Shri Kiren Rijiju also participated in the event held virtually.
Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi in his keynote said that the life, teachings and message of Lord Buddha have continued to enrich the lives of people across the globe. His message is not limited to any one circumstance, or to any one subject. Time changed, the situation changed, the functioning of society changed, but the message of Lord Buddha has been continuously flowing in our lives. Buddha is not just a name, but also a sacred thought, a thought that beats in every human heart and guides humanity.
Prime Minister further said that Friends, each and every word, each and every discourse of Lord Buddha reinforce India’s commitment to serve humanity. Buddha symbolizes both the Enlightenment of India and the Self-Realization of India. With this self-realization, India is and will continue to work for the benefit of entire humanity, the whole world. India’s progress will always be helpful in the progress of the world.
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 Purnima celebrations are being held through a virtual congregation owing to the impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic across the globe. It is also being dedicated as Global Prayer Week in honour of the Victims and the frontline warriors of COVID-19.
Prayer ceremonies on the occasion were streamed live from the Mahabodhi Temple, Bodhgaya , Mulgandha Kuti Vihara, Sarnath, India, Parinirvana Stupa, Kushinagar ,India ; Sacred Garden Lumbini, Nepal; Pirith Chanting from Ruwanweli Maha Seya in the sacred and historic Anuradhapura stupa premises, Sri Lanka; Boudhanath, Swayambhu, Namo Stupas, Nepal apart from other popular Buddhist sites.
The program was live streamed on FB live, YouTube from IBC social media handles as well as on Mandala mobile app.
It was viewed by large audiences in India ,Australia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, S. Korea, Myanmar, Mongolia, Malaysia, Nepal, Russia, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Taiwan, Vietnam among others.
Vesak- Buddha Poornima, is considered the Triple Blessed Day as it celebrates Tathagata Gautam Buddha’s Birth, Enlightenment and Maha Parnirvana.