By — Shyamal Sinha
On Asaadh Poornima on July 4, President Ram Nath Kovind on Saturday inaugurated the Dharma Chakra Day from the Rashtrapati Bhavan and Prime Minister Narendra Modi would deliver a video address on the occasion to emphasise the teachings of Lord Buddha and the eight-fold path shown by him.
The International Buddhist Confederation (IBC), under the aegis of Union Ministry of Culture, is celebrating Asaadh Poornima as Dharma Chakra Day.
Dharma Chakra Day commemorates Buddha’s first sermon to his first five ascetic disciples at the Deer Park, Rsipatana in the present day Sarnath near Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh. The day is also celebrated by Buddhists all over the world as the day of Dharma Chakra Parvattana or “Turning of the Wheel of Dharma”. This day is also aptly observed as Guru Poornima by both Buddhists and Hindus as a day to mark reverence to their gurus.
“In keeping with the historical legacy of India being the land of Buddha’s enlightenment, his turning the wheels of Dharma, and Mahaparinirvana, President Ram Nath Kovind will inaugurate the Dharma Chakra Day from the Rashtrapati Bhavan. Prime Minister Narendra Modi would deliver a video address on the occasion to emphasise the teachings of peace and justice of Lord Buddha and the eight-fold Path shown by him to overcome sufferings of sentient beings,” said the Prime Minister’s Office in a statement.
Moreover, a special address by the President of Mongolia will also be read out and a valuable Buddhist manuscript of Indian origin preserved in Mongolia for centuries together, will be presented to President Kovind.
Minister of Culture Prahlad Patel and Minister of State for Minorities Affairs Kiren Rijiju will also address the opening ceremony.
Rest of the events on this day, including messages from top Buddhist religious leaders, masters and scholars from different parts of the world will be streamed from Sarnath and Bodh Gaya.
Due to COVID-19 pandemic, the whole program is being conducted virtually, like a very successful virtual Vaisakh (Buddha Poornima) on May 7 this year. The event on July 4 is expected to be witnessed by around 30 lakh devotees worldwide via live webcast, the statement issued by PMO further read. In association with the Bodh Gaya Temple Management Committee and Mahabodhi Society of India, the events from Mulagandha Kuti Vihara in Sarnath and Mahabodhi Temple in Bodh Gaya can be live-streamed at the Youtube Channel named- IBC World.