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‘Ashadha Purnima’ To Be Celebrated At National Museum Today     

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NEW DELHI, July 2 (PTI): The auspicious occasion of “Ashadha Purnima”, the second most sacred day for Buddhists, will be celebrated at an event at the National Museum here on Monday, officials said.

A video address by President Droupadi Murmu will be presented during the programme, the Culture Ministry said in a statement issued on Sunday.

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The International Buddhist Confederation (IBC), under the aegis of the ministry of culture, will celebrate Ashadha Purnima on Monday as the ‘Dharma Chakra Pravartana Divas’ at the National Museum, it said.

It is the annual flagship event of IBC and the second most sacred day for Buddhists after the Buddha Purnima or the Vaishakha Purnima.

The programme’s highlight will be the screening of a film on IBC’s special project in Lumbini, Nepal — ‘India International Centre for Buddhist Culture and Heritage’.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had laid the foundation stone of the centre at Lumbini in Nepal last year on Buddha Purnima.

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“The programme will include Dhamma talk on the significance of Ashadha Purnima by His Holiness 12th Chamgon Kenting Tai Situpa and a special address by union minister of state for culture and external affairs Meenakashi Lekhi,” the statement said.

Many other dignitaries and patriarchs of Buddhist Sanghas, eminent masters, scholars, and diplomatic representatives based in New Delhi will be participating in the event, officials said.

“In keeping with the historical legacy of India, the land of Buddha’s enlightenment, his turning of the wheels of Dhamma, and Mahaparinirvana, the IBC is hosting the Ashadha Purnima celebrations at the National Museum, Janpath where the Sakhyamuni’s holy relic is enshrined,” the statement said.

It was at Sarnath that Buddha gave his first sermon and set the wheel of dharma in motion. The auspicious day of Ashadha Purnima which falls on the full moon day of the month of Ashadha as per Indian lunar calendar is also known as Esala Poya in Sri Lanka and Asanha Bucha in Thailand.

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The day marks Buddha’s first teaching after attaining Enlightenment, to the first five ascetic disciples (pancavargiya) on the full-moon day of Ashadha at ‘Deer Park’, in the present day Sarnath, near Varanasi, it said.

The rainy season retreat (Varsha Vassa) for monks and nuns, also starts with this day lasting for three lunar months from July to October, during which they remain in a single place, generally in their temples dedicated to intensive meditation. The day is also observed as Guru Purnima by both Buddhists and Hindus as a day to mark reverence to their gurus, the statement said.

 

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