Reach of Buddhism: PM Modi, President to address Ashadh Purnima celebrations in UP

New Delhi: President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the Ashadh Purnima celebrations to be held at Moolgandha Kuti Vihar in Sarnath, Uttar Pradesh on Wednesday (July 13) via video message. Ashadha Purnima is the second holiest day for Buddhists after Buddha Purnima or Vaishakh Purnima. The celebration takes place at the Moolgandha Kuti Vihara which houses the holy relics of Buddha.

Uttar Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel will also be present in this program. Chief Minister Yogi AdityanathUnion Law and Justice Minister Kiren Rijiju, Culture Minister Gangapuram Kishan Reddy and Minister of State for Culture Arjun Ram Meghwal. Before the commencement of the program, Governor Anandiben Patel along with senior venerable monks will take the blessings of the holy Buddha relics.

The event is being organized by the International Buddhist Confederation (IBC) and the high-level representation reflects India’s continued access to Buddhism. PM Modi visited Lumbini in Nepal on Buddha Purnima, stressing the shared cultural ties between the two countries. Modi had also participated in the “foundation” ceremony for the construction of a center for Buddhist culture and heritage in Lumbini, the birthplace of Lord Buddha and a major pilgrimage site.

Not only visits but engagement in other ways continues, including the Indian government co-hosting an event on Buddha Purnima, which was attended by 24 Buddhist spiritual leaders, including Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama. India also sent four sacred Kapilavastu relics of Lord Buddha to the Mongolian capital Ulaanbaatar for an 11-day exhibition. Buddha relics are also known as ‘Kapilvastu relics’ because they are from a site in Bihar that was first discovered in 1898, which is believed to be the ancient city of Kapilvastu.