KATHMANDU: The 2557th Buddha Jayanti is being observed across the country today wishing for peace by organizing special worships, singing hymns and holding discourse.
Buddha Jayanti commemorates the day on which Lord Buddha was born, attained enlightenment, and died. The day falls on the full moon day in the Nepali month of Baishakh. Buddhists throughout the world celebrate the day paying obeisance to the Buddha.
Devotees especially throng at Lumbini, Bodhgaya, Rishi Pattan and Kushinagar on this day. These places are the four major pilgrimage sites for the Buddhists. Lumbini is where the Buddha was born, Bodhgaya is the place where he attained enlightenment, Rishipattan is the place from where he started to make sermons, and Kushinagar is the place where he died.
The government first declared Buddha Jayanti as a public holiday on May 22, 1951. Animal sacrifices on prohibited in this day in Lumbini since February 19, 1956.
The United Nations has also been observing the day of Buddha Jayanti as a public holiday at its various bodies since 2002.
It is said so far the largest number of books published are on Buddhism or related to it. Some of the famous among them are ‘The Light of Asia (published in 1879)’ by Sir Edwin Arnold, the then editor of The Telegraph, ‘Buddha and His Dhamma (published in 1957)’ by Dr BR Ambedkar, then chairman of the constitution drafting committee of India, and ‘Siddhartha’ a novel penned by German writer Herman Hesse, who won a Nobel Prize in literature in 1946.
Buddhism is taught as a discipline in world-famous universities as Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard etc. Tribhuvan University (TU) has also been providing courses on Buddhism at the Masters Level.
Buddha’s precepts should be internalized as guidelines in subjects like economics, medical science, political science etc. which are needed for social progress rather than taking them as a ‘religion’, according to modern view.
It is said that the Buddha gave religious sermons 84 thousand times in his life, which are codified in such scriptures as Vinaya, Sutta, Abhidhamma and Tripitak, among others.
This year marks 108 years of the discovery of what is called the Ashoka Pillar in Lumbini established by then Emperor Ashoka in 249 B.C. It is clearly stated in the Pali language inscriptions on this pillar that the Buddha was born at Lumbini.
The then Commander General Khadga Shumsher Rana saw this pillar while on a hunting trip in the Lumbini area in 1896 and this pillar was studied and officially recognized through joint study carried out with archaeologist Dr. Furer.
The extensive development of Lumbini was initiated with the visit of then UN Secretary General U Thant in 1967.
Prez, Veep, IEC Chair wish all on the occasion of Buddha Jayanti
Moreover, on the occasion of the 2557th Buddha Jayanti, President Dr. Ram Baran Yadav has extended best wishes to all Buddhists and Nepali brothers and sisters at home and abroad.
Stating that the messages of peace, non-violence, and love from Lord Gautam Buddha are more relevant and useful in today’s world, President Dr. Yadav has wished that may this day inspire us all to establish peace and good health by enhancing mutual good will and brotherhood.
Likewise, Vice-president Parmananda Jha has said that the relevance and importance of the message of peace and non-violence by Gautam Buddha as been gradually increasing in today’s world mired by violence and anarchism.
“Internalizing the teachings of Buddha could helps us establish brotherhood, good and lasting peace in the country and word”, he said.
Likewise, Chairman of the Council of Ministers Khil Raj Regmi has said the Buddhist philosophy does not only represent any particular religion but advocates for the overall humanity and service of the mankind.
“I wish that this day inspire us all to follow the path of peace, humanity and service shown by Gautam Buddha and contribute to the national interest and social prosperity”, he has said in the message.
Moreover, Chairman of the Council of Ministers Khil Raj Regmi is scheduled to attend separate congregations to be organized at Anandakuti Vihar at Swayambhu in Kathmandu, and at Lumbini today.
Best wishes on the occasion of Ubhauli festival
Also, President Dr Ram Baran Yadav has extended best wishes to all Kiranti sisters and brothers in the country and abroad on the occasion of the great festival of the Kirants, the Ubhauli festival.
In a message today, President Dr Yadav has said that the diverse cultural traditions in the country help enhance mutual trust and goodwill, and also in building a prosperous social structure.
Likewise, Chairman of the Council of Ministers Khil Raj Regmi has said that the religious tolerance, ethnic co-existence and communal harmony are exemplary in Nepali society, and every festival observed in Nepal are socio-culturally recognized with each having importance of its own.
He has also wished that the Ubhauli festival inspires us all to enhance peace, prosperity, mutual good will and cultural tolerance, collaboration and unity along with the prosperous future of all the Kirant communities.