On July 4 , 2020, President of India Shri Ram Nath Kovind has virtually inaugurated the celebrations for the Dharma Chakra Day 2020 Organized by International Buddhist Confederation (IBC), in Partnership with Union Ministry of Culture, from the Rashtrapati Bhawan at New Delhi on the occasion of Asadha Poornima (also known as Guru Purnima) , a Full Moon day or Purnima that occurs in the Hindu month of Ashadha (July) as per Indian sun calendar.
- It is to be noted that the Asadha Poornima, which is the second most sacred day for Buddhists after the Buddha Poornima or Vesak, is also known as Esala Poya in Sri Lanka and Asanha Bucha in Thailand.
Importance of Dharma Chakra Day:
- This day reminds the Buddha of his first sermon to his first five ascetic disciples (pañcavargika) at Deer Park, Rupapatana in current-day Sarnath near Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh.
- This sermon of the Dhamma Cakka- PavattanaSutta (Pali) or Dharma chakra Pravartana Sutra (Sanskrit) is also known as the First Turning of Wheels of Dharma and is made up of the four sacred truths and Noble Eightfold Path.
- This day is also celebrated by Buddhists and Hindus as Guru Purnima to show respect to their gurus.
Dharma Chakra Day Highlights:
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s address
Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to the youth of the country to adopt the Buddha’s thoughts through video message with special emphasis on the teachings of Lord Buddha.
i.The Minister of State (MoS) for Culture Prahlad Singh Patel and Minister of State for Minorities Affairs, Kiren Rijiju also addressed the opening ceremony.
Virtual Vesak and Global Prayer Week from May 7- 16, 2020 celebrated
Before Asadha Poornima, Buddha Poornima or Vesak day (May 7, 2020) and Global Prayer Week from May 7- 16, 2020 have been celebrated jointly by the Ministry of Culture, with the participation of all the supreme heads of Buddhist associations around the world in collaboration with IBC, a global Buddhist composite organization. Prime Minister Modi was participated in the ceremony.
- Vesak is considered as Triple Blessed Day i.e. the birth of Tathagata Gautam Buddha, attainment of enlightenment and Maha Parnirvana Day.
i.On this occasion, prayer ceremonies were held at the Sacred Garden Lumbini, Nepal,Mahabodhi Temple, Bodhgaya, India,Mulgandha Kuti Vihara, Sarnath, India, Parinirvana Stupa, Sri Lanka, Boudhanath, Swayambhu, Namo Stupa, Nepal and other popular Buddhist sites were streamed live.
About Ministry of Culture:
Headquarters– New Delhi