Buddhism Current Affairs - 2019
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Buddha Purnima also known as Vaishak Purnima is the birth anniversary of Gautama Buddha (or Lord Buddha). 18 May 2019 witnessed the 2,563rd birth anniversary of the Buddha and is being celebrated across the world.
About Buddha Purnima
- Background: Buddha Purnima festival is traditionally celebrated to commemorate birth of Siddhartha Gautama, who later became Gautama Buddha and founded Buddhism. People celebrate Siddhartha’s (a king by birth) choice to embrace a spiritual quest when he witnessed the suffering of common people which inspired him to let go of his royal life. He then renounced all worldly pleasures and became a holy man.
- It is celebrated every year on the full moon day (known as Purnima), in month of Vaishakha, according to Hindu Lunar calendar.
- Reason: It is also celebrated as Vesak in South and Southeast Asia. The day commemorates birth, death as well as enlightenment of Lord Buddha, all of which is said to have taken place on same day. It is after this enlightenment that later Siddhartha earned the title Buddha which means ‘The Enlightened One’.
- Significance: Celebrating Buddha Purnima is all about praying with purest of feelings, and adopting what Buddhism stand for which is peace, harmony and non-violence.
- Nepal: is considered as Buddha’s birth country. He was born in Lumbini (now in modern-day Nepal). There Buddha Purnima day is celebrated on full moon day of Vaisakha month in accordance to Buddhist calendar.
- Southeast Asian Nations: celebrate day during Vaisakha month of Buddhist and Hindu calendar, which is generally the month of April or May according to Gregorian calendar.
- On this day, Countries all over world such as Malaysia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, South Vietnam, Myanmar, China, Cambodia, Singapore, Indonesia, Taiwan, Australia,
- Canada, United States (US) celebrate the essence of Buddhism. It is public holiday in many countries, and is celebrated by commemorating different ethnicities and cultures.
- It is celebrated by paying a visit to common Viharas (monastery for Buddhists), where Buddhists observe a longer than usual and full-length Buddhist sutra (or suttas), which is similar to a service.
17 May: Vesak Day
- On 17 May 2019 United Nation (UN) observed “Vesak”, the Day of the Full Moon in month of May.
- In 1999, the UN General Assembly (UNGA), by its resolution 54/115, recognized internationally Day of Vesak, to acknowledge contribution of Buddhism in world.
Tags: 2 • 563rd birth anniversary • Buddha Purnima • Buddhism • Gautama Buddha • Gregorian calendar • Hindu calendar • Lumbini • resolution 54/115 • UN General Assembly • United Nation • Vaishak Purnima • Vesak
The International Buddhist Conclave (IBC), 2018 was held in New Delhi. It was inaugurated by President Ram Nath Kovind. It was sixth edition of International Buddhist Conclave. Its theme was ‘Buddha Path – The Living Heritage”.
The Conclave was organized by Ministry of Tourism in collaboration with State Governments of Maharashtra, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. Japan is ‘Partner Country for IBC-2018. It was held from 23rd to 26th August, 2018 at New Delhi and Ajanta (Maharashtra), followed by site visits to Rajgir, Nalanda and Bodhgaya (Bihar) and Sarnath (Uttar Pradesh). It saw participation delegates from following 29 countries including ministerial level delegation from Bangladesh, Indonesia, Myanmar and Sri Lanka. This edition of conclave had religious and spiritual dimension, academic theme and diplomatic and business component.
Union Ministry of Tourism has been organizing International Buddhist Conclave biennially. The earlier Conclaves were organized in New Delhi and Bodhgaya (February 2004), Nalanda and Bodhgaya (February 2010), Varanasi and Bodhgaya (September 2012), Bodhgaya and Varanasi (September 2014) and in Sarnath/Varanasi and Bodhgaya (October 2016). ASEAN countries were guest of honour during IBC, 2016.
Objectives of this conclave are
- Showcase and project Buddhist Heritage in India.
- Boost tourism to Buddhist sites in the country.
- Cultivate friendly ties with countries and communities interested in Buddhism.
Buddha Path: It refers to eight great places of Buddhist Heritage (referred in Pali as Aṭṭhamahāṭhānāni). These places are connected with important events of life of Buddha from the time of his birth, enlightenment, reaching dhamma to suffering humanity, till he passed away (Mahāparinirvāna) at the age of 80 years. These are living heritage that still continues to inspire millions of people to walk and find out peace, happiness, harmony and solace.