Buddhism Current Affairs - 2020

President Inaugurates Dhamma Chakra Day 2020 Celebrations

In partnership with the International Buddhist Confederation (IBC), the Union Ministry of Culture will be organizing the celebrations for the Dhamma Chakra Day on Asadha Poornima on the 4th of July 2020. The celebrations for the day were inaugurated from the Rashtrapati Bhawan at New Delhi by the President of India, Ram Nath Kovind.

Every year on the first full moon day in the month of July is celebrated as Dhamma Chakra Day. The first full moon day of July is called Asadha Poornima in India, Esala Poya in Sri Lanka and Asanha Bucha in Thailand.

After Buddha Poornima or Vesak, Dhamma Chakra Day is the second most sacred day in Buddhism.

Dhamma Chakra Day

The day is celebrated all over the world to commemorate the first sermon that Gautama Buddha gave to his five ascetic disciples (five monks). Gautama Buddha gave his first sermon on the day on the full moon in the month of Asadha (Asadha means the month of July). The first sermon by Gautama Buddha is recorded in Buddhist text- Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta.

Gautama Buddha gave the first sermon at the Deer Park in Rsipatana (present-day Sarnath in Uttar Pradesh).

Celebrations for the Day

This year the celebrations will be conducted virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  President Ram Nath Kovind inaugurated the day’s celebration virtually at 9 am from Rashtrapati Bhawan.

In association with the Bodh Gaya Temple Management Committee and Mahabodhi Society of India, the events from Mulagandha Kuti Vihara in Sarnath and Mahabodhi Temple in Bodh Gaya can be live-streamed at the Youtube Channel named- IBC World.

India-Nepal sign MoU

On June 15, 2020 India and Nepal signed a Memorandum of Understanding to improve infrastructure of the Pashupatinath temple complex.

Highlights

The Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Federal Affairs ministry of Nepal and Indian Embassy. Under the agreement, India has pledged to extend financial assistance of Rs 2.33 crores. The project is to be implemented by Kathmandu Metropolitan city. India is to assist in constructing sanitation facility at the temple complex.

India’s assistance comes amidst a raging border row between the two countries.

Pashupatinath Temple

The Pashupatinath temple is the largest temple complex in Nepal. It is located on the Bagmati river of Nepal. The temple is one of the UNESCO World Heritage site.

Bagmati river

The river is considered holy by both Hindus and Buddhists. The river flows in India and Nepal. It is a tributary of Kosi river.

India-Nepal Issue

The Nepal Parliament recently passed an amendment bill to redraw its political map. The new map is to include Kalapani, Lipulekh and Limpiyadhura. These regions are disputed and are claimed by both India and Nepal.