বুদ্ধ পূর্ণিমা উপলক্ষে বাংলাদেশ বৌদ্ধ কৃষ্টি প্রচার সংঘে হাইকমিশনারের বক্তব্য Statements & Speeches

বুদ্ধ পূর্ণিমা উপলক্ষে বাংলাদেশ বৌদ্ধ কৃষ্টি প্রচার সংঘে হাইকমিশনারের বক্তব্য

High Commission of India

Dhaka

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Remarks by High Commissioner on Buddha Purnima 2019 Bangladesh Bouddho Kristi Prachar Sangha

(18 May, 2019)

Most Venerable Sanghanayaka Suddhananda Mahathero, President Bangladesh Bouddho Kristi Prachar Sangha,

Janab Saber Hussain Chowdhury, Hon’ble MP,

Ms. Basanti Chakma, MP

Swami Purnatmananda, Principal, Ramakrishna Math and Mission, Dhaka

Shri P R Barua, Vice-President of Bangladesh Buddhist Kristi Prochar Sangha, 

Ladies and gentlemen,

I am delighted to be present here today on the auspicious occasion of Buddha Purnima. I would also like to extend my warm greetings to the Buddhist community in Bangladesh.

2. India’s relation with Lord Buddha is as old as history and civilization. The most precious gift that ancient India has given to the world is, the Buddha and his Path, which is, the Eight-fold Path. The extraordinary teachings of the Buddha, also called the Middle Path brings purity of mind and leads to Peace, Happiness and Harmony within and also in the society. The ‘Buddha Path’ also refers to the Eight Great Places of Buddhist Heritage, (referred in Pali as Aṭṭhamahāṭhānāni). These eight places are connected with the important events of the life of the Buddha from the time of his Birth, Enlightenment, Teaching Dhamma to suffering humanity, till he passed away, Mahāparinirvāna. This Buddha Path is the Living Heritage that still continues to inspire millions of people to walk and find out Peace, Happiness, Harmony and Solace. We Indians value this extraordinary legacy of the Buddha and take pride in it. Many of you must be aware that we have a special train called “Mahaparinirvana Express” that includes visits to the most important Buddhist pilgrimage sites associated with Lord Buddha.

3. Buddhism travelled from India in myriad directions overland and maritime trade networks. Buddhist philosophical ideas including medicine, astronomy, mathematics, artistic and architectural styles, the art of diplomacy and statecraft, etc., were transmitted throughout the world cutting across races, regions, ethnicities, languages, genders and cultures. From Gandhara And Mathura schools of art in 1st century AD to our Presidential residence (Rashtrapati Bhavan) in the 20th century, the influence of Buddhism is self-evident. Scholars from across Asia came to study in renowned Indian universities such as Nalanda and Takshashila and took home with them Buddhist teachings, texts and relics. Scholars like Fahien and Hiuen Tsang spread the Buddha’s teachings far and wide. Interestingly, even kings and monarchs reached out to each other through Buddhist channels while sending missionaries and exchanging gifts of translated texts and relics as valuable diplomatic tools. Indian monarchs like Emperor Ashoka, Kanishka and Harshavardhana took personal interest in the spread of Buddhism. Nothing encapsulates our connection to Buddhism more than our national emblem – Ashoka’s pillar with the Dharma Chakra that continues to guide our thoughts and deeds.

4. Bangladesh has a rich history of Buddhism. The ancient monasteries at Paharpur (in Rajshahi) and Mainamati (in Comilla), dating from the seventh to ninth century A.D., are considered unique for their size and setting and are maintained as state-protected monuments. High Commission of India’s association with Bouddho Kristi Prachar Sangha goes back along way. Each of my predecessors have been here and I am honoured to be present today on this holy day. The first High Commissioner Shri Subimal Dutt had planted saplings within the premises of this Sangha. We have extended a helping hand through construction of a 2 storeyed Dharmarajika Orphanage dining hall cum library and provided furniture, Dharmarajika High School Science Laboratory Project, donation of books etc. We also provide annual donation to the orphanage here. We are always ready to extend any assistance.

5. Bangladesh Bouddho Kristi Prachar Sangha’s contribution to the building of a peaceful society in Bangladesh deserves appreciation. We were privileged that the Mahathero attended the 6th International Buddhist Conclave (IBC), 2018  in August last year. It included discussion between scholars and monks and B2B meetings between the foreign and Indian tour operators. We look forward to your participation in such events every year.

Thank you. Heartiest greetings of Buddha Purnima!

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