International Buddhist Confederation (IBC) under the aegis of Ministry of Culture, Govt of India, observed one of its annual flagship eventsAsadhaPoornima on 24th July, 2021. The day is also known as Dhamma Chakra Pavatana – The First Turning of the Wheel of Dhamma and is considered as the second most sacred day by Buddhist all over the world after VesakPoormina. The event was held in a hybrid form in association with the Ministry of Culture, Govt. of India,Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) and Mahabodhi Society of India.
The formal ceremony of the program commenced physically at the Rashtrapati Bhawan, New Delhi, whereHon’ble President of India, Ram NathKovind, Hon’ble Minister of Culture,GangapuramKishan Reddy and MoS (Arjun Ram Meghwal) and MoS (MeenakashiLekhi) and Ven. Dr. Dhammapiya,Secretary General, IBC were present. This was also followed by a plantation of sacred Holy Bodhi Tree sapling by Hon’ble President Ram NathKovind in the premises of Rashtrapati Bhawan.
The second session was hosted by the IBC saw the telecast of video messages from different heads of Government ad minister. In the beginning, Hon’ble Minister of Culture and Tourism, GangapuramKishan Reddy, welcomed everyone through a video message. A written message by The Prime Minister of Vietnam's was read out by H.E Vu ChienThang, Minister of Internal Affairs & Head of Department for Religious Affairs. It was followed by video messages received from Dr. LotayTshering, Hon'ble Prime Minister of Bhutan. Later, Hon’ble Prime Minister of India, NarendraModi and Hon’ble President of India, Ram NathKovind extended their greetings on the occasion.
In the third session, an event was organized at the Buddha Jayanti Park, New Delhi, where monks form Theravada and Mahayana performed Manglacharan and offered flowers to the Lord Buddha statue under Bodhi tree. Mr. Shakti Sinha, Director General, IBC, welcomed everyone on this auspicious occasion. A special AsadhaPoornima message was delivered by Ven. Dr. Dhammapiya, Secretary General, IBC. The Chief Guest on the occasion, the Hon’ble Minister of state for Culture, MrsMeenakashiLekhi while addressing the gathering reminded everyone that how the teaching of Buddha is more relevant in today’s world. The event was concluded by a Vote of Thanks by Ven. JangchupChoeden, Deputy Secretary General, IBC.
In the fourth session, the event was followed by presentation on digitized set of rare text of Mongolian Kangyur (Tri- Pitika) by Dr. Sachidanand Joshi, Member Secretary, Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts (IGNCA), Ministry of Culture Govt of India and presentation on Catalogue of Tengyur (Late Prof. Rinchen edition) by Prof DrShashibala, Dean, K M Munshi Centre of Indology, BhartiyaVidya Bhawan. A short film on IBC’s Covid Aid initiative “Care with Prayer" was also streamed.
Later, video messages by following Supreme Heads of Buddhist Sangha from various countries were streamed:
• His Holiness SomdetPhraAriyavamsagatanana, The Supreme Patriarch of Thailand
• Reading of His Holiness SamdeachPreahAggaMahaSangharajadhipatiTepVong'smessage by Most Venerable
SamdechPreahMahāAriyavamsa Prof. Dr. KhySovanratana. His Holiness TepVong is also Patron, IBC and Supreme Patriarch of Cambodia
• Reading of His Holiness the Dalai Lama's message by Khensur Rinpoche JangchupChoeden. His Holiness Dalai Lama is also Patron, IBC
• His Holiness Thich Tri Quang, Patron, IBC & Deputy Sangharaja, National Vietnam Buddhist Sangha, Vietnam
• Chanting by National Vietnam Buddhist Sangha, Vietnam
• Dharma Master Hsin Tao, Member of the Supreme Dhamma Council, IBC and Founder of Ling Jiou Mountain Buddhist Society and Museum of World Religions
• Most Ven. MakuleweWimalaMahanayakeThero, Sri RamannaMahaNikaya, Sri Lanka
• Most Ven. Dr. Thich DucThien, Vietnam
• Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi, Chuang Yen Monastery, USA
• Ven. Roshi Joan Halifax, Abbot, Upaya Zen Center, Former Secretary, IBC
In the fifth session, an “Asadha Dharma Talk” by theEminent Buddhist Masters and Scholars from various countrieswas streamed:
• Most Ven. Arayawangso, Abbot, Buddhapojhariphunchai Forest Monastery, Thailand
• Ven. GesheLhakdor, Director, Library of Tibetan Works & Archives, India
• Ven. BhikkhuniTathālokāMahātherī, Founding Abbess and preceptor, Dhammadharini Monastery, USA
• Most Ven. AmalaWrightson Sensei, Member, Supreme Dhamma Council, IBC & Director, Auckland Zen Centre, New Zealand
• Ven. BhikkhuKaboggozaBuddharakkhita, Vice President, IBC & Abbot and President, Uganda Buddhist Centre
• Prof. Dr. Robert A. F. Thurman, World Renowned Buddhist Scholar, USA
• Prof. AsangaThilakaratne, Sri Lanka
At the end, Mr. Shakti Sinha, Director General, IBC ended the event by giving his Concluding remarks.
In the sixth session, as a part of AsadhaPoornima program, the Embassy of India in Thimpu, Bhutan, hosted a panel discussion on the “Relevance of the teachings of Lord Buddha in the age of technology” with prominent Bhutanese scholars.
The celebration was concluded by the ChantingfromAbhayagiriVihara, SriLanka.