Buddha Purnima or “Vesak”, the day of the Full Moon was observed globally on 10 May 2017. The day marks the birth of Gautam Buddha, who was born two and a half millennia ago in the year 623 B.C. It was also on this day that the Buddha attained enlightenment under the Mahabodhi tree at Bodh Gaya and it was on the day of Vesak that the Buddha passed away. Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted on the occasion saying that the ideals of Gautama Buddha and his noble thoughts will continue to guide generations and inspire people to work towards a harmonious, just and compassionate society. The International Day of Vesak celebrations will be held in Colombo from 12 May to 14 May.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be travelling to Sri Lanka on 11 May to attend the festival. The festivities will include an International Buddhist Conference, which will witness participation from over 400 delegates from more than 100 countries across the world. The International day was established by the UN General Assembly to acknowledge the contribution of Buddhism to the spirituality of humanity. This day is commemorated annually at the UN Headquarters and other UN offices, in consultation with the relevant UN offices and with permanent missions. The day of full Moon, ‘Vesak’ in the month of May, is the most sacred day to millions of Buddhists around the world.
Millions around the world follow the teachings of the Buddha, his message of compassion, peace and good. On the Day of Vesak, Buddhist followers not only commemorate the Buddha’s birth but the day he attained Nirvana and his passing. On the occasion, the UN Secretary-General, António Guterres sent his warm wishes to all those celebrating the day and said that everyone can draw inspiration from the Buddha’s journey. Indian President Pranab Mukherjee also greeted the nation on the occasion saying that the Buddha is a resplendent symbol of lofty idealism and concern for humanity and his profound teachings of equality, love, kindness and tolerance are of increasing relevance in the present times.