COVID-19 effect: PM to address ‘virtual’ Buddha Purnima celebrations

Prime Minister Narendra Modi

New Delhi, (Samajweekly) Extraordinary times demand extraordinary measures. Hence, this year’s Buddha Purnima celebration has gone virtual keeping in mind the need to maintain social distancing where prayers will be virtually uttered. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will also be participating in the event and will be delivering the keynote address for the same on Thursday morning.

Buddha Purnima celebrations are being held through a Virtual Visak Day owing to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic across the globe. The event is being organised in honour of the victims and the frontline warriors of COVID-19, like the medical staff, doctors, and police personnel among others.

The Ministry of Culture in collaboration with the International Buddhist Confederation (IBC), a global Buddhist umbrella organization is holding a Virtual Prayer Event with the participation of all the supreme heads of the Buddhist Sanghas from around the world.

Prayer ceremonies on the occasion will be streamed live from all the prominent locations with a Buddha connection – Lumbini Garden in Nepal, Mahabodhi Temple in Bodhgaya, Mulgandha Kuti Vihara in Sarnath, Parinirvana Stupa in Kushinagar, Pirith chanting from Ruwanweli Maha Seya in the sacred and historic Anuradhapura stupa premises in Sri Lanka and other popular Buddhist sites.

The virtual event starts at 6.30 in the morning and goes on till 7.45 in the evening. Modi’s 10-minute keynote address starts at 8.05 AM. Before that, Culture and Tourism Minister Prahlad Singh Patel and Minister of State for Minority Affairs Kiren Rijiju will be participating in the event.

Vesak Buddha Poornima is considered the Triple Blessed Day as Tathagata Gautam Buddha’s birth, enlightenment and Maha Parnirvana. But when the entire world is locked inside and forced to work from home in wake of the deadly pandemic, then celebration of such holy events also had to be customised, keeping social distancing norms in mind.