New Delhi: The Union Ministry of Culture, International Buddhist Confederation in association with Government of Uttar Pradesh is organising the Abhidhamma Day on 20th October 2021 at Kushinagar, Uttar Pradesh on the auspicious occasion of Ashwin Poornima.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will grace the event in the presence of eminent monks from Sri Lanka, Thailand, Myanmar, South Korea, Nepal, Bhutan, Cambodia and Ambassadors of various countries. The day marks the end of three month rainy retreat – Varshavaas or Vassa- for the Buddhist Monks and Nuns during which time they stay at one place in vihara and monastery and pray.
Governor of UP, Anandiben Patel; Chief Minister of UP Yogi Adityanath; Minister of Law and Justice Kiren Rijiju; Culture and Tourism Minister G. Kishan Reddy; Minister of Civil aviation Jyotiraditya M. Scindia and MoSs from Ministry of Culture, Civil Aviation and Tourism will attend the programme.
A Sri Lankan delegation consisting of 123 delegates including 12-member Holy Relic entourage led by current Mahanayaka of Waskaduwa Temple is attending the event with Holy Relics. The delegation also comprises of Anunayakas (deputy heads) of all four Nikatas (orders) of Buddhism in Sri Lanka i.eAsgiriya, Amarapura, Ramanya, Malwatta as well as 5 ministers of Govt of Sri Lanka led by Cabinet Minister, Mr Namal Rajapakshe
The highlight of the event is the Exposition of Holy Buddha Relic being brought from Waskaduwa Sri Subuddhi Rajvihara Temple, Sri Lanka by the Mahanayaka of the temple. In 1898, Archaeologists from Archaeological Survey of India excavated a large mound in the estate of British landowner, William Claxton Peppe in Piprahwa, Sidharthnagar district U.P. It is 160 km from Kushinagar. They found a big stone box and inside this stone box there were some caskets and on one casket these words were inscribed:
‘IyangsaleelanidhaneBudhasabhagawathesakiyanansukithibahathanansabhaginikathansasunadalatha’. Most Venerable Sri Subhuthi Mahanayake Thero of Waskaduwa Temple, Sri Lanka who was helping the Archaeological team and Mr. Peppe translated the text which means “this noble deed of depositing of Buddha’s relics were carried out by the brothers, the sisters and the children of Sakyas”. Thus, these relics are accepted as real relics (Bone fragments, ashes, pieces of Jewels of the Buddha). A part of the Buddha relics obtained from this stupa was sent to the King of Thailand and another part was sent to the King of Burma. Mr W.C. Peppe handed another part of relics, as a token of gratitude, to the Most Venerable Sri Subhuthi Mahanayake Thero.A part of the same Relics embedded in three small lotuses, which are further encased in a crystal ball, kept in a casket measuring 30cm * 26.5 cm which is fixed on a wooden stand , are being brought to Kushinagar for public exposition. The Prime Minister will offer prayers to the Holy Relic and also visit the Mahaparinirvana temple to offer flowers and chivar to the reclining statue of Buddha.