Buddha Purnima in Mongolia
Ulaanbaatar: Mongolia celebrates Buddha Purnima on Tuesday, June 14, marking the birth of Siddhartha Gautam (Buddha Gautam) on this day.
The government has decided to declare this day a national holiday in 2019. While the streets looked empty due to the closure of offices, at the same time a large number of holidaymakers could be seen enjoying the good weather with the temperature fluctuating around 18 degrees. and a cool breeze blowing. But the city is also busy due to the arrival of the Buddha relic from India, further enhancing the relevance of this day.
A large crowd had gathered in and around Gandan Monastery in the capital Ulaanbataar since early morning, marking the day and paying homage to the relic. The Indian delegation that arrived on the scene, led by Minister of Law and Justice Kiren Rijiju, was overwhelmed by the warm welcome they received at Gandan Monastery. The breadth and depth of the prevailing faith among the Mongols towards Buddhism and towards India is unfathomable.
The crowd was so impressed by the arrival of the relic from India which they consider to be the land of the Buddha that some of them tried to touch the members of the Indian delegation as if to establish a connection with those of the ” land of the Buddha”. . As the delegation took its place at Gandan Monastery where more than a thousand people had gathered, another procession of 3,000 Buddhist monks and followers reached Gandan Monastery in a procession that traveled through the city.
The delegation led by Rijiju received the motorcade with Mongolian Culture Minister Nomin Chinbat and Khamba Nomun Khan from Gandan Monastery. A professional music choir set the pace for the day with a piece from Mongolia’s national music collection. Later they played two more wonderful themes which mesmerized the audience. This was followed by a prayer marking the placement of the relic in the coffin in front of the altar which forms part of the platform in front of the large Buddha statue which adorns the temple.
In his speech on the occasion, Khan, Head of Gandan Monastery and Speaker of the Mongolian Parliament, highlighted India’s huge role in promoting Buddhism in Mongolia and various aspects of Buddhism in Mongolia. They also highlighted the relevance of this important day and how it was the Buddha’s blessings that saved the country from the pandemic and other challenges. They reiterated the extent of peace and harmony the Buddhist faith had brought to Mongolian society and now with the introduction of the relic they claimed there was a strong sense of connection between the peoples from India and Mongolia.
During his speech at the rally, Rijiju mentioned that Buddha is a shining example of compassion, peace and non-violence. He said the Buddha’s teachings are timeless and touch on human values at the heart of Buddhist philosophy. He mentioned that during his last two visits and during this visit as well, he had felt the warmth and affection of the Mongolian people and therefore it was all the more a matter of pride and honor for him to bring the relic to Mongolia. He appreciated that the Mongolian people saw a 55-episode Buddha series prepared in India and dubbed in Mongolian. Rijiju also mentioned that on this holy day, one should pray to avoid violence and ensure that no pain comes into people’s lives.
Referring to excerpts from the speech delivered by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to Mongolia in 2015, Rijiju reiterated his statement that “Indians and Mongols tell the world that the bonds of hearts and minds have strength to overcome the barriers of distance. For his part, Rijiju mentioned that being a Buddhist, he himself had a special connection with Buddhism. He said the Buddha was a shining example of compassion and that his teaching is timeless and touches on the human values at the heart of Buddhist philosophy.
The event was grand with a large gathering witnessing it with some of the highest dignitaries present for the occasion. There is no doubt that the relic of India carried on board a special plane by Rijiju and the delegation has made the people of Mongolia aware of the love and affection that India and the Indians have for this country. The local media coverage was clear evidence of the enormous success of the visit.