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Buddha Jayanti Celebrated in Lumbini

Kathmandu, May 22, 2024. To celebrate the auspicious occasion of Buddha Jayanti, the Embassy of India in Nepal organised a number of events in Lumbini on 22 May 2024 in collaboration with the Lumbini Development Trust and the Lumbini Buddhist University.

The events commenced in the forenoon of 22 May 2024 with an academic symposium on “Buddha Dharma and Global Peace” at the Lumbini Buddhist University. Eminent Buddhist scholars from India and Nepal participated in the symposium and shared their insights on the relevance of Lord Buddha’s teachings in the modern world. The scholars also highlighted the unparalleled and rich Buddhist linkages between India and Nepal.

Rt. Hon’ble Prime Minister of Nepal, Mr. Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ graced the special event as the Chief Guest. The centre-piece of this special event to celebrate Buddha Jayanti in Lumbini was a painting exhibition and cultural evening that took place close to the Prince Siddhartha Statue, Sacred Garden at Lumbini Sanskritik Municipality.

The painting exhibition on ‘Lord Buddha and his teachings’, inaugurated by Rt. Hon’ble Prime Minister of Nepal, curated paintings made by students from schools in Kathmandu and Lumbini. These paintings depicted various aspects of Lord Buddha’s life and teachings.

The cultural evening, held on the eve of the Vaisakha Buddha Poornima, included vibrant performances showcasing the shared Buddhist heritage and traditions of India and Nepal. It began with traditional chanting by Buddhist monks from the Hinayana and Mahayana traditions, organised by the Lumbini Development Trust. Other performances included a dance-recital entitled ‘Shweta Mukti- the Feminine Glory of Nirvana’ by Ms. Kavita Dwivedi and her dance troupe from India; a poignant rendition of Bhajans and Dhamma songs by celebrated Indian vocalist, Dr. Subhadra Desai; and a soulful medley of Buddhist songs by the renowned Nepali music group ‘Sur Sudha’ led by Mr. Surendra Shrestha.

In his welcome remarks, Ambassador Naveen Srivastava underlined that India and Nepal’s shared Buddhist legacy and heritage is a bond that has connected the people of both the countries for centuries. The holy-lands of Lumbini in Nepal and Bodhgaya, Sarnath, and Kushinagar in India are the cradles from which the universal teachings of Lord Buddha spread to other parts of the world. Ambassador also emphasised India’s commitment to continuing to strengthen this shared legacy in present times for the welfare of the people of India and Nepal.

Rt Hon’ble Prime Minister of Nepal, Mr. Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ appreciated the Embassy of India and all the artists for the beautiful painting exhibition and the lively cultural programme. Rt Hon’ble PM said that culture occupies a special place in India and Nepal’s bilateral relationship and such events strengthen the bond of friendship and harmony between our two countries. He said that such events are not just a source of pride but also a treasure trove of wisdom. He underscored that Nepal and India share an age-old, multi-dimensional relationship buttressed by cross-sectoral cooperation.

Hon’ble Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Nepal, Mr. Narayan Kaji Shrestha, Hon’ble Minister of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation of Nepal, Mr. Hit Bahadur Tamang, Hon’ble Chief Minister of Lumbini Province, Mr. Jokh Bahadur Mahara, and several senior provincial leaders also graced the event along with the Vice Chairman and senior office-bearers of the Lumbini Development Trust. The event was also widely attended by representatives from various Buddhist sects and monasteries in India and Nepal as well as by the general public.

Ambassador Srivastava presented an intricate Thangka painting from Sikkim, India to Rt. Hon’ble Prime Minister ‘Prachanda’.

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