June 24, 2024, 1:52 am

Staff Correspondent

2024-05-22 04:06:54 BdST

President, PM greet Buddhists ahead of Buddha Purnima

Buddha Purnima, the largest religious festival of the Buddhist community, will be observed Wednesday across the country. The day is a public holiday.

On the eve of the Buddhist festival, President Mohammed Shahabuddin and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, in separate messages, greeted the members of the Buddhist community as well as the countrymen.

In his message, President Shahabuddin said Buddha Purnima is a holy religious festival related to the birth of Gautam Buddha, his attaining of supreme enlightenment and his great passing away (Mohaporinirvana).

He said Gautam Buddha always sought welfare for mankind, and he tried his best to make the whole world peaceful and prosperous.

The president said Buddha disseminated the message of equity and friendship during his entire life to establish peace and harmony in the world.

Ideals and philosophy of Buddha can play an important role in establishing peace in society, removing unrest and intolerance from the world, and saving people from moral degradation, he said.

Noting that Bangladesh is a country of communal harmony, the president said that since past times, people of all faith of this country have been observing their respective religions and rituals with great splendour, signifying the heritage of inter-community harmony.

"We hope that the Buddhist community members will continue their efforts for the development of the country by practicing this tradition and upholding the great ideals of the Buddha," he added.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, in her message, said overcoming greed, hatred and lust, Gautama Buddha preached the messages of non-violence, friendship and compassion throughout his life for ensuring peace, harmony and welfare for mankind.

"In today's world, it is necessary to follow the teachings of Buddha in order to suppress the brute force maddened by violence, prevent the degradation of values and build a peaceful society," the premier added.

She said people of every religion have been practicing their respective religions in a festive, free and undisturbed environment in this country since past times.

The constitution of the country guarantees equal rights to people of all religions and castes, she said, adding: "We believe religion is for individuals while festivals for all."

The government is working tirelessly to ensure dignity for each community and provide security to all communities, she said adding the Buddhist community has been actively responding by equally participating in the country’s socio-economic development activities.

The premier hoped that everyone will play a role in making Bangladesh a peaceful country by holding and cherishing the ideals of Buddha.

On the occasion, newspapers will publish articles while Bangladesh Betar, Bangladesh Television (BTV) and private TV channels would broadcast special programmes highlighting the significance of the day.

The celebrations usually start with lighting of lamps and hoisting of the national and religious flags atop the Mohabihar. Sacred verses from Tripitaka are also chanted on the day.

The Buddhist devotees are expected to offer various gift items, including fruits, flowers and candles, before the statues of Buddha throughout the day.

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