The International Buddhist Confederation (IBC), under the aegis of Ministry of Culture, Government of India, is celebrating Ashadha Purnima on July 4, 2020, as Dharma Chakra Day. This day commemorates Buddha’s First Sermon to his first five ascetic disciples at the Deer Park, Rashipatan in the present day Sarnath near Varanasi, UP. The day is also celebrated by Buddhists all over the world as the day of Dhamma Chakra Pravartana or “Turning of the Wheel of Dharma”. This day is also aptly observed as Guru Poornima by both Buddhists and Hindus as a day to mark reverence to their Gurus.
In keeping with the historical legacy of India being the land of Buddha’s enlightenment, his turning the wheels of Dharma, and Mahaparinirvana, the Honourable President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind will inaugurate the Dhamma chakra Day from the Rashtrapati Bhavan. Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi would deliver a video address on the occasion to emphasize the teachings of peace and justice of Lord Buddha and the Eight Fold Path shown by him to overcome sufferings of sentient beings. The Minister of Culture Shri Prahlad Patel and Minister of State for Minorities Affairs, Shri Kiren Rijiju will also address the opening ceremony. A special address by the President of Mongolia will also be read out and a valuable Buddhist manuscript of Indian origin preserved in Mongolia for centuries together, will be presented to the Hon’ble President of India.
Rest of the events on this day, including messages from top Buddhist religious leaders, Masters and Scholars from different parts of the world will be streamed from Sarnath and Bodh Gaya.
Due to Covid 19 pandemic, the whole program is being conducted virtually, like a very successful virtual Vaisakh (Buddha Purnima) on May 7 this year. The event on 4th July is expected to be witnessed by around 30 lakh devotees worldwide via live webcast.