Today is Buddha Purnima - the birth anniversary of Gautma the Buddha. It is day to be celebrated not only by the Buddhists all over the world but by all peace-loving and society oriented people. I am one among the lot. I take this opportunity to greet everyone and wish them peace and prosperity in the years to come.
India has a special meaning and significance for the Buddha and his teachings. India is blessed to make and give Prince Gautma as the Buddha and his mission and teachings to us to lead a meaningful life. These teaching are as potent and relevant today as these were before. It is a matter of great satisfaction that, in the contemporary times, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar revived Buddhism in India as the teachings of Mahatma Buddha are increasingly becoming more relevant in these days of tension and strife in the society. It is all the more gratifying that the imprint of Lord Buddha is clearly visible and available on the constitution of India and India's state insignia like the flag (dhamma chakra) and the natational emblem ( lions of the sarnath stupa). The credit goes to Dr. Ambedkar and Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru for reinstalling the glory of India by bringing back the touch of Buddhism to the land of its origin. Dr. Ambedkar not only embraced Buddhism himself but professed in no uncertain terms ' My social philosophy may said to be enshrined in three words: Liberty, Equality and Fraternity. I have derived these from the teachings of my master, the Buddha'. My personal touch and connection with the Buddha and the Buddha Purnima is simple - i) my daughter Vaishali was born on the Buddha Purnima Day. Her marriage ceremony also had an Buddhist input in the welcome ceremony of the Barat at the lobby of the President Hotel in Jalandhar conduct by a renowned Japanese Buddhist priest (Bhikhu ) D.S. Uchida. ii) my small house is located in the IFS Villas in Gautam Buddha Nagar ( Greater Noida ) in UP ( Hon'ble Chief Minister of UP Kumari Mayawat being a follower of Ambedkar also professes to be a Buddhist by mind and thinking and has done some good work in bringing back the legacy of Lord Buddha) iii) I am obliquely connected with the Buddha Vihara at my native place Bootan Mandi in Jalandhar. Infact, I was invited to be the lead speaker at todays ( May 17) function at the Vihara in Jalandhar but, unfortunately, I could not make it.
Let me conclude by recalling the three important aspects of Lord Buddha's teaching i.e. i) Lord take me to the embrace of the learned ( Buddha ) ii) Lord make me profess right conduct (Dhamma) and iii) Lord make me to live a social life in good company ( Sangha). This is basic mantra for ordinary people like us to be followed to live in peace and harmony. May Lard Buddha bless us.