President, VP, PM greet people on Buddha Purnima
New Delhi, May 12: Greeting the people on the eve of Buddha Purnima, President APJ Abdul Kalam, Vice-President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today said Lord Buddha's message of universal love, social harmony, compassion and non-violence continues to guide humanity on the path of harmonious and virtuous living.
''The message of Lord Buddha has guided mankind for centuries on the path of moral and ethical rectitude. His message of love for the downtrodden and destitute can lead to harmony and justice in society,'' Dr Kalam said in his message.
The President also appealed to the people to resolve and follow the Nobl Eight-fold Path of non-violence aqnd 'karuna' (compassion) shown by the Tathagat.
Mr Shekhawat, in his message, said, '' Lord Buddha, through his enlightened teachings, showed us the noble path of non-violence, universal love, social harmony and good conduct to save mankind from ignorance, turmoil and moral decay.'' Lord Buddha's teachings had the power to provide answers to the problems faced by mankind, he added.
Mr Shekhawat called upon the people to pay their respectful homage to Lord Buddha on this auspicious occasion and rededicate themselves to his enlightened teachings to usher in a peaceful and humane society and to strive for the welfare of the downtrodden.
Dr Singh, in his message to the nation, said, ''May the festival usher in peace, prosperity and happiness for all,'' Dr Singh said in his message to the nation.
The Prime Minister will open tomorrow the year-long celebrations to commemorate the 2550th anniversary of 'Mahaparinirvana' of Lord Buddha.
A national committee, headed by Dr Singh, has planned the celebrations spread all over the country to highlight the message of peace and equality as preached by Lord Buddha.
National seminars on the topics related to Lord Buddha's teachings and their relevance in today's world will be attended by the scholars, religious heads and Buddhist experts from various countries.
The Ministry of Tourism and Culture has provided substantial funds for the upgradation of infrastructure at Buddhist circuits, including Rs. 7.68 crore for the development of Bodhgaya, Rajgir and Nalanda in Bihar and development of Lower Krishna Valley Buddhist circuits in Andhra Pradesh at a cost of Rs. 8 crore during 2005-06.
A loan assistance of Rs. 395.63 crore from Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) for Phase-II of the Tourism Infrastructure Development of Buddhist locations in Sarnath, Kushinagar, Kapilvastu, Sravasti and Sankisa in Uttar Pradesh has also been approved by the government.