Remarks by Ambassador Mr. Ghanshyam Bhandari at the Programme Organized to Observe the Holy Buddha Purnima by Bangladesh Bouddha Kristi Prachar Sangha

Remarks by Ambassador Mr. Ghanshyam Bhandari at the Programme Organized to Observe the Holy Buddha Purnima by
Bangladesh Bouddha Kristi Prachar Sangha
at Dharmarajika Buddhist Monastery
Sabujbagh, Dhaka, 22 May 2024

Pro-Vice Chancellor of University of Dhaka, Prof. Dr. Sitesh Chandra Bachar
President of Bangladesh Bouddha Kristi Prachar Sangha Most Venerable Mr. Budhhapriya Mahathero
Excellencies, Ambassadors and High Commissioners
Members of BBKPS, Distinguished Scholars
Friends from Buddhist community in Bangladesh, and

Ladies and Gentlemen,
I would like to begin by expressing my sincere gratitude to Bangladesh Bouddha Kristi Prachar Sangha for organizing this Symposium under the theme of ‘Buddhism and Humanity.’

I feel honoured to participate in the programme and speak a few words.

At the outset, I would like to commend the efforts of BBKPS in promoting the teachings of Lord Buddha and Buddhism in Bangladesh and in South Asia region.

As we observe the Holy Buddha Purnima today to honour the birth, enlightenment and parinirvana of Lord Buddha, I wish you and your families and friends abundant peace, happiness, and prosperity.

Distinguished Guests, and Ladies and Gentlemen,

The teachings of Lord Buddha and the essence of Buddhism hold a central place in the civilizations of South Asia, Southeast Asia, and beyond.

Buddha stands as a symbol of our shared pursuit of truth and peace. His timeless messages of peace, coexistence, and harmony are more relevant today than ever before.

These noble values are the antithesis to the silo mentality and divisive mindset that are increasingly finding space in the world today.

In fact, Buddhism seeks to empower people. When Buddha says ‘Appo Deepo Bhava’ meaning ‘be a lamp unto yourself’, he asks us to search for the answers to our problems and sufferings in our innermost sanctum of being.

Lord Buddha says, “A generous heart, kind speech, and a life of service and compassion are the things which renew humanity”.

Buddhism is, therefore, about rediscovery of humanity- through self- disciplining and self-transformation- to set an example to transform the world. Its ultimate aim is to attain an order that is based on justice, universal fraternity, peaceful co-existence, and human dignity.

Buddha always emphasized the need of a ‘middle path’. This path requires us to avoid extreme positions and take a reconciliatory approach for a better and peaceful world. This approach is as relevant today as it was ever before.

Excellencies, and Dear Friends,

The historical connections between Nepal and Bangladesh date back to thousands of years when the great Bengali scholar, Atish Dipankar travelled to Nepal in the 11th century on his way to preach Buddhism across the regions of South Asia and Southeast Asia.

Right from those times, Lord Buddha and Buddhism have remained crucial in further consolidating the friendly relations between our two countries.

Buddhism has remained a solid foundation of our multifaceted relationship.

Our shared commitment to the values encapsulated in the teachings of Lord Buddha serves as a beacon of hope for all those who strive to foster understanding and respect among our diverse communities.

Nepal takes great pride in its rich spiritual tradition of Buddhism spanning over centuries. Lumbini, the birthplace of Lord Buddha, has been preserved and promoted as a “fountain of peace” and a sacred site.

As a historical, religious, cultural, and archeological site, Lumbini is increasingly becoming a heart of attraction for tourists, pilgrims, and scholars from all over the world.

Similarly, Buddhist holy sites such as Swayambhunath, Boudhanath, and numerous monasteries in Nepal continue to attract historians, archaeologists, pilgrims, and visitors from around the world, including those from Bangladesh.

সম্মানিত অতিথিবৃন্দ ও প্রিয় ‍সূধি মন্ডলী,

বু্দ্ধ ধর্ম ও দর্শন আমাদের হিমালয় ও বঙ্গোপসাগরকে প্রবাহিত নদীগুলোর মতো সংযুক্ত করে।

‘বুদ্ধ ধর্ম ও মানবতা’ বিষয়কে ঘিরে ভগবান বুদ্ধের বানী প্রচারের জন্য বাংলাদেশ বুদ্ধ কৃষ্টি প্রচার সংঘের প্রচেষ্টাকে আমি প্রশংসা করি।

আজ বুদ্ধ পূর্নিমা পালন করার সময় আসুন আমরা ভগবান বুদ্ধের শিক্ষার প্রতি চিন্তা করি এবং বন্ধুত্ব, সম্প্রীতি আর সহযোগিতার বন্ধনকে আরও উন্নত করি।

এই শুভ উপলক্ষ্যে আমি আপনাদের সবাইকে শান্তি, সমৃদ্ধি এবং সুখের জন্য আমার শুভেচ্ছা এবং শুভকামনা জানাই।

আপনাদের সবাইকে অনেক অনেক ধন্যবাদ।