Buddha Purnima, the biggest religious festival of the Buddhist community, is being celebrated across the country on Saturday.
Like elsewhere in the world, the Buddhist community in Bangladesh, has chalked out different programmes, including colourful processions, puja, sanghadan, discussions and cultural functions, to mark the day in a befitting manner, reports UNB.
Buddha Purnima marks Gautama Buddha's birth, enlightenment and death. On this day in 563 BC, Buddha was born as Siddhartha Gautama in Kopilabostu at the foothill of the Himalayas.
He attained supreme enlightenment at the age of 35 and finally departed into 'nirvana' at the age of 80 in 483 BC.
President Abdul Hamid and prime minister Sheikh have issued separate messages greeting the Buddhist community on the occasion.
In his message, president Hamid said Buddha Purnima is a holy religious festival related to the birth and attaining enlightenment and death of Gautama Buddha, reports BSS.
He said Gautama Buddha always sought the welfare for mankind and he tried his best to make the whole world a peaceful and prosperous one.
The president said Buddha disseminated the message of equity and friendship during his entire life to establish peace and harmony in the world.
He said the 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.
The president also said the civilisation and culture of the Buddhists are profoundly integrated with the soil and the people of this country.
Noting that Bangladesh is a country of communal harmony, Abdul Hamid hoped that the country’s Buddhist community would play an important role in the development of Bangladesh upholding the ideals of Buddha.
Prime minister Sheikh Hasina, in her message, said overcoming all fears, greed and interest, Gautama Buddha had preached the messages of non-violence, friendship and compassion throughout out his life for peace and welfare of mankind.
Establishing an ideal society through peace and harmony was his only objective, she added.
Mentioning that Bangladesh is a land of communal harmony, the prime minister said people of all religions have been practicing their respective religions here without facing any obstruction.
She hoped that the country’s Buddhist community, inspired by the ideals of Gautama Buddha, will reach themselves at new height in their knowledge and skills.
“With the united efforts from all, we would be able to build a non-communal, hunger-free and prosperous Sonar Bangla as dreamt by the greatest Bangalee of all time and father of the nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman,” Hasina said.
Different law enforcement agencies have taken stringent security measures so that the Buddhist community can celebrate their main religious festival with much enthusiasm.