Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday offered prayers at the sacred Maya Devi temple in Nepal’s Lumbini on the occasion of Buddha Purnima and said he felt blessed, hoping that Lord Buddha would bless all and make the planet peaceful and prosperous.
He was accompanied by his Nepalese counterpart Sher Bahadur Deuba during his visit to the historic temple, the birth place of Gautam Buddha.
Beginning the Nepal visit with prayers at the sacred Maya Devi Temple, Lumbini, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) tweeted.
On the auspicious occasion of Buddha Purnima, both Prime Ministers offered pooja and prayers at the sacred Mayadevi temple in Lumbini, the birth place of Gautam Buddha, Nepal’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Twitter.
Prime Minister Modi visited the Maya Devi Temple as the first stop of his one-day visit to Lumbini, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said in a statement.
I feel blessed to have prayed at the Maya Devi Temple on Buddha Purnima. May Lord Buddha bless us all and make our planet peaceful and prosperous, Modi said on Twitter after the prayers.
Modi was accompanied by Deuba and his spouse Dr Arzu Rana Deuba.
The leaders paid their respects at the Marker Stone inside the temple premises, which pinpoints the exact birth spot of Lord Buddha. They attended the pooja conducted as per Buddhist rituals, it said.
The two Prime Ministers also lit lamps near the Ashoka Pillar located adjacent to the temple.
The pillar, which was erected by emperor Ashoka in 249 BC, bears the first epigraphic evidence of Lumbini being the birthplace of Lord Buddha.
Thereafter, the two leaders watered the Bodhi tree sapling from Bodh Gaya which was gifted by Modi to Lumbini in 2014 and also signed the temple’s visitor’s book.
A timeless bond of friendship Prime Ministers @narendramodi and @SherBDeuba at the Maya Devi Temple in Lumbini, the PMO tweeted along with a picture of Prime Minister Modi and his Nepalese counterpart Deuba watering the Bodhi tree sapling.
Modi, who is in the Himalayan nation at the invitation of Deuba, is paying a day-long visit to Lumbini on the occasion of Buddha Purnima.
Earlier in the day, upon his arrival at Lumbini, Prime Minister Modi was warmly received by Deuba, his spouse Dr Arzu Rana Deuba and several Ministers from the Government of Nepal.
This is his first to Lumbini.
“Landed in Nepal. Happy to be among the wonderful people of Nepal on the special occasion of Buddha Purnima. Looking forward to the programmes in Lumbini,” Prime Minister Modi said on Twitter upon his arrival.
I would like to thank PM @SherBDeuba for the warm welcome in Lumbini, Modi said in a tweet.
It is the prime minister’s fifth visit to Nepal since 2014. Modi and his entourage arrived here on a special Indian Air Force helicopter from Kushinagar, Uttar Pradesh.
Lumbini, located in the Terai plains of southern Nepal, is one of the holiest places of Buddhism, as Lord Buddha was born there.
During the visit, he will deliver an address at the Buddha Jayanti celebrations organised by the Lumbini Development Trust.