This day commemorates Buddha’s First Sermon to his first five ascetic disciples at the Deer Park, Rsipatana in the present day Sarnath near Varanasi, UP.
The day is also celebrated by Buddhists all over the world as the day of Dharma Chakra Parvattana or “Turning of the Wheel of Dharma”. This day is also aptly observed as Guru Poornima by both Buddhists and Hindus as a day to mark reverence to their gurus.
In keeping with the historical legacy of India being the land of Buddha’s enlightenment, his turning the wheels of Dharma, and Mahaparinirvana, President Ram Nath Kovind inaugurated the Dharma Chakra Day from the Rashtrapati Bhavan.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi would deliver a video address on the occasion to emphasize the teachings of peace and justice of Lord Buddha and the Eight Fold Path shown by him to overcome sufferings of sentient beings.
The Minister of Culture Prahlad Patel and Minister of State for Minorities Affairs, Kiren Rijiju also addressed the opening ceremony.
A special address by the President of Mongolia was also read out and a valuable Buddhist manuscript of Indian origin preserved in Mongolia for centuries together, was presented to the President.
Rest of the events on this day, including messages from top Buddhist religious leaders, Masters and Scholars from different parts of the world will be streamed from Sarnath and Bodh Gaya.
Due to Covid-19 pandemic, the whole program is being conducted virtually.
The event is expected to be witnessed by around 30 lakh devotees worldwide via live webcast.