On Abhidhamma Day 2021, Kushinagar gets Intl. Airport


  • The Union Culture Ministry and International Buddhist Confederation, in association with the government of Uttar Pradesh, is organising the Abhidhamma Day (20th October 2021) on the auspicious occasion of Ashwin Poornima.
  • The day marks the end of three-month rainy retreat - Varshavaas or Vassa - for the Buddhist monks and nuns during which time they stay at one place and pray.


(Image Source: PIB)

Popular Belief

  • According to widely held belief, this is the day when Lord Buddha came back to earth from heaven. He is believed to have gone to the heaven to teach Abhidhamma Pitaka (a basket of ultimate things) to his mother. The teaching took three months after which Buddha came back to Earth. His followers too mark the three-month time by staying at one place and praying.

Kushinagar

  • On 20th October 2021, Prime Minister of India will attend 'Abhidhamma Day' event in UP's Kushinagar on occasion of inauguration of Kushinagar International Airport.
  • The ancient city of Kushinagar is the final resting place of Gautama Buddha, where he attained Mahaparinirvana after his death. The prime tourist attractions in Kushinagar includes the ancient Mahaparinirvana Temple- one of the most sacred shrines for Buddhists, Rambhar Stupa, Kushinagar Museum, Sun Temple, Nirvana Stupa, Matha Kuar Shrine, Watt Thai Temple, Chinese Temple, Japanese Temple.

Observation Highlights

  • The highlight of the event is the exposition of Holy Buddha Relic being brought from Waskaduwa Sri Subuddhi Rajvihara Temple in Sri Lanka by the Mahanayaka of the temple.
  • These relics are accepted as real relics (bone fragments, ashes, pieces of Jewels) of the Buddha.
  • These relics were found in Piprahwa, Sidharthnagar district of Uttar Pradesh, about 160 km from Kushinagar, in 1898. A part of the relics was sent to the King of Thailand and another part was sent to the King of Burma.
  • The Prime Minister will offer prayers to the Holy Relic and also visit the Mahaparinirvana temple to offer flowers and Chivar (a monk's robe) to the reclining statue of Buddha.

Chivar Dana

  • Chivar refers to a “monk’s robe”. The period after three month long Varshavas, observed as retreat by monks and nuns by staying in vihara during rainy season, is a time of giving, for the laity to express gratitude to Sangha.
  • Lay Buddhists bring donations to temples, especially new robes for the monks and nuns.
  • Also the gift of the atthaparikara (in Sri Lanka it is known as Atapirikara) - the Eight Requisites - is part of the offerings.
  • However, Dana of Chivara can also be given on other occasions.

The Reclining Buddha

  • A reclining Buddha statue or image represents the Buddha during his last illness, about to enter Parinirvana, the stage of great salvation after death that can only be attained by enlightened souls.
  • Statues and images of the Reclining Buddha show him lying on his right side, his head resting on a cushion or on his right elbow. It is a popular iconographic depiction in Buddhism, and is meant to show that all beings have the potential to be awakened and be released from the cycle of death and rebirth.
  • The Reclining Buddha was first depicted in Gandhara art, which began in the period between 50 BC and 75 AD.