Buddha Purnima is being celebrated today with religious fervour

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After having lived for eighty years, Gautam Buddha attained salvation or Maha Parinirvana under the Mahabodhi tree at Bodh Gaya. His timeless message of non-violence, fraternity, love and compassion provides us the strength to work for the welfare of the people.

Two days after Congress asserted that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was "incapable of sending a strong message to China" on the Doklam standoff, the PM on Monday said India had never encroched upon anyone's territory or ideology. Our Constitution also takes inspiration from the teachings of Lord Buddha and emphasizes equality, justice and liberty for all citizens.

He said the teachings of the Buddha were based on humanity and the country was proud the philososphy had originated here. "It will facilitate unity, tolerance and goodwill among all those oriented towards social development and lasting peace", President Bhandari said in her message.

The teachings of the Buddha had shaped the national character of several Asian countries, he said. His was a life devoted to alleviating suffering and removing injustice from society.

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The Prime Minister said that Lord Buddha's compassion has endeared him to millions.

The leaders also extended their warm wishes to the local and the global Nepali communities on the eve of Ubhauli, the greatest festival of the Kirant community, which is being celebrated on the same day of Buddha Jayanthi.

The emergence of the avatar of Lord Vishnu as Lord Buddha was to spread the word of mercy and non-violence to all the living beings, and is celebrated as Buddha Purnima or Buddha Jayanti. In some countries, people also release birds, insects and animals as an act of "liberation" to spread Buddha's message as a ritual.

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