Sun, 24 Sep 2023

Colombo [Sri Lanka], September 18 (ANI): The Mahabodhi Society of Sri Lanka organised a special religious ceremony to mark the 73rd birthday of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a release said.

The special ceremony held on September 17 at Mahabodhi Society Sri Lanka was graced by Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena as the chief guest.

Upatissa Nayaka Thero, the President of Chief Sangha Nayaka for Japan, referred to the occasion of the 73rd birthday of Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi in his remarks and mentioned that a special religious ceremony is being conducted by Mahabodhi Society in the evening, the release added.

He recalled his visits to India and the great mutual respect and rapport he shared with PM Modi. Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena also referred to PM Modi's 73rd birth anniversary and conveyed his greetings in his remarks.

Under the leadership of Upatissa Nayaka Thero, the Mahabodhi Society organised a commemorative ceremony marking the 159th Birth Anniversary of great Sri Lankan Buddhist reformer and religious leader Srimath Anagarika Dharmapala.

The Government of India issued a commemorative postage stamp in the memory of Srimath Anagarika Dharmapala in 2014.

Theros of various Buddhist units in Sri Lanka as well as representatives of the Mahabodhi Society from Japan, the President of Mahabodhi Society Sri Lanka, community leaders from other religions and common citizenry were in attendance, according to the release.

In the evening a special religious ceremony and prayers were organized under the stewardship of Ven. Upatissa Nayaka Thero and attended by the President of Mahabodhi Society of Sri Lanka, Theros of various sects, community leaders etc.

The High Commission was represented by the Acting High Commissioner and Director, Swami Vivekananda Cultural Centre. The ceremony was marked by an exposition of relics of Arahant Sariputta and Maha Moggallana. Photographs of both events are enclosed for suitable consideration, the release added.

Mahabodhi Society is a premier organisation involved in social work, religious affairs and the spread of non-violent Buddhism in Sri Lanka and across the world.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi thanked his well-wishers for greeting him on his 73rd birthday and said that he is"deeply touched" and "overwhelmed" by the special gesture.

"Deeply touched by the outpouring of wishes today from all over India and the world. I thank each and every person who has shared their wishes. Overwhelmed to see so many people engaging in selfless social work on this day. Every gesture is special and strengthens our collective spirit," PM Modiposted on X. (ANI)

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