Around 500 people gathered on Sunday at Diversity Plaza in Jackson Heights to mark the 2,560th birthday of Lord Gautam Buddha, the founder of Buddhism.
Dressed in their ethnic costumes, people of Nepalese and Tibetan origin were specially seen at the event.
Dozens of Lama Gurus (Buddhist priests) cited a special prayer in the celebration. Ani Kunga Chodron, Ed.D, who is a Harvard graduate, made a special remark at the gathering during which she highlighted Buddha’s teachings.
“I have always believed that following Buddha’s preaching will always bring positivity in one’s life,” she said.
One of the participants at the event, Pasang Lama, in her late 30s, was seen listening to Chodron’s speech. Clad in a beautiful ethnic attire, Lama, a resident of Woodside, said, “Whenever I hear Buddha’s teachings from anybody I just fall for it.” She added,”The best thing about Buddhism is peace and I completely agree that peace should prevail on the planet Earth.”
Buddha’s birthday was celebrated on May 21 all over the world. Sunday’s celebration in Jackson Heights was organized by Himalayan Buddhist Community of Nepal in USA, a community organization that works to unite all the Buddhism followers of Nepal in the United States.
“This festival is a platform to bring together all the Nepalese Buddhists living in the USA,” said Tenzing Ukyab, the president of the organization. “The other purpose of the celebration is to spread the information of the birthplace of Buddha, which is Nepal.”
Krishna Kumar Subedi, acting consul general from the Nepalese Consulate General in New York, added, “I have worked in different countries where Buddhism is the major religion. When I tell people that I am from Nepal, they always give me an extra attention citing I am from the place where Buddha was born. This gives me an immense happiness.”
In 563 B.C., Gautam Buddha, the Light of Asia, was born in Lumbini as prince Siddhartha Gautam. Lumbini is located in the south-west of Nepal, and is 174 miles from the capital city, Kathmandu.