PM Modi, Mongolian prez unveil Lord Buddha statue in Ulaanbaatar

Team Udayavani, Sep 20, 2019, 6:12 PM IST

Ulaanbaatar/ New Delhi: Amid the chanting of Buddhist prayers, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Mongolian President Khaltmaagiin Battulga on Friday jointly unveiled a statue of Lord Buddha at the Gandan Monastery in Mongolia via videoconferencing.

The Mongolian president is on a five-day visit to India.

The golden statue with Lord Buddha holding a bowl was unveiled at a brief ceremony held at the prime minister’s Lok Kalyan Marg residence.

The Gandan Monastery is located in Mongolia’s capital Ulaanbaatar.

Just before the unveiling, young monks at the monastery chanted Buddhist chants.

Soon after, a Buddhist monk present at the prime minister’s residence offered prayers as Modi and President Battulga stood with folded hands.

The Prime Minister’s Office on Thursday described the unveiling ceremony as a “symbol of India-Mongolia spiritual partnership and shared Buddhist heritage”.

In May 2015, Modi had visited the monastery where he presented a Bodhi tree sapling describing it as a token of friendship from the Indian people.

He had also announced to gift a statue of Lord Buddha to the monastery, underlining the common Buddhist heritage and civilisational links between the two countries and people, an official statement said later.

The statue depicts Lord Buddha in a sitting posture along with his two disciples conveying the message of compassion along with peace and co-existence. It was installed at the monastery earlier this month, the statement said.

Gandan is the largest and most significant monastery in Mongolia. Built in the mid 19th century, it is the only monastery where Buddhist services continued to function even during the Communist period.

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