President Pratibha Patil and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday greeted the nation on the occasion of Buddha Poornima, which is being celebrated on Saturday, and stressed the importance of Lord Buddha's teachings of non-violence.
"On the auspicious occasion of Buddha Poornima, I extend my greetings and good wishes to all the citizens of this country," the president said in her message.
"The teachings of Gautam Buddha on compassion, non-violence and equality serve as a guide for humanity in its path towards spiritual emancipation and peace," the president said ahead of Buddha Poornima, the day Lord Buddha was born.
"May the celebrations inspire humanity to follow the path of enlightenment shown by Lord Buddha and strive to achieve universal peace and harmony," Patil added.
The prime minister said that Lord Buddha's philosophy of ahimsa (non-violence), love, compassion and brotherhood are of eternal significance.
"Let us follow Lord Buddha's message for the enduring welfare of the downtrodden and underprivileged," Manmohan Singh said.