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“The journey of solution for problems is the journey of Buddha”:Narendra Modi

New Delhi  :20/4/23;The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi addressed the inaugural session of the Global Buddhist Summit at Hotel Ashok in New Delhi today. The Prime Minister walked through the photo exhibition and offered flowers to the Buddha statue. He also offered monk robes (Chivar Dana) to nineteen eminent monks.

Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister welcomed everyone from different corners of the world to the inaugural session of the Global Buddhist Summit. He underlined that ‘Atithi Devo Bhava’ i.e. guests are equivalent to God, is a tradition of this land of Buddha and the presence of so many personalities who have lived through Buddha’s ideals makes us feel the experience of Buddha being present himself around us. “Buddha is beyond the individual, it is a perception”, the Prime Minister said. The Prime Minister said that Buddha is a sensation that transcends the individual, he is a thought that transcends form and Buddha is a consciousness beyond manifestation. “This Buddha consciousness is eternal”, he said. He said the presence of so many people from diverse areas represents the expansion of Buddha that binds humanity in a single thread. He also underlined the strength of the collective will and resolution of crores of followers of Lord Buddha globally to make for the welfare of the world. Noting the occasion, the Prime Minister expressed confidence that the inaugural Global Buddhist Summit will create an effective platform for the efforts of all nations and thanked the Ministry of Culture and International Buddhist Confederation for this momentous event.

The Prime Minister highlighted his personal connection with Buddhism as Vadnagar from where he hails has been a major Buddhist center, Hiuen Tsang had visited Vadnagar. Shri Modi also mentioned Kashi in the context of Sarnath, deepening the connection with Buddhist heritage.

Noting that the Global Buddhist Summit is taking place during India’s 75th year of Independence when the nation is celebrating Azaadi Ka Amrit Kaal, the Prime Minister underlined that India has a major goal for its future and new resolutions for the global good. He emphasized that the inspiration behind India achieving the recent global landmarks in various sectors is Lord Buddha himself.

Remembering the Buddhist path of theory, practice and realization, the Prime Minister elaborated on India’s adoption of all three points in its journey in the last 9 years. Shri Modi said that India has worked with dedication for the propagation of Lord Buddha’s teaching with a sense of dedication. He talked about the development of Buddhist circuits in India and Nepal, the renovation of Sarnath and Kushinagar, Kushinagar International Airport, and India International Center of Buddhist  Heritage and Culture at Lumbini in collaboration with the IBC.

The Prime Minister credited the teachings of Lord Buddha for an inherent empathy in India for the issues of humanity. He mentioned peace missions and India’s whole-hearted efforts in rescue work for disasters like the earthquake in Turkiye. “This emotion of 140 crore Indians is being seen, understood and accepted by the world”, he said. Platforms like IBC, he continued, are giving the opportunity to like-minded and like-hearted countries to spread Buddha Dhamma and peace.

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The Prime Minister said “The path of Buddha is the path of the future and the path of sustainability. Had the world followed Buddha’s teachings, it would not have faced the problem of climate change.” This problem arose, the Prime Minister explained, as nations stopped thinking about others and coming generations. This mistake accumulated to catastrophic proportions. Buddha preached good conduct without any consideration of personal gain as such behavior leads to overall good.

Concluding the address, the Prime Minister stressed the need to come out of the definitions of materialism and selfishness and imbibe the feeling of ‘Bhavatu Sab Mangalan’ i.e. Buddha should not only be made a symbol but also a reflection. He remarked that this resolution will be fulfilled only when we remember the words of the Buddha of not turning back and always moving forward. The Prime Minister expressed confidence that resolutions will become successful with everyone coming together.

Union Minister for Culture, Shri G Kishan Reddy, Union Minister for Law and Justice, Shri Kiren Rijiju, Union Ministers of State for Culture, Shri Arjun Ram Meghwal and Smt Meenakshi Lekhi, and Secretary General of International Buddhist Confederation, Dr Dhammapiya were present on occasion.

Background 

The two-day Summit is being hosted by the Ministry of Culture in collaboration with International Buddhist Confederation on 20-21 April. The theme of the Global Buddhist Summit is “Responses to Contemporary Challenges: Philosophy to Praxis”.

The Summit is an effort towards engaging the global Buddhist Dhamma leadership and scholars on matters of Buddhist and universal concerns, and to come up with policy inputs to address them collectively. The discussion at the Summit explored how the Buddha Dhamma’s  fundamental values can provide inspiration and guidance in contemporary settings.

The Summit witnessed the participation of eminent scholars, Sangha leaders and Dharma practitioners from all over the world, who will discuss pressing global issues and look for answers in the Buddha Dhamma based on universal values. The discussions were held under four themes: Buddha Dhamma and Peace; Buddha Dhamma: Environmental Crisis, Health and Sustainability; Preservation of Nalanda Buddhist Tradition; Buddha Dhamma Pilgrimage, Living Heritage and Buddha Relics: a resilient foundation to India’s centuries-old cultural links to countries in South, South-East and East Asia.

About Editor in chief

Ashok Palit has completed his graduation from Upendranath College Soro, Balasore and post graduation from Utkal University in Odia Language and literture.. He has also carved out a niche for himself as a scribe of eminence after joining the profession in 1988. He is also an independent media production professional. He brings loads of experience to Advanced Media, Ashok Palit as a cineaste has been active in film criticism for over three decades. As a film society activist, he soared to eminence for his profound commitment to the art film appreciation and aesthetics of cinema. His mode of discourse is often erudite but always lucid and comprehensible marked by a perfect acumen so rare in the field. A film aesthete with an immense fond of critical sensibilities, he wrote about growth and development of odia cinema in New Indian Express, The Times of India, The Hindustan Times, The Asian Age and Screen. He has been working as an Editor for Cine Samaya from 2002-2004.. He had made solid contribution on cinema in many odia Dailies and weekly such as Samaj, Prajatantra, Dharatri, Samaya, Satabadi, and weekly Samaya.
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