Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said the Buddha’s teachings can show the world a way ahead as it is fighting extra-ordinary challenges and urged the country’s youth to follow his teachings, which are relevant in the present as well as the future.
Addressing an even ton the Dharma Chakra Day virtually, the Prime Minister said the eight-fold path of Lord Buddha shows the way towards the well-being of many societies and nations.
“Today the world fights extra-ordinary challenges. To these challenges, lasting solutions can come from the ideals of Lord Buddha. They were relevant in the past. They are relevant to the present. And, they will remain relevant in the future,” PM Modi said.
Buddhism, he said, teaches respect for the poor, women, peace and non-violence and therefore, the teachings of Buddhism are the means to a sustainable planet.
PM Modi said the eight-fold path highlights the importance of compassion and kindness and added that the teachings of Lord Buddha “celebrate simplicity both in thought and action”.
“In his very first sermon in Sarnath and his teachings after that, Lord Buddha spoke on two things – hope and purpose. He saw a strong link between them. From hope comes a spirit of purpose,” he said.
The Prime Minister said he is “very hopeful” about the 21st century and it comes from the youth.
“If you want to see a great example of how hope, innovation and compassion can remove suffering, it is our start-up sector led by our youth,” he said.
“Bright young minds are finding solutions to global problems. India has one of the largest start-up eco-systems. I would urge my young friends to also stay connected with the thoughts of Lord Buddha. They will motivate and show the way ahead,” he added.
PM Modi also highlighted his government’s focus on connectivity to Buddhist sites and pointed out that the cabinet had announced that Kushinagar airport will be an international one.
“This would bring so many people, pilgrims and tourists,” he said.
The Union ministry of culture is celebrating Asadha Poornima on Saturday as Dharma Chakra Day.
The day commemorates the Buddha’s first sermon to his first five disciples in the present-day Sarnath near Uttar Pradesh’s Varanasi.
It also celebrated by Buddhists all over the world as the day of Dharma Chakra Parvattana or “Turning of the Wheel of Dharma”.