During his day-long engagements in Nepal and especially on the auspicious occasion of Buddha Jayanti, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said that India and Nepal relations are unshakeable like the Himalayas.
“Buddha is the embodiment of the collective understanding of humanity,” Modi told the gathering of some 2,500 people that included monks, Buddhist scholars and international participants in Lumbini.
He also said, “India and Nepal’s ever-strengthening friendship and our closeness will benefit the entire humanity in the kind of global conditions that are emerging”.
Mr Modi, who attended the 2566th Buddha Jayanti Celebration at International Convention Center and Meditation Hall at Lumbini, was accompanied by his Nepalese counterpart Sher Bahadur Deuba
and his spouse Dr Arzu Rana Deuba.
India and Nepal’s relations are unshakeable like the Himalayas and both the countries will work towards solving global problems with Buddha’s ideologies, he said.
“From Sarnath, Bodh Gaya and Kushinagar in India to Lumbini in Nepal, this holy place is a symbol of our common heritage and shared values. We have to develop this heritage together and enrich it further,” the Prime Minister said.
Mr Modi said the energy of the place where Lord Buddha was born, gives him a different feeling.
“I was happy to see that the Mahabodhi sapling I had gifted in 2014 for this place, is now growing into a tree”.
He further said – “We have to develop this heritage together and enrich it further”.
India’s Buddhist symbolism and more so at the level of the Prime Minister also brings to focus the perceived ‘atheist China’s Buddhist card’ in the game of geopolitics.
MEA spokesman Arindam Bagchi says the visit is an “opportunity to strengthen ongoing cooperation and develop new areas in our multifaceted partnership”.
But it must be noted that Lumbini has actually become a typical hub of the competing international forces including from the west and also India and other players in the region.
Lord Buddha was born at Lumbini and located in the Terai plains it is one of the holiest places of Buddhism.