New Delhi [India]: Union Minister for Culture G. Kishan Reddy on Monday (May 17) said Lord Buddha’s message is relevant even today in addressing the challenges of climate change and conflict, adding that Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Central government is making constant efforts to take his teachings to the world.
Reddy was speaking in a programme organised by the International Buddhist Confederation (IBC) on the occasion of Vaishakha Buddha Purnima Divas.
He also said that India is home to the heritage of lord Buddha and under the guidance of Prime Minister Modi, the country is developing world-class infrastructure to ensure Buddhist pilgrims have a seamless experience.
“The Ministry of Tourism is also working on Capacity development, including Linguistic Tourist Facilitator Training in Thai, Japanese, Vietnamese and Chinese languages,” Reddy said.
Reddy added that under the Swadesh Darshan Yojana by the Ministry of Tourism, Buddhist Circuit had seen the development of five projects worth Rs 325.53 crores.
He also informed that IRCTC has also started the “Buddha Purnima Express” special train to facilitate travel within the Buddhist Circuit.
Union Minister for Law and Justice, Kiren Rijiju, Union Minister of State for Culture, Meenakshi Lekhi and Union Minister for State for Culture, Arjun Ram Meghwal, Envoys from different countries, and Buddhist monks were among other dignitaries to also grace the occasion.
Addressing the occasion, Rijiju quoted PM Modi and said, “Time changed, the situation Changed, the functioning of the society changed, but the message of the Lord Buddha has been continuously followed in our lives. It was possible only because, Buddha is not just a name, but also a sacred thought- A thought that grieved in every human heart.”
The minister further added that Buddha’s Journey tells us many things, and his teachings are more relevant today when the world is becoming more intolerant when there is a lot of violence all around and wars happening in any country, small or big.
“In such a situation, the only way out is to follow the teachings of Lord Buddha which show us the path of eternal peace,” Rijiju said.
Meanwhile, Meenakshi Lekhi said that Buddhist teachings teach about the path of enlightenment and follow a path of Non-Violence.
On the auspicious occasion of Vaishakha Buddha Purnima, Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid an official visit to Lumbini, Nepal. As Prime Minister, this was Narendra Modi’s fifth visit to Nepal and first to Lumbini, where he participated in various events.
During his visit, PM Modi, together with Nepal Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, participated in the “Shilanyas” ceremony for the construction of the India International Centre for Buddhist Culture and Heritage at a plot in Lumbini belonging to the International Buddhist Confederation (IBC).
Both the Prime Ministers also visited the Mayadevi temple, within which lies the birthplace of Lord Buddha. At the temple, the Prime Ministers attended prayers conducted as per Buddhist rituals and made offerings.
The Prime Ministers lit lamps and visited the historical Ashoka Pillar, which carries the first epigraphic evidence of Lumbini being the birthplace of Lord Buddha. They also watered the holy Bodhi tree that was brought as a gift by Prime Minister Modi during his visit to Nepal in 2014. (ANI)