“The philosophy (Darshna) of Sri Buddha remains as relevant today as it was thousands of years ago. ‘It is the truth that liberates’ is the essence of both Sanatana Dharma and Buddha Dharma,” said Shri J Nandakumar, national convenor of Prajna Pravah. He was delivering the keynote address at the inauguration of ‘Sneha Bodhi’, a statue of Buddha, at the headquarters of Kesari, Kerala’s most circulated nationalist weekly magazine, in Kozhikode on June 22. The programme was organised by the Media Studies and Research Centre.
“Only when we spiritually elevate ourselves to the state of equanimity, we will be freed from all sufferings. It is the quintessence of Buddha’s teachings and this equanimity can be achieved through yoga for which Chitta Suddhi or ‘purity of mind’ is a prerequisite. ‘Tripitaka’ explains to us about the means to attain ‘purity of mind’,” J Nandakumar explained.
“It is widely held misconception that Buddha Dharma destroyed Bharatiya Darshana. Such ‘binaries’ are the creation of anti-national ideologies. Buddha Darshana was actually leading Bharat to a higher truth. According to our traditions, spiritual growth is always from a lower wisdom to higher wisdom, not from ignorance to wisdom,” he added.
Malayalam film director and actor Shri Renji Panicker inaugurated ‘Sneha Bodhi’. He said that only Bharat can produce Sri Buddha, Swami Vivekananda and Mahatma Gandhi, terming them the divine manifestations of humanity.
‘Sneha Bodhi’ comprises a statue of Sri Buddha with a smiling face, sitting under a mango tree, and a water pot for birds.
Indian Union Muslim League leader and former MLA Shri K N A Khader inaugurated the graffiti sculpture adjacent to the Buddha statue.
Speaking on the occasion, Shri K N A Khader said that the statue of Buddha proclaims great ideas and messages. “Sneha Bodhi symbolises nature conservation and protection of our environment. When we uphold the Bharatiya Darshanas, it encompasses ideas like environmentalism,” Shri Khader said. He also urged the people to stand united for the development of the nation.
Among the other speakers were Artist Madanan, sculptor Sunil Thenjipalam, Adv KP Sreekumar, Kesari Chief Editor Dr N R Madhu, and Kesari Deputy Editor C M Ramachandran.
KNA Khader’s presence at the function triggered a controversy in the Muslim League camp. Khader justified his stand by saying that it was a cultural programme, not an ‘RSS programme’.
In a video posted on social media, Khader said that he never deviated from the official line of the party. “Many persons belonging to other faiths, including swamis and bishops, had attended the programmes conducted by Panakkad Syed Sadiq Ali Shihab Thangal. We need to reciprocate. Nobody can say that I should not attend functions organised by people of other religions,” he said.