Amidst war, economic crisis, world today needs to follow Buddha’s path of coexistence: PM Modi

PM Modi has said that the modern world needs to follow Lord Buddha’s path of coexistence to deal with modern problems like war & climate change.

| Updated: 20 April, 2023 1:19 pm IST
PM Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday sought to project India’s soft power as the birthplace of Buddhism, which holds influence over society and politics in dozens of countries around the world – particularly in Asia.

“The solution to all modern problems lies in the teachings of Lord Buddha,” he told a gathering of close to 200 delegates and diplomats from more than 30 countries at the Global Buddhist Summit in New Delhi.

Being held at a time when the world is bracing up for a tectonic shift, the two-day summit focuses on peace, environment, health, morality and sustainable development in line with its theme: ‘Responses to Contemporary Challenges: Philosophy to Practice’.

Addressing the summit, which has been skipped by China in apprehension that the Dalai Lama could attend it, PM Modi said the modern world needs to follow the path of coexistence shown by Lord Buddha to deal with wars and economic crisis.

He said that solution to all problems ailing the modern world lies in the teachings of Lord Buddha.

“We are living in the toughest time of this century. For months, two countries (Russia and Ukraine) have been fighting a war and the world is facing economic instability,” PM Modi told the gathering, adding that the principles of Buddhism can solve all modern problems.

Without naming, PM Modi criticized western countries for irresponsible industrialization and exploitation of natural resources which, he said, has resulted in climate change.

He said: “The world is facing the threat of climate change because some countries, in the last century, didn’t care about other countries and the next generation. For decades, they were under the delusion that they will face no consequences for disturbing the functioning of nature.”

He slammed the developed countries for putting the burden of climate change and resultant challenges on the developing world and not taking responsibility. In an apparent dig at the US and the West for their monopoly in the present world order, the prime minister cautioned against the temptation of “imposing one’s ideology and faith on others.”

“It has emerged as a grave threat to world peace today,” he opined while invoking Buddhist principles of coexistence as the ultimate solution. He also cautioned the global community against the threat of terrorism and religious extremism.

PM Modi also said that his flagship global initiatives like LiFE and One Earth One Family One Future are inspired by the teachings of Lord Buddha. The prime minister also lauded his government for spreading the message of Lord Buddha among the masses at larger scales in the last nine years of his rule at the Centre.

“In the last 9 years, India has been working on the three principles of Lord Buddha i.e. theory, practice and realization. A few years back, I proudly told the United Nations that India has given Buddha (who symbolizes peace) and not yuddh (war) to the world.”

Seeking to cement India’s image as a responsible global player, he said that India’s selfless initiatives like Vaccine Maitri and prompt help to earthquake-hit Turkey are highly influenced by Buddhism.

Buddhists are in the majority in at least seven Asian countries: Cambodia, Thailand, Burma (Myanmar), Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Laos, and Mongolia. It wields enormous influence in countries like India, China, and Nepal.

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