Rajgir (NVI): The Golden jubilee of the Vishwa Shanti Stupa, a world heritage site was celebrated with traditional fanfare here on October 25, with the President of India Ram Nath Kovind stressing the continued relevance of the teachings of Gautam Buddha.
Speaking on the occasion, the President said that peace is a necessary precondition to development and his essence of preaching emphasised peace within as precondition to attain peace outside.
“Spirituality, peace and development reinforce each other. Conflict, turmoil and under development feed upon each other,” the President said.
He also urged the participants to promote peace and harmony as potent means to reduce poverty and conflict.
He said that the influence of Buddhist ideals and symbols on our democracy is both profound and visible. Adding, “We have adopted the Lion Capital of Ashoka as our national emblem”.
The President said that the Buddha’s eight-fold-path not only transformed the spiritual landscape worldwide but also encouraged ethical and sustainable social, political and commercial practices. The appeal of Buddha goes far beyond the 500 million followers of Buddhism worldwide.
The President said that there is a need to connect increasingly larger number of people with the ideals of the Buddha. Promoting heritage tourism in places related to the Buddha is an effective way of attracting people, especially the youth to the spirit of Buddhism.
The President said like Lord Buddha, Mahatma Gandhi also preached unity of thought, action and spoken word, and showed all their innate potential for goodness. Their own lives became their message. In the timeless teachings of Buddha and Mahatma Gandhi can be found solutions to the fundamental problems facing an individual, a community, a country and the entire world.