Emperor Ashoka's son Mahendra and daughter Sanghamitra took the message of Buddhism to Sri Lanka, the Prime Minister said

After attending an event marking Abhidhamma Day at the Mahaparinirvana temple in Kushinagar on Wednesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed a gathering where he said Buddha resides in the soul of humanity and is connecting different cultures and countries.

He said India has made this aspect of his teaching part of the journey of its growth.

“India never believed in restricting the knowledge, great messages or the thoughts of great souls. Whatever was ours was shared with the entire humanity. That is why, human values like non-violence and compassion are settled in the heart of India so naturally”, the Prime Minister said.

He said even today Buddha is a source of inspiration for the Indian Constitution while Buddha's ‘Dhamma Chakra’ is sitting on the country’s flag. Even today, if someone goes to the Parliament of India, then this mantra is definitely seen - 'Dharma Chakra Pravartanaya', the Prime Minister said.

Talking about the influence of Lord Buddha in Gujarat and, specifically, the Prime Minister’s birthplace, Vadnagar, Modi said Buddha’s influence is visible in western and southern parts of the country in equal measures as the eastern parts.

“Gujarat’s past shows that Buddha was beyond boundaries and directions. Mahatma Gandhi, born in the land of Gujarat was the modern flag-bearer of Buddha’s message of truth and non-violence”, he said.

Quoting Lord Buddha ‘Appa Deepo Bhava’ meaning `be your own lamp’, the Prime Minister said when a person is self-illuminated, then he gives light to the world as well.

He added that this is the motivation for India to become self-reliant. This is the inspiration that gives India the strength to participate in the progress of every country in the world.

The Prime Minister also remarked that Lord Buddha’s teachings are being taken forward by India in the mantra of Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas and Sabka Prayas.

Diplomats from Myanmar, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Lao PDR, Bhutan, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Mongolia, Japan, Singapore, Nepal, among others were present on the occasion.