In his address, PM Modi emphasized the importance of Lord Buddha’s teachings for the world
The current time is the most challenging period of this century as there is war, economic instability, terrorism and religious fanaticism, and climate change, Prime Minister Modi said on Thursday (April 20, 2023).

Delivering the inaugural address at the World Buddhist Summit's opening ceremony in New Delhi, Prime Minister Modi said that amidst all this, there are people who believe in Buddha and the welfare of all creatures. “This hope, this faith is the biggest strength of this earth. When this hope gets united, the Buddha's Dhamma will become the world's belief and Buddha's realization will become the belief of humanity.

He used the occasion to reiterate what he had said at the United Nations some years ago - that India is the country that has given the world 'Buddh, not Yudh (war)’.

The two-day summit, with the theme of "Responses to Contemporary Challenges: Philosophy to Praxis," is being jointly hosted by the Ministry of Culture and International Buddhist Confederation on April 20-21, 2023.

The Summit has brought together the world's leading researchers and practitioners of the Buddhist Dharma to discuss issues of Buddhist and universal concern and to develop policy recommendations for jointly addressing them. The conversation at the Summit looked at how the core principles of the Buddha Dhamma may offer motivation and direction in modern situations.

Speaking at the event, PM Modi emphasized the Indian custom known as "Atithi Devo Bhava" (guests are equal to God), as well as his personal relationship with Buddhism as his hometown of Vadnagar is a significant Buddhist center.

He also emphasized that India has a huge aim for its future and new resolutions for the benefit of the world, noting that the Global Buddhist Summit is taking place during Azaadi Ka Amrit Kaal, the nation's celebration of its 75th year of independence. He stressed that Lord Buddha himself served as the motivation for India to set recent records on the global stage in a number of different fields.

In his speech, Prime Minister Modi discussed the Buddhist path of theory, practice, and realization and how India has embraced all three facets of its journey over the last nine years.

He emphasized India's dedication to spreading the teachings of Lord Buddha and outlined several initiatives undertaken to that end, including the creation of Buddhist circuits in India and Nepal, the renovation of significant locations like Sarnath and Kushinagar, the building of the Kushinagar International Airport, and the foundation of the India International Center of Buddhist Heritage and Culture at Lumbini in partnership with the IBC.

PM Modi attributed India's inherent empathy for other people's suffering to Lord Buddha's teachings. He underlined India's tireless efforts in rescue operations following natural catastrophes like the earthquake in Turkey and its peace missions.

He explained Lord Buddha's path by pointing out that he left his life of castles and kingdoms when he became aware of the pain in other people's lives. He underlined that accepting the notion of the world as one's own is the only way to fully experience the Buddha Mantra, which is the only way to attain the aim of a wealthy world.

PM Modi emphasized that only by taking into account the countries that are experiencing resource shortages can we create a better, more stable world.

As a result of conflict, economic instability, terrorism, religious extremism, and the problem of climate change, which is causing species to perish and glaciers to melt, Prime Minister Modi claimed that the present is the most difficult period of this century. He claimed that despite everything, there are those that support Buddha and the well-being of all living things.

PM Modi emphasized the significance of Lord Buddha's teachings in modern times, stating that solutions to contemporary issues can be found through the ancient teachings of the Lord Buddha. According to him, Lord Buddha preached eternal peace by abandoning war, defeat, and victory. He also highlighted the importance of unity and the futility of countering enmity with enmity.

Furthermore, he pointed out that Lord Buddha's teachings of self-conduct could address the menace of imposing one's views on others, which is widespread in today's world. He reminded the audience of his address to the United Nations a few years ago, stating that India has given the world Buddha, not Yudh (war).

PM Modi said that Buddha's teachings are the path to sustainability and that the issue of climate change would not have existed if the world had adhered to them.

He said that the issue developed when governments stopped taking into account the well-being of other people and future generations and that this error had disastrous results.

PM Modi emphasized how everyone has an impact on the environment in some manner, whether it be via lifestyle, eating, or travel choices, and he emphasized that everyone can help battle climate change.

He also highlighted Lifestyle for Environment, or Mission LiFE, a project by India inspired by Buddha, and claimed that if people changed their lifestyles and were more conscious, the enormous issue of climate change could also be resolved.

In his concluding remarks, the Prime Minister emphasized the importance of rejecting materialism and selfishness in favor of the sentiment known as "Bhavatu Sab Mangalan," which means that Buddha should serve as both a symbol and a mirror. He said that this resolve won't be accomplished unless we keep in mind the Buddha's advice to never look back and to constantly move forward.