Prime Minister Narendra Modi delivered the keynote address on the occasion of Virtual Vesak Global Celebrations on Buddha Purnima today via video conferencing. The event was organized by the Culture Ministry in collaboration with the International Buddhist Confederation (IBC) and witnessed the participation of all the supreme heads of the Buddhist Sanghas from around the world.
Members of Venerated Mahasangha, Prime Ministers of Nepal and Sri Lanka, Union Ministers Prahlad Singh and Kiren Rijiju, Secretary-General of International Buddhist Confederation, Venerable Doctor Dhammapiya were also present at the event.
Speaking on the occasion, Prime Minister Modi said Vesak is a day to celebrate the life of Lord Buddha and to reflect on the noble ideals and sacrifices he made for the betterment of our planet.
He added that he dedicated last year’s programme to all the front-line workers fighting against the COVID-19 pandemic. A year later, COVID-19 pandemic has still not left us and many countries, including India, have experienced a second wave.
PM Modi remarked that this once-in-a-lifetime pandemic has brought tragedy and suffering at the doorstep of many and has impacted every nation. The economic impact left by the pandemic is huge and our planet will not be the same after COVID-19. He added that there have been many noteworthy improvements in the last year, such as having a better understanding of the pandemic, which strengthens our strategy to fight it and having the vaccine, which is absolutely important and crucial for saving lives and defeating the pandemic.
The Prime Minister said that while fighting COVID-19, one must not lose sight of the other challenges faced by humanity like climate change, etc. He further added that the reckless lifestyles of the present generation are threatening future generations.
He emphasized the Lord Buddha’s way of life where respect for Mother Nature is paramount.PM Modi announced that India is among the few large economies to be on track to achieve their Paris targets. He said sustainable living for India is not only about the right words but also entails the right actions.
The Prime Minister remarked that the life of Gautama Buddha was about peace, harmony, and co-existence. But today, there are still forces whose existence depends on spreading hate, terror, and mindless violence. He said such forces do not believe in liberal democratic principles and thus gave a call for all those who believe in humanity to come together and defeat terror and radicalization.
The Prime Minister said from Lord Buddha we all could draw light from time to time and take the path of compassion, universal responsibility, and welfare. Quoting Mahatma Gandhi, PM Modi said,“Buddha taught us to defy appearances and trust in the final triumph of Truth and Love.”
He thanked the first responders, front-line health care workers, doctors, nurses, and volunteers for selflessly risking their lives to serve others in need every day and also, lauded the efforts of the scientists for developing the COVID-19 vaccines within a year and said this shows the power of human determination and tenacity. PM Modi expressed his condolences to those who have suffered and lost their near and dear ones.