As the world fights extraordinary challenges, their lasting solutions can come from the ideals of Lord Buddha, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Saturday.
Addressing the Dhamma Chakra Day event, the prime minister also said that in his first sermon at Sarnath, Lord Buddha referred to hope and purpose. For Lord Buddha, it was the removal of human suffering, the prime minister observed.
"We have to rise to the occasion and do whatever we can to increase hope among people," he said in his virtual address.
He said India's start up sector is a great example of how hope, innovation and compassion can remove suffering. "Bright young minds are finding solutions to global problems. India has one of the largest start-up ecosystems," he said.
Recalling the eight-fold path of Lord Buddha, Modi said it shows the way towards the well-being of many societies and nations. It highlights the importance of compassion and kindness, he said adding that the teachings of Lord Buddha celebrate simplicity both in thought and action.
"Today the world fights extraordinary challenges. To these challenges, lasting solutions can come from the ideals of Lord Buddha. They were relevant in the past. They are relevant in the present. And, they will remain relevant in the future," Modi said.
Buddhism, the prime minister noted, teaches respect. "Respect for people. Respect for the poor. Respect for women. Respect for peace and non-violence. Therefore, the teachings of Buddhism are the means to a sustainable planet."
Modi said he is very hopeful about the 21st century.
"This hope comes from my young friends -- our youth... would urge my young friends to also stay connected with the thoughts of Lord Buddha. They will motivate and show the way ahead," he said.
At times, the thoughts of Lord Buddha will even calm you down or cheer you up, he said. "In fact, Lord Buddha's teaching that 'be your own guiding light' is a wonderful management lesson," he pointed out.
The need of the hour, Modi said, is to connect more and more people with Buddhist heritage sites. "We in India have many such sites. You know how people also know my parliamentary constituency of Varanasi? As the home to Sarnath," he said.
Recently, the Union Cabinet announced that Kushinagar airport will be an international one, he pointed out. "This would bring so many people, pilgrims and tourists. It would also generate economic opportunities for many," he said. The Dhamma or Dharma Chakra day is observed on Asadha Poornima.