KUSHINAGAR: Invoking Buddha from the Maha Parinirvana temple in Kushinagar on Wednesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, his message of non-violence and compassion has inspired India’s constitution. “The values of mercy and compassion are still ingrained in the heart of India. And that’s why Buddha has inspired our Constitution. Buddha’s Dhamma-Chakra on the tricolour provides momentum and Parliament House has his engraved mantra — ‘Dharma Chakra Pravartanaya,” said Modi, who earlier inaugurated Kushinagar international airport and met foreign delegates, including Lankan cabinet minister Namal Rajapaksa. Ambassadors to India from Buddhist nations, including Myanmar, Vietnam, Kampuchea, Thailand, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Bhutan, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Mongolia, Japan, Singapore, Nepal and Buddhist monks were also present. “India has adopted Buddha’s teachings and incorporated them in the development journey. We don’t believe in concealing knowledge, great messages or thoughts of great souls. Whatever was ours, we have dedicated it to humanity. We all know Buddha’s message was first carried to Sri Lanka from India by emperor Ashoka’s son Mahendra and daughter Sanghamitra. It is believed on this day, the great monk, Arhat Mahinda, returned home to tell his father how Lanka had enthusiastically embraced Buddhism. This boosted the belief that Buddha’s ‘Dhamma’ is for the whole world. This day also gives us new energy to cement our age-old cultural ties with all countries,” he said. “It was believed Buddhism grew in India, mainly in the east. But if we look closely at history, we find Buddha has influenced the East as much as the West and North,” said the PM who donated a ‘chiver’ to monks. “Today the Lord Buddha returned to earth from Tushita and that’s why by ‘ashwin purnima’ monks complete their three-month ‘varshavas’. Buddha’s message of non-violence and call to witness the divine even in plants is still alive today. Compassion seekers stay home in these three months, so that no sprouting seed is crushed and there’s no obstruction to nature. This rain habitat also gives an opportunity to evolve the nature within us,” said the prime minister in his 32-minute speech. “Wherever Buddha’s ideas have been assimilated, there have been ways of progress even in most difficult times. He’s universal because Buddha teaches us to start from within. Buddhahood is an essence of responsibility. Whatever is happening around us, in our universe, we relate it to ourselves, we take responsibility for it. If we add positive effort, we will accelerate creation. Today, when the world talks about environmental protection and climate change, many questions arise. But, if we adopt Buddha’s message, answers are automatically found,” he added.

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