New Delhi: Sharing the “pain” of quake-devastated Nepal, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today hoped that the “beloved brother” bounces back quickly from its current crisis even as he observed that the task of recovery was long and arduous.
“We should share the pain and wipe the tears of people of Nepal,” Modi said while referring to the devastation caused in the birthplace of Lord Buddha on the occasion of his birth anniversary. He was addressing a gathering here on ‘Buddha Purnima’ where one-minute silence was observed in memory of those killed in the massive earthquake in Nepal and India. “The birthplace of Lord Buddha, our beloved brother Nepal is going through a massive crisis. People of Nepal have to bear this difficult situation. It is difficult to imagine how long and arduous this journey will be. We share the pain of the people of Nepal. Let us pray to Lord Buddha that they get new strength,” he said.
Invoking Lord Buddha, he said his teaching of compassion inspires one to rebuild lives. India has deployed massive resources, including military forces, for rescue and relief operations in Nepal. Modi also said the world is going through “turmoil” and added the teachings of Lord Buddha can show the way out. Violence is at its peak. Major part of the world is soaked in blood….People are baying for each other’s blood. In this situation of bloodshed, where will the message of compassion come from? The only resort is Lord Buddha and his teachings,” the Prime Minister said.
He cited how Buddha, who was born as a prince, renounced the wordly things like power and wealth to seek salvation through spiritualism 2500 years back. “Some people think power and prosperity are good enough to solve all problems…. But Lord Buddha renounced all these to seek greater powers through love and compassion for welfare of humanity. This thought is not small. He must have been having big conviction and courage to renounce all these,” Modi said. The Prime Minister said Lord Buddha’s timeless message of love and compassion could help rid the world of the problems of war and violence.
“If you want to get rid of war, you will have to tread Buddha’s path,” he said. Modi said the entire world has acknowledged that the 21st century belongs to Asia and Buddha’s teachings would be the inspiration and guiding spirit for Asia, as it showed the world the path to relief from problems of conflict and hatred. “Buddha’s words had immense power and that is why the world accepted him,” he underlined. The Prime Minister said Lord Buddha was conscious towards individual emancipation as well as social reform and had sensed the importance of uniting people towards a noble cause.
He said Lord Buddha’s teaching of “Atta Deepo Bhavah” – “Be your own light” – was one of the greatest management lessons ever, contained in just three words. Lord Buddha had always championed the cause of lalits, oppressed and deprived classes of the society beside empowerment of women, Modi said. He did not believe in “ekla chalo” (march alone) but always laid emphasis on bringing people together, which has inspired dalit icon Baba Ambedkar.
“Lord Buddha wanted evolution in the society… The issues being discussed presently were taken up by Lord Buddha 2500 years ago. His teachings are relevant in this age also,” the Prime Minister said. Taking a dig at his critics, Modi said he, as Chief Minister of Gujarat, had placed a statue each of Lord Buddha at the entrance of the state Secretariat and his official residence but “apparently their (critics’) attention has not gone to that aspect. Otherwise, they would have flogged me. He said he proposes to build an impressive Buddha temple in his ancestral place Vadnagar in Gujarat where materials related to the founder of Buddhism had been found.