President Pranab Mukherjee said no part of the world was free from the scourge of violence and the philosophy of Buddhism is relevant at a time of “wanton destruction”. He said Buddhism had solutions to complex problems of the world. He was speaking at Rajgir on Sunday on “Buddhism in 21st century — perspective and responses to global crises” at the closing of the international Buddhist conference at Rajgir. Over 350 delegates from 35 countries attended the three-day conference.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said even if 10 per cent people of the new generation followed the message of Buddha, those trying to spread hatred would not succeed. President Mukherjee said: “No part of the world today is free from the scourge of violence. This crisis is all-pervasive. The basic question being raised today is how to stop this wanton destruction and come back to sanity.”
He said the philosophy of Buddhism “is as relevant today as ever — especially as the world grapples with complex problems that seem intractable”. The President added that Buddhism had a deep influence on human civilisation. Citing the example of Ashoka, he said the mighty king, who wanted to extend his empire, eventually turned into a missionary. “Dhamma Ashoka is remembered in history, than warrior Ashoka,” he said.
He told delegates as they would return to their respective areas of activity and influence, they should double their efforts to promote the simple truths and path of the Buddha showing how one could be a better citizen. He added that Nalanda reflected that ancient educational system had attracted mighty minds.
Nitish said Buddhism alone could show the way out of the atmosphere of violence, disharmony, distrust and intolerance. “It has been a matter of great pleasure and satisfaction that there had been an atmosphere of tolerance and goodwill in Bihar,” he said.