Dr. Syama Prasad Mookerjee Research Foundation

PM’s message at India-Japan SAMVAD Conference

  • Dear Friends, It is an honour to be addressing the Sixth Indo-Japan SAMVAD Conference.
  • Five years ago, we began this series of conferences with former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Since then, SAMVAD has travelled from New Delhi to Tokyo, from Yangon to Ulaanbaatar.
  • In this journey, it has remained true to its fundamental objectives: to encourage dialogue and debate; to highlight our shared values of democracy, humanism, Ahimsa, freedom and tolerance; and, to carry forward our ancient tradition of spiritual and scholarly exchanges.
  • I would like to thank the Government of Japan for their constant support to SAMVAD. Friends, This forum has done great work to ensure promote the ideas and ideals of Lord Buddha, especially among the youth.
  • Historically, the light of Buddha’s message spread out from India to many parts of the world. However, this light did not remain static.
  • In each new place it reached, Buddhist thought continued to evolve further over the Centuries.
  • Because of this, great treasures of Buddhist literature and philosophy can be found in many different monasteries today, across many different countries and languages.
  • This body of writing is a treasure of humankind as a whole. Today, I would like to propose the creation of a library of all such traditional Buddhist literature and scriptures.
  • We will be happy to create such a facility in India and will provide appropriate resources for it. The library will collect digital copies of all such Buddhist literature from different countries.
  • It will aim to translate them, and make them freely available for all monks and scholars of Buddhism. The library will not only be a depository of literature.
  • It will also be a platform for research and dialogue – a true ‘SAMVAD’ between human beings, between societies, and between man and nature.
  • Its research mandate will also include examining how Buddha’s message can guide our modern world against contemporary challenges.
  • Challenges like poverty, racism, extremism, gender discrimination, climate change and many others.
  • Friends, About three weeks ago, I was at Sarnath. Sarnath is where Lord Buddha gave his first sermon after attaining enlightenment.
  • This Jyoti Punj emerged from Sarnath spread across the world embracing the values of Compassion, Nobility and above all, Manav Kalyan the good of entire humanity.
  • And gently, peacefully, it changed the course of world history. It was in Sarnath that Lord Buddha spoke in detail about his ideal of Dhamma.
  • Dhamma for him was more than prayer and rituals. At the Centre of Dhamma are humans, and their relation with fellow humans.
  • Thus, it is most important to be a positive force in the lives of others. SAMVAD should be one that will spread this spirit of positivity, unity and compassion across our planet.
  • That too at a time when we need it the most. Friends, This is the first SAMVAD of a new decade.
  • It is happening at a critical moment of human history. Our actions today will shape the discourse in the coming times.
  • This decade and beyond will belong to those societies that place a premium on learning and innovating together.
  • It will be about nurturing bright young minds who will add value to the humanity in the times to come. Learning should be such that furthers innovation. After all, innovation is the corner-stone to human empowerment.