Respected President Shri Ram Nath Kovind Ji, other distinguished guests. Let me begin by conveying my greetings on Ashadha Poornima. It is also known as Guru Purnima. This is a day to remember our Gurus, who gave us knowledge. In that spirit, we pay homage to Lord Buddha.
I am happy that copies of the Mongolian Kanjur are being presented to the Government of Mongolia. The Mongolian Kanjur is widely respected in Mongolia. Most monasteries have a copy of it.
Friends, the eight-fold path of Lord Buddha shows the way towards the well-being of many societies and nations. It highlights the importance of compassion and kindness. The teachings of Lord Buddha celebrate simplicity both in thought and action. Buddhism 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.
Friends, in his very first sermon in Sarnath, and his teachings after that, Lord Buddha spoke on two things- hope and purpose. He saw a strong link between them. From hope comes a spirit of purpose. For Lord Buddha it was the removal of human suffering. We have to rise to the occasion and do whatever we can to increase hope among people.
Friends, I am very hopeful about the 21st century. This hope comes from my young friends- our youth. If you want to see a great example of how hope, innovation and compassion can remove suffering, it is our Start-up sector. Bright young minds are finding solutions to global problems. India has one of the largest start-up ecosystems.
I would urge my young friends to also stay connected with the thoughts of Lord Buddha. They will motivate and show the way ahead. At times,they will even calm you down or cheer you up. Infact, Lord Buddha's teaching of - अप्प: दीपो भव: , be your own guiding light is a wonderful management lesson.
Friends, 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.
Friends, it is the need of the hour 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. We want to focus on connectivity to Buddhist sites. A few days back the Indian Cabinet announced that Kushinagar airport will be an international one. This would bring so many people, pilgrims and tourists. It would also generate economic opportunities for many.
India awaits you!
Friends, once again, my greetings to you all. May the thoughts of Lord Buddha further brightness, togetherness and brotherhood. May his blessings inspire us to do good.
Thank you. Thank you very much.