India offers to set up library of Buddhist literature

New Delhi, Dec 21 (UNI) Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in line with his government’s push for soft power diplomacy, on Monday offered to set up in India a library of traditional Buddhist literature and scripture found across monasteries that would also serve as a platform for research and dialogue among countries.

Mr Modi said Buddha’s message spread out from India to many parts of the world, and in each new place it reached, Buddhist thought evolved over the centuries. Great treasures of Buddhist literature and philosophy can thus 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.

“We will be happy to create such a facility in India and will provide appropriate resources for it,” said the prime minister. He made the proposal while taking part in the India-Japan Samvad with his Japanese counterpart Yoshihide Suga.

The convention was launched in step with a joint proposal from the leaders of the two countries in 2014, and has since been held in New Delhi, Tokyo, Yangon and Ulaanbaatar. Mr Modi said 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’ dialogue/conversation) between human beings, between societies, and between man and nature.

Its research mandate will also include examining how Buddha’s message can guide the modern world against contemporary challenges like poverty, racism, extremism, gender discrimination, climate change and many others.

Suga on his part said numerous values have been nurtured throughout Asia since historic instances. “Buddhism and Hinduism train compassion… These values have one factor in widespread: an angle to cherish and respect variety and tolerance. We are able to say that democracy in Asia have taken root, deeply and extensively, and advanced based mostly on such conventional ideas and beliefs,” he said.

“Japan will proceed to face facet by facet with every nation and work collectively to additional develop democracy in Asia,” Suga added.


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