The Vice President, Shri M Venkaiah Naidu called for critical reassessment of our lifestyle and thinking in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic to establish peace and harmony in the world. We have to think of ways to reduce tension and make people’s lives comfortable and happy in today’s world, he said.
Inaugurating the 6th Dharma Dhamma International Conference on Dharma Dhamma Traditions in Building the Post-COVID World Order at Nalanda, he said the Dharma-Dhamma traditions of Hinduism and Buddhism together with other religious persuasions have distinctly holistic and inclusive responses to the challenges of the emerging post-Covid world order. If one reads, understands and implements the teachings of Hinduism & Buddhism, one can certainly attain a peaceful state in his inner and outer world, he added.
Shri Naidu said the conference provides an opportunity to examine the extent to which the Dharma and Dhamma teachings and practices could be applied to solving the challenges we face in the world around us. The universal principles of peaceful co-existence, cooperation, mutual care and share, non-violence, friendliness, compassion, peace, truth, honesty, selflessness and sacrifice have been an integral part of dharmic ethical exhortations. They have been articulated by our Rishis, Munis, monks, sages and seers, time and again, he added.
The Vice President said the notion of Dharma-Dhamma, in its multiple manifestations, including truth and non-violence, peace and harmony, humaneness and spiritual linkages and universal fraternity and peaceful co-existence, served as a moral compass that guided people in the Indian subcontinent through the ages. “Lord Buddha taught us simple things – follow Dharma, inculcate values, let go of your ego and learn good things from anybody & everybody,” he said.
Shri Naidu expressed the hope that the Conference will provide new lessons and insights to make the post COVID world a better place for humanity—a world where competition gives way to compassion, wealth makes way for health, consumerism gives way to spirituality, and supremacy and dominance yield to peaceful co-existence.
Complimenting the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Sunaina Singh, for striving to reinvent and strengthen the academic spirit of the historically renowned Nalanda University, the Vice President said the efforts should be directed towards helping it regain its past glory.
He said, Nalanda University must once again serve ‘as a bridge and foundation’ in linking India with the outside world through the power of knowledge. “This great cradle of learning must provide a transformational academic experience for every student in a spirit of creative collaboration”, he added.
The Vice President also cautioned about the dangerous consequences of climate change and emphasized the need to adopt a lifestyle that is sustainable and in sync with our natural environment. In this regard, he appealed to the people to learn from our traditional, nature-friendly practices emphasizing that ‘we must go back to our roots’. He also lauded Nalanda University for seeking to build the world’s largest self-sustaining Net-Zero campus.
Shri Phagu Chauhan, Governor of Bihar, Shri Nitish Kumar, Chief Minister, Smt. Pavithra Wanniarachchi, Minister of Transport, Govt. of Sri Lanka, Prof. Sunaina Singh, Vice Chancellor, Nalanda University, Smt. Lalita Kumar Mangalam, Director, India Foundation and Shri Dhruv Katoch, Director, India Foundation and other dignitaries were present on the occasion.