Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday proposed setting up of a library in India dedicated to traditional Buddhist literature and scriptures, asserting that it would be a platform for research and dialogue.
Addressing the 6th Indo-Japan Samwad Conference via video conferencing, Modi lauded the forum for doing great work to promote the ideas and ideals of Lord Buddha, especially among the youth. “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,” he 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, he said.
The library will not only be a depository of literature, it will also be a platform for research and dialogue -’ a true ‘SAMWAD’ between human beings, between societies, and between man and nature, Modi said. “Its research mandate will also include examining how Buddha’s message can guide our modern world against contemporary challenges,” he said and cited challenges like poverty, racism, extremism, gender discrimination, climate change among others.
In his remarks at the conference, Modi noted that 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,” he said. This body of writing is a treasure of humankind as a whole, Modi said.
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