Tam Chuc Pagoda, Ha Nam province, Vietnam: May 12, 2019

The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has called for an enlightened global leadership to ensure a conflict free world order based on peace and sustainable development and asserted that Buddhism promotes such transformation. He asserted that adhering to the core principles of Buddhism can liberate individual minds and provide the much desired positive leadership that can rescue the troubled humanity besides addressing a just and responsive world order.

Shri Naidu elaborated on the virtues of Buddhism and it’s relevance to the present times while delivering the keynote address at the 16th United Nations Day of Vesak, at Tam Chuc Pagoda in Ha Nam province of Vietnam today, on the invitation of his Vietnamese counterpart. He spoke on the theme “Buddhist Approach to Global Leadership and Shared Responsibilities for Sustainable Societies”. The Prime Minister of Vietnam, Mr. Nguven Xuan Phuc, the President of National Vietnam Buddhist Sangha and the President of UN Day of Vesak Celebration 2019, Dr. Thic Thien Nhon and over 1600 leading Buddhist from several countries were among the participants.

‘Vesak’ marks the birth, enlightenment and the Parinirvana of Lord Buddha whose teaching have caught the imagination of people across the world over the last 2,500 years.

Shri Naidu said “Buddhist approach of righteous behavior, wisdom, compassion and camaraderie and reduction of Trishna (greed) offers a set of building blocks for the architecture of a new world order where violence and conflict are minimized and development takes place without degrading the natural resources. He referred to transformation from Ashoka-the-Fierce to Ashoka-the-Righteous after the Kalinga War inspired by Buddha’s teachings.

The Vice President stressed that avoiding extreme positions and adopting a ‘middle  path’ as taught by Buddha leads to realizing the truth which leads to avoiding conflict, reconciliation of different view points and achieving consensus. ‘’This steers individuals away from bigotry, dogmatism and fanaticism to a more balanced view of life essential for peaceful co-existence and Buddhism is an antidote to the contemporary malaise of radicalization and religious fundamentalism’’ Shri Naidu stressed.

Noting that the genesis of conflict has roots in the idea of hate violence originating from an individual’s mind-space, Shri Naidu said that the growing menace of terrorism is a manifestation of this destructive emotion. “The proponents of ideologies of hate need to be constructively engaged to avoid mindless death and destruction and there is no higher bliss than peace as stated by Buddha’’ Shri Naidu said.

Referring to the contemporary challenges being faced by the global leadership, Shri Naidu said that peace and sustainable development are interlinked and they feed on each other. He urged the world leaders to work together to promote dialogue, harmony and justice based on compassion and wisdom. Sustainable society is possible only through sustainable consumption and production given the limited natural resources.

The Vice President observed that throughout human history the dark forces of unbridled ambition and unending spiral of irrational hatred and anger have raised their ugly head and unfolded a number of tragic tales of blood and tears and visionaries like Buddha showed the path to restore sanity to troubled humanity. He said that India’s vision has been of a world as one large family and it’s dreams have been woven around the theme of peaceful co-existence.

​The President of Myanmar, Mr. Win Myint, the Prime Minister of Nepal, Shri K.P. Sharma Oli, the Most Venerable Supreem Patriarch of National Vietnam Buddhist Sanga, the President of the National Assembly of Vietnam, Ms. Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan, the Chairman of the National Council of Bhutan, Mr. Tashi Dorji and other dignitaries were present on the occasion.