General Sinha referred to the reverence and respect for Buddhism among Hindus, some of whom describe Lord Buddha as an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. He said that Buddhism continues to dominate in South Asia and Far East countries.
ASSERTING THAT philosophy of Buddhism continues to be dear to the people of India, Jammu
and Kashmir governor SK Sinha said that it would be wrong to say that it has become extinct in India
as it still influences the ethos and values that influence the Indians.
In his impromptu reaction to a reference made by a speaker during the inaugural ceremony of Mahabodhi Jammu Deepa Centre at the University of Jammu, the governor, though agreed that Buddhism did not now occupy the centre stage in India but said that it was a source of inspiration irrespective of faith.
General Sinha referred to the reverence and respect for Buddhism among Hindus, some of whom described Lord Buddha as an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. He said that Buddhism continues to dominate in South Asia and Far East countries.
“Buddhism greatly influenced the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi
. The Buddhist philosophy used by the Mahatma against colonialism can be equally effective in the fight against extremism, terrorism and threat of nuclear weapons,” he said.
General Sinha said that our great moral and spiritual heritage, together with attainments in science and technology, could lead India to become a super power. He hoped that setting up of Mahabodhi Deepa Centre in Jammu and other cities will serve as a beacon for present and future.
The governor claimed to be virtually a Buddhist by birth, having been born in the holy city of Gaya
where groups of Buddhist monks used to go past his house, chanting Bhudham Sharnam Gachami
General Sinha wished the conference a success and hoped that the Buddhist Centre in Jammu will help disseminate the message of peace, love and non-violence, which is still relevant when humanity is shrouded under the dark clouds of hatred, intolerance and violence.
Speaking on the occasion, minister for industries and commerce, Rixin Jora, while highlighting the philosophy of Buddha, said that religion should have no role in public affairs. “Use of religion in public domain turns to be cause of dissent,” he said, adding that it should be a private affair to attain the bliss of satisfaction and purity in life.
Vice chancellor, Prof Amitabh Mattoo complimented Mahabodhi International Meditation Centre, Leh, for launching the first ever Deepa Centre in Jammu and hoped that it will emerge as a vibrant destination for meditation. He said a Buddhist study centre has been set up in the University of Jammu about two decades ago and it was ready to play a collaborator role in promoting the philosophy of Buddha and his teachings.
Ven Sanghasena, president, Mahabodhi International Meditation Centre, Leh, Ven Gao-Sang and Ven Fa-Ju from Taiwan and Kwanne Chu from Japan were among those who spoke on the occasion. Prof Baidya Nath Labh, head of Buddhist Studies, University of Jammu, presented welcome address while Dr Smanla T Phunstog presented vote of thanks.
Prominent at the function were T Samphel, member, National Commission for Scheduled Tribes and Lama Zodpa, member, National Minority Commission and it was anchored by Dr Kavita Suri.