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World|life|December 28, 2020 / 09:45 AM
Indian Prime Minister Modi proposes setting up of library of Buddhist literature in India

AKIPRESS.COM - India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi on December 21 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, The Economic Times reported.

"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.

Five years ago, India began this series of conferences with former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Since then, SAMVAD has travelled from New Delhi to Tokyo, from Yangon to Ulaanbaatar, Modi added.

Buddhism reached Kyrgyzstan in Central Asia via the Great Silk Road. Archaeologists have found traces of Buddhist influence along this ancient trade route. The most famous Buddhist sites in Kyrgyzstan are the Krasnaya, Rechka and Novopokrovka mounds, where statues of the Buddha have been found.

Buddhism has two branches in Kyrgyzstan: Nipponzan and Karma Kagyu. The Buddhist community in Kyrgyzstan known as "Chamsen" ("Liberation" in the Korean language), was founded in 1996 by ethnic Koreans in Gornaya Maevka Village.

Buddhism in Central Asia was prevalent along the Silk Road. The history of Buddhism in Central Asia is closely related to the Silk Road transmission of Buddhism during the first millennium of the common era.

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