Dharma-Dhamma traditions have inclusive responses to emerging challenges of post-COVID world order

Dharma-Dhamma in its multiple manifestations served as a moral compass through the ages

VP calls for Nalanda University to regain its past glory

VP lauds the University for seeking to build the world’s largest self-sustaining net zero campus

VP inaugurates the 6th Dharma Dhamma International Conference at Nalanda University

Rajgir: The Vice President, M Venkaiah Naidu called for critical reassessment of the lifestyle and thinking in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic to establish peace and harmony in the world. It has become essential 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 and Buddhism, one can certainly attain a peaceful state in his inner and outer world, he added.

Mr 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 the 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 and everybody,” he said.

Mr 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.

On this occasion Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar highlighted the glory of the ancient Indian Nalanda International University saying that over 10,000 students from the country and abroad including China, Korea, Japan, Tibet, Southeast Asia and others studied there.

Speaking about the reason for selecting Rajgir as site for construction of Nalanda International University Mr Kumar elaborated the religious and historical importance of the place.
He said that after attaining enlightenment in Bodhgaya Lord Buddha visited this place several times and even before his enlightenment he had toured the five Hills of Rajgir popular as panch parwat( group office hills).
For several years Rajgir had been the capital of the unified India thousands year ago.
It was also the place of Lord Mahavira who born and died here.
A well known Sufi Makhdoom Sahab too had lived at this place. Apart from this Guru Nanak Dev had visited this area where he had established a pond of cold water.
Speaking about its religious importance Mr Kumar quoting some myth added that it is said that 33 crore God and Goddess come to this place and stay for a month after every three years. Malmas fair is organised after every 3 years during the period in Rajgir.

The chief minister hoped that the International University would help to establish peace and harmony in the society.

Governor of Bihar Phagu Chauhan, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, Minister of Transport, Govt. of Sri Lanka Pavithra Wanniarachchi, Vice Chancellor, Nalanda University Prof. Sunaina Singh, Director, India Foundation Lalita Kumar Mangalam,  and Shri Dhruv Katoch, Director, India Foundation and other dignitaries graced the occasion by their the occasion.