PM’s visit to Lumbini, Nepal

PM’s visit to Lumbini, Nepal

Recently, the Prime Minister has visited Lumbini to strengthen India-Nepal ties.

The Indian Prime Minister highlighted the shared faith and traditions of India and Nepal. At the same time, he called for further strengthening India-Nepal friendship to meet the emerging global challenges.

Highlights of Prime Minister’s visit to Lumbini He laid the foundation stone of India International Center for Buddhist Culture and Heritage. It is being established by the International Buddhist Confederation (IBC) based in India.

The two countries agreed in principle to establish sister city relations between Lumbini (the birthplace of Lord Buddha) and Kushinagar (the parinirvana site of Lord Buddha).

Importance of Lumbini

  • It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Archaeological remains of Buddhist viharas (monasteries) and stupas (memorial sites) from the 3rd century BC to the 15th century AD have been found here.

The following structures have also been found here:

  • Shakya Pond,
  • Brick structures built in a cross-wall system within the Maya Devi temple, and
  • Ashoka Pillar made of sandstone, on which inscriptions are engraved in Pali language in Brahmi script.

Global importance of Buddhism for India

India is the birthplace of Buddhism and its sub-sects.

Many important sites associated with Gautam Buddha are located in India.

  • Bodh Gaya (where Buddha attained enlightenment),
  • Sarnath (where Buddha gave his first sermon),
  • Kushinagar (Mahaparinirvana i.e. the place of death of Buddha) etc.

There are more than 500 million followers of Buddhism around the world. The historical legitimacy of Buddhism serves as an important religious soft power for India.

Soft power is the ability to influence others, whereby a person or organization seeks to achieve the desired result through attraction rather than coercion or payment.

It serves as an influencer for Indian diplomacy. This is especially important for East Asia. Through this, efforts are being made to revive the ancient cultural ties under the “Act East Policy”.

Source – The Hindu

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