IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


21st April, 2023 Culture

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  • The Prime Minister addressed the inaugural session of the Global Buddhist Summit in New Delhi. 



  • The two-day Summit is being hosted by the Ministry of Culture in collaboration with International Buddhist Confederation.


  • The theme of the Global Buddhist Summit is “Responses to Contemporary Challenges: Philosophy to Praxis”. 


  • The Summit is an effort towards engaging the global Buddhist Dhamma leadership and scholars on matters of Buddhist and universal concerns, and to come up with policy inputs to address them collectively.

Highlights of the summit

  • The discussion at the Summit explored how the Buddha Dhamma’s fundamental values can provide inspiration and guidance in contemporary settings.
  • The discussions were held under four themes: Buddha Dhamma and Peace; Buddha Dhamma: Environmental Crisis, Health and Sustainability; Preservation of Nalanda Buddhist Tradition; Buddha Dhamma Pilgrimage, Living Heritage and Buddha Relics: a resilient foundation to India’s centuries-old cultural links to countries in South, South-East and East Asia.

PM’s address

  • Prime Minister said that Buddha is a sensation that transcends the individual, he is a thought that transcends form and Buddha is a consciousness beyond manifestation.
  • This Buddha consciousness is eternal.
  • He also underlined the strength of the collective will and resolution of crores of followers of Lord Buddha globally to make for the welfare of the world.
  • The Prime Minister credited the teachings of Lord Buddha for an inherent empathy in India for the issues of humanity.
  • Throwing light on Lord Buddha’s journey, the Prime Minister reiterated that he left his life of castles and kingdoms because he realized the pain in the lives of others.
  • He emphasized the only way to achieve the goal of a prosperous world is when one gives away the idea of self and narrow-mindedness and realizes the totality of the Buddha Mantra of adopting the idea of the world.
  • PM underscored the relevance of Buddha’s teaching by saying that all the problems of modern times lend themselves to solutions through the ancient teachings of the Lord.
  • He said enmity can never be countered with enmity and happiness lies in unity.
  • Similarly, Lord Buddha’s teaching that one should first look at the conduct of the self before preaching to others can address the menace of imposing one’s own views on others so prevalent in today’s world.
  • The Prime Minister came back to his favourite Buddha teaching अप्प दीपो भवः, be your own light to elaborate the eternal relevance of the Lord’s teaching He remembered telling the United Nations a few years ago that ‘we are the country that has given the world Buddh, not Yudh (war)’.
  • The path of Buddha is the path of the future and the path of sustainability.
  • Mission LiFE is influenced by the inspirations of Buddha and it furthers Buddha’s thoughts, PM remarked. 
  • Prime Minister stressed the need to come out of the definitions of materialism and selfishness and imbibe the feeling of 'Bhavatu Sab Mangalan' i.e. Buddha should not only be made a symbol but also a reflection.

About Buddhism in India


  • Siddhartha Gautam, was born in 563 BC into royal family of Sakya clan who ruled from Kapilvastu, in Lumbini. At age of 29, Gautama left home and embraced a lifestyle of asceticism.
  • After 49 days of meditation, Gautama attained enlightenment under a pipal tree at Bodhgaya in Bihar.
  • Buddha gave his first sermon in the village of Sarnath, near the city of Benares in UP. This event is known as Dharma-Chakra-Pravartana (turning of the wheel of law).
  • Died at the age of 80 at Kushinagara a town in UP. The event is known as Mahaparinibban.

Tenets of Buddhism

  • Avoid the two extremes of indulgence in worldly pleasure and the practice of strict abstinence.
  • Buddha ascribed instead the 'Madhyam Marg' or the middle path which was to be followed.
  • Four noble truths: Suffering (dukkha) is the essence of the world, Every suffering has a cause – Samudya, Suffering could be extinguished – Nirodha, It can be achieved by following the Atthanga Magga
  • Eight Fold Paths: Right view, Right intention, Right speech, Right action, Right livelihood, Right mindfulness, Right effort, Right concentration
  • Buddha established code of conduct which are also known as the Five Precepts or Pancasil - Violence, stealing, sexual misconduct, lying or gossip, taking intoxicating substances

Major Buddhist Texts

  • Three Pitakas: Vinaya Pitaka (rules of conduct), Sutta Pitaka ( Dhamma of Buddha): divided into five Nikayas: Digha, Majjhima, Samyutta, Anguttara, Khuddaka, Abhidamma Pitaka (philosophical analysis)
  • Other important Buddhist texts include Divyavadana, Dipavamsa, Mahavamsa, Milind Panha etc.

Buddhist Councils

  • First: It was held in the Sattapani cave at Rajgriha soon after the Mahaparinirvan of the Buddha, around 483 BC under the patronage of King Ajatshatru and was presided by Mahakasyapa, a monk.
  • Second: held in Vaishali under the patronage of the king Kalasoka in 383 BC. It was presided by Sabakami.
  • Third: 250 BC in Patliputra under the patronage of Ashoka and was presided by Moggaliputta Tissa.
  • Forth: held in 72 AD at Kundalvana, Kashmir. It was presided by Vasumitra, while Asvaghosa was his deputy under the patronage of King Kanishka of Kushan Empire. Buddhism divided into Mahayan and Hinayan.

Schools of Buddhism

  • Mahayana: literally means "Great Vehicle". It believes in the heavenliness of Buddha and Idol worship of Buddha and Bodhisattvas embodying Buddha Nature.
  • Hinayana: Literally Lesser vehicle. It believes in the original teaching of Buddha or Doctrine of elders. It does not believe in Idol worship and tries to attain individual salvation through self-discipline and meditation.
  • Theravada: is a Hinayana sect, developed in Sri Lanka and subsequently spread to the rest of Southeast Asia.
  • Vajrayana: means “The Vehicle of the Thunderbolt”, also known as tantric Buddhism.
  • Zen: It is a school of Mahayana Buddhism that originated in China.


Q) Enmity can never be countered with enmity and happiness lies in unity. Discuss the validity of this statement with reference to the teachings of Buddha. (150 words)