Global Buddhist Conference and the New Delhi Declaration

The Global Buddhist Summit 2023 was held in New Delhi and concluded successfully with the New Delhi Declaration. Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi inaugurated the two-day summit on 20th April 2023, which focused on modes of disseminating and internalizing universal values to address global challenges and offer a sustainable model for the future of the world. The Declaration reinforces the points highlighted by the Prime Minister in his opening address, emphasizing the need for peace, harmony, and universal values in today’s world.

Promoting Peace and Harmony

According to the Declaration, peace is the foundation for human happiness and well-being. The teachings, principles, and ideology of Buddha Dhamma are regarded as the most effective direction for fostering interfaith communication, unity, and global tranquility. The Declaration calls upon all nations, organizations, and individuals to work towards creating a world free from conflict, violence, and war. It recognizes that peace is essential to be free from conflict, ill-feeling, greed, selfishness, and uncertainty of life in the present world scenario.

Addressing Environmental Degradation

The Declaration recognizes that the deterioration of the environment is among the most critical issues confronting humankind in the present time. It encourages both individuals and governments to actively work towards diminishing carbon emissions, conserving biodiversity, and safeguarding natural resources to ensure their availability for future generations. The Declaration affirms the commitment to protect the environment and promote sustainable development.

Promoting Well-being

The Declaration recognizes that genuine happiness stems from inner calmness and satisfaction. It motivates individuals to foster mindfulness, empathy, and sagacity, which are vital for fostering happiness and a state of good health. The teachings of Buddha Dhamma are seen as a source of guidance in this regard.

Significance of Buddhist Pilgrimage

The Declaration acknowledges the importance of Buddhist pilgrimage as an active legacy that fosters spiritual development, cultural comprehension, and societal concord. It appeals to governments to conserve and safeguard the revered locations of Buddhism and enhance their availability to people of diverse backgrounds. Buddhist pilgrimage is seen as a means of fostering unity and understanding among diverse communities.

Paradigm Shift in Human Attitude towards Nature

The Declaration stresses the necessity of a fundamental alteration in the way humans perceive and approach nature. By drawing upon the Buddha’s teachings, the Declaration accentuates the responsibility that members of the Sangha, Buddhist leaders, scholars, adherents, and establishments can assume in tackling the various challenges confronting the planet today for the betterment of all living creatures.The continuation of the annual Global Buddhist Summit is seen as an important step in this direction.

Preserving Value Education and Character Building

The Declaration refers to Nalanda, which was one of the most prominent centers of Dhamma education for around seven centuries, spanning from the 5th to the 12th century AD. It precedes the modern system of university education and was famous for value education and character building. The Declaration underscores the importance of inculcating these values among youths to rejuvenate society towards the concept of “Vasudeva Kuṭumbakam”, which means the world is one family. This will help promote a sense of community and a common purpose among individuals.



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