Describing India as the ‘home’ of the spiritual ancestors of the Koreans, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said on Wednesday that even as the diplomatic relations between India and South Korea complete half-centenary, the spiritual ties between the two countries go back centuries.
The CM was participating in the felicitation ceremony of the Jogye Sangh on the successful completion of the 43-day padyatra by the 108 Buddhist pilgrims from South Korea which also marked the completion of the half-centenary of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
“I congratulate you [Buddhist pilgrims] for completing the 43-day pilgrimage, the padyatra is being organised to strengthen the relations between India and South Korea on the occasion of the completion of half a century of diplomatic relations. When saints make efforts to deepen the relations, then its meaning becomes divine,” said Mr. Adityanath.
108 Buddhist pilgrims from South Korea walked roughly 1,100 kilometres over 43 days as part of a walking pilgrimage organised by the Sangwol Society of South Korea. The walk gained more prominence as India and South Korea celebrated 50 years of establishment of diplomatic ties this year.
Highlighting the Buddhist historical roots of India, the U.P. CM said that Lord Gautama Buddha had started his Dhamma Yatra from Sarnath by giving his first sermons. “Shravasti, the origin of your meditation tradition Seon, is where your journey came to an end. In this sense, you have not come abroad but to the home of your spiritual ancestors,” added Mr. Adityanath.
Reiterating that India gave Buddha to the world, Mr. Adityanath said that his preaching inspires the entire mankind to embrace humility, compassion, friendship and oneness. India is the centre of reverence and faith for the Buddhist society of the world. Mr. Adityanath said that many places associated with the life of Gautama Buddha are located in Uttar Pradesh like Sarnath, Shravasti and Kushinagar.
“Lucknow, the State capital of Uttar Pradesh, is surrounded by the aura of Lord Buddha. Shanti Upvan Buddha Vihar is in the State. An international airport has come up in Kushinagar, and the development work of an airport in the Shravasti district is also going on rapidly,” said Mr. Adityanath.