Union Minister of State for External Affairs Meenakashi Lekhi on Wednesday met a delegation from the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) on the concluding day of the International Conference on "Shared Buddhist Heritage."
Taking to Twitter, Lekhi posted. "Interacted with the SCO Delegation on the concluding day of the International Conference on "Shared Buddhist Heritage". The conference was a treasure trove of historical evidence as it traced our civilizational linkage of Buddhism with the SCO nations."
Speaking to ANI, Lekhi said the theme of the two-day conference was Buddhism. She stressed that the SCO nations are bound by one single thought and philosophy which is Buddhism, noting that Lord Buddha was born in India and he delivered his first sermon in the country as well.
"So, a two-day conference took place in Delhi of SEO countries and the theme was Buddhism, our shared value and culture. When we look at the life of Buddha, Buddha was born here and his first sermon to his last breath everything happened in India," Lekhi said.
"And the thought he nurtured, which was very deeply influenced by Charvaka's philosophy, which was based on materialism but not materialism per se. It also had the element of value and value existence and ideas which were value-based," she added.
Meenakashi Lekhi said it was time to go back to Buddhist thought, cooperate and work together on the basis of the principle of non-violence.
"This particular thought travelled far and wide and SEO countries are bound by one single thought and philosophy which is Buddhism. India is the centre in that sense from where the thought spread all across," Lekhi said.
"And it's time to connect with everyone. We are similar people and our present history has a history which predates all that is happening. And it's time to go back to the Buddhist thought, cooperate and work together on the principle of non-violence," she added.
On China's participation at the SCO meeting, Lekhi said, "Everyone is welcome. They are an SEO member." She stressed that India has always propagated the message of Buddha and not 'yudh' (violence).
"The message of Buddha has been the message of non-violence, peace, fraternity, compassion and yudh has a message of battles, wars, and killings. And it is for this reason that even when we were the most powerful country in the world, we chose not to attack people. We chose, instead, to help everyone around. Buddha, not yudh, is the underlying message of the members," Meenakashi Lekhi said.
Speaking about her meeting with the SCO delegation, Lekhi said, "I've interacted with them personally. They were all very comfortable and happy being in India and were well taken care of. They all felt comfortable with us, which is a very positive message for the rest of the world -- that we are welcoming people and they are all part of us." (ANI)