“Bodhi Parva: BIMSTEC Festival of Buddhist Heritage” is being held as part of the 20th Anniversary Celebrations of BIMSTEC and I feel delighted to be a part of such mesmerizing event that focusses on elevating cultural aspirations for peace, development and young workforce.

Buddhism is an important aspect of our common heritage. In this sense Bodhi Parva is a celebration of our unique connect and to strengthen our cultural bond. The message of Lord Buddha is as relevant in the twenty first century as it was two and a half millennia ago and has been a unifying force among nations. The values of peace, accommodation, inclusiveness, and compassion that are part of our societies can be attributed to the influence of the teachings of Lord Buddha and Buddhism.

I understand that Bodhi Parva has entwined various threads of our Buddhist heritage in to a beautiful melange including an exhibition of international and Indian Buddhist art and architecture, discourses by eminent scholars and practitioners of Buddhism, guided meditation and chanting by Buddhist monks and choir, screening of film on Buddhism, dance and music performances, quiz show and a food trail. These will certainly help in building an awareness of rich and common heritage.

As we are evolving, we are turning more volatile and hostile that can potentially harm world peace. In this scenario, Buddhism can usher peace and unity among all communities across the globe.  The fourth largest religion in the world, Buddhism has its own significance that should be retained, cultivated and passed on to young generation.

I wish the Festival every success and hope that everyone enjoys the diverse elements of the Bodhi Parva. I am sure that the Festival would further cement the cultural bonds that we share.