Reeling under COVID-19, world needs healing touch of compassion, kindness: President

President Ram Nath Kovind at the Annual Asadha Poornima - Dharma Chakra Day, at Rashtrapati Bhavan, in New Delhi on Saturday. (UNI)
President Ram Nath Kovind at the Annual Asadha Poornima - Dharma Chakra Day, at Rashtrapati Bhavan, in New Delhi on Saturday. (UNI)

NEW DELHI, July 24:
President Ram Nath Kovind on Saturday said the world is reeling under the impact of COVID-19 and needs the healing touch of compassion, kindness and selflessness more than ever before.
These universal values propagated by Buddhism need to be adopted by all in their thoughts and actions, he said at an event.
“Application of Buddhist values and principles in addressing issues of global concern will help in healing the world and making it a better place,” Kovind said.
He was addressing the annual Asadha Poornima – Dharma Chakra Day organised by the International Buddhist Confederation (IBC) through a video message.
Kovind said Lord Buddha’s well-documented life contains invaluable messages for humanity, according to a statement by the Rashtrapati Bhavan.
“Reeling under the impact of COVID-19, the world, more than ever before, needs the healing touch of compassion, kindness, and selflessness,” the president was quoted as saying.
He expressed hope that today’s world gets inspired by Lord Buddha’s infinite compassion and resolves to overcome all sources of human suffering, the statement said.
Kovind said it is important to stick to the essence of the teachings of Lord Buddha and not get lost in several different interpretations and variations of it. The president noted that in this context, the objectives of the International Buddhist Confederation are laudable.
He also praised the IBC’s effort in providing a common platform for all Buddhist traditions and organisations to serve humanity.
The president said he believed that the appeal of Buddhism goes much beyond the nearly 550 million formally ordained followers of the faith.
“People belonging to other faiths, and even skeptics and atheists feel attracted to the teachings of the Buddha. This universal and eternal appeal of Buddhism is due to its logical, rational, and simple answers to the fundamental problems faced by human beings across time and place,” Kovind said.
The Buddha’s assurance of putting an end to suffering, his emphasis on universal compassion and non-violence, his message to pursue morality and moderation in all aspects of life, have inspired countless people over the last 2,600 years since his first sermon at Sarnath on this very day, he said.
Early in the morning, the President planted a sapling of the Bodhi tree in the garden of Rashtrapati Bhavan, the statement said.
Among the dignitaries present on the occasion were Union Minister of Culture, G Kishan Reddy, Ministers of State for Culture, Arjun Ram Meghwal and Meenakshi Lekhi, and Secretary-General, International Buddhist Confederation, Ven. Dr Dhammapiya. (PTI)