Koreans' spiritual forefathers originated in India: Yogi
Even though South Korea and India have had diplomatic relations for half a century, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath noted at the Jogye Sangh awards ceremony that the spiritual ties between the two countries date back centuries because India is not the "foreign" but rather the "home" of the Koreans' spiritual ancestors.
The event was conducted by the South Korean organization Jogye Sangh to celebrate the end of a 43-day Buddhist pilgrimage known as a "padyatra" and the 50th anniversary of diplomatic ties between India and South Korea.
A walking pilgrimage led by the Sangwol Society of South Korea included around 108 Buddhist pilgrims from the Republic of Korea who traveled more than 1,100 kilometres over the course of 43 days.
Addressing at the event, Yogi said: "Lord Gautam Buddha delivered his first discourses from Sarnath, where he began his Dhamma Yatra. I'm happy to hear that you've finished your 43-day trek. In celebration of the 50th anniversary of diplomatic ties between India and South Korea, a "padyatra" is being organized to further the two nations' ties. The meaning becomes divine when saints work to strengthen the bonds.
The Lord Buddha's meditation practice reached Korea through his Chinese pupil Huineng. "Your trip came to a conclusion at Shravasti, the place where your meditation practice was first developed, Seon. In this way, you have not been overseas but rather to the place where your spiritual forefathers lived, remarked Yogi.
The party of monks walked the complete Buddhist route, from Kushinagar, the location of Mahaparinirvana, via Lumbini, Nepal, the birthplace of Lord Buddha.
"South Korea and India both commemorate their independence on August 15," Yogi added. The G20 meeting was presided over by India in its "Azadi ka Amrit Kaal." One Planet, One Family, One Future is this year's G20 theme, which ties in with the ideals of India's "Vasudhaiva Kutumbhakam."
"Buddha's teachings encourage all of humanity to practice unity, friendship, compassion, and humility. The CM said, "India is the center of respect and faith for the Buddhist civilization worldwide. He continued by saying that Uttar Pradesh is home to several locations significant to Mahatma Buddha's life.
At Shravasti, where he spent the most of his 'varshavaas,' Kushinagar is where Lord Buddha attained Mahaparinirvana, according to Yogi.
"The atmosphere of Lord Buddha surrounds Lucknow on all sides. Both the International Buddhist Research Institute and Shanti Upvan Buddha Vihar are located in Uttar Pradesh. The construction of an airport in Shravasti is also proceeding on a war footing since the international airport in Kushinagar has begun to operate. At Kushinagar itself, the state government plans to establish an agricultural and technological university bearing Mahatma Buddha's name. Under the direction of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, ties between India and South Korea are advancing to new heights, he said.
The chief minister further said that India and South Korea conduct $28 billion in bilateral commerce, with India importing items worth $19 billion from South Korea and exporting goods worth $9 billion to that country.