Reported by Santosh Jagdev
Bhubaneswar, June 30:
Former chief minister of Odisha and the Governor of Assam Janaki Ballabh Patnaik has called for more research into Buddhism, the third largest religion in the world in terms of numbers.
Speaking after releasing the book “Odishare Boudha dharma and Boudha kirti” (Buddhist religion and heritage in Odisha) authored by Dr Bimalendu Mohanty, former vice chancellor of Utkal Culture university, at Hotel Swosti here last evening, Patnaik said it has been historically proved that Buddhism existed in Odisha even before the Kalinga War.
The ceremony was organised by Ama Odisha, which is also the publisher of the book.
“It is as yet unknown who were responsible for the spread of Buddhism in Odisha and thus the state would benefit from more research into Buddhism,” he said.
The former Chief Minister, himself a scholar of eminence, said colleges and universities should add Buddhalogy in their curriculum providing teachings on the Buddhist culture and follow the principle of Lord Buddha for a change in individual’s life.
Taking pride in the presence of a School of Buddhist studies in KIIT University, Bhubaneswar and M.A. Course in Buddhist Studies in Utkal University of Culture here, the Assam Governor said, “Buddhalogy should be introduced in every institute in state to teach about the principles of Lord Buddha.”
“The introduction of this course will teach students the Noble Eight-fold Path of Lord Buddha, which includes how to follow the path of non-violence by increasing tolerance, speaking the truth, stopping the path of hatred, wisdom, concentration and ban on narcotics substances which cause harm to people.
“By following these principles, one can bring changes in himself by ending desire and pain and do good for the society and stop evil doing and achieve success in every field,” the Governor said.
P Seoli Thero, General Secretary of Mahabodhi Society of India talked about the importance of the Buddhist religion and urged the writer to translate the book written in Odia into English and Hindi so that it reaches every part of the country and enlightens people about Lord Buddha and his principles.
The book consisting of 130 pages has 24 chapters, including life history of Lord Buddha, the principles of Buddhism, origin of the religion in Odisha and conversion of King Chandashoka to Dharmashoka. The book also includes 10 coloured photographed pages on Udayagiri, Lalitgiri Ratnagiri and other related monuments and rock sculptures of Lord Buddha.
On the occasion, the writer of the book said he wrote the book after being inspired on reading the book ‘Goutam Buddha’ written by JB Patnaik in 1956.
Among other, Editor of Sambad and Chairman of Ama Odisha Soumya Ranjan Patnaik, KIIT and KISS founder Achyuta Samanta, Former secretary of Sahitya Academy Prof Raj kishore Mishra, Ama Odisha secretary and COO (Non-print media) Swaraj Mishra and senior executive of Sambad Asit Mohanty also spoke on the occasion.