Modi invokes Buddha in India’s COVID fight

With the entire world in the grip of the COVID-19 pandemic, Prime Minister Narendra Modi underlined the enduring relevance of Lord Buddha’s message of compassion to cope up with this period of suffering and distress. PM Modi drew people’s attention to the tenets of religious teacher Gautama Buddha who espoused that the only goal of attaining Nirvana, or enlightenment, is to help others. In his message on the occasion of Buddha Purnima, Mr Modi said that just like the spiritual leader taught us about doing good to others, India, too, is following on his principles and fulfilling its moral responsibility by providing medicines and other supplies to countries that are in need during the pandemic.

Mr Modi said that India is tirelessly making efforts to supply medicines to countries that are badly in need and helping save lives. While Mr Modi’s virtual speech may hold political significance as the two principal seats of Buddhist teachings, Bodh Gaya in Bihar and Sarnath in Uttar Pradesh, go to polls in October, his message of compassion also goes out to the Buddhist nations.

In these hard times, everyone should stand firmly behind each other, irrespective of “rich or poor” and “profit or loss” and help one another in whatever way they can, PM Modi said. He said that this is the reason why many countries look up to India for guidance and support, and it will not fail in its duties to help as Buddha said those who serve humankind are his real followers.“There are many people around us who are working round-the-clock to help others, maintaining law and order, and treating the infected while sacrificing their comforts. Such people deserve appreciation and honour,” Mr Modi said on May 7.

PM Modi launched a large-scale humanitarian mission, reaching out to the heads of states and governments across all continents, expressing solidarity, and providing assistance in combating the virus that infected over three million people and killed nearly 270,000 around the world to date. India has dispatched tonnes of HCQ and paracetamol tablets to countries in Asia, Europe, Africa, and North and South Americas to help cope with the disease.

Further, India has shared crisis management skills, medical expertise, and provided funds to countries that are in need. Mr Modi said that India played the role of the “pharmacy of the world” in this time of crisis. While noting India’s helping nature, which is rooted deep in its ethos, PM Modi said, “Our civilisation sees the world as one family as we care for our citizens and also the well-being of the entire world.”


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