Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena were among those who attended the International Convention on the Universal Message of the Simhastha, at Ninaura near here today.
Mr. Modi received Mr. Sirisena at Indore airport and the two then travelled together to the venue of the convention.
Addressing the gathering, which has also been described as a “Vichar Kumbh” on the sidelines of the Kumbh Mela, the Prime Minister described the convention as the birth of a new effort. He said this was a modern edition of what might have happened in ancient times, when thought-leaders of society would gather at the sites of Kumbh melas, to reflect and provide new vision to society.
Speaking on Indian tradition and culture, he said that the mantra of a ‘Bhikshuk’ is “may good happen to the person who gives me alms, and even to the person who does not.” The Prime Minister gave several other illustrations of the values and humanism which define Indian culture.
Referring to the launch of the Simhasth Declaration, which was dedicated to the world by Mr. Modi, Mr. Sirisena and Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, the Prime Minister said this would mark the start of a new discourse not only in India but around the world.
The Prime Minister suggested that a ‘Vichar Kumbh’ should be held every year, to discuss issues such as afforestation and education of the girl child.