Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Wednesday said that the spiritual ties between India and South Korea go back centuries with India being the home of its "spiritual ancestors."
The Chief Minister was attending the felicitation ceremony of the Jogye Sangh of South Korea, which successfully completed a 43-day 'padyatra' of Buddhist pilgrimages.
The occasion also marked the completion of the half-century-long diplomatic relations between India and South Korea.
Adityanath on the occasion said that Lord Gautam Buddha had started his 'Dhamma Yatra' from Sarnath by giving his first sermons as he congratulated the Sangh on its feat.
The CM, according to an official statement, said the padyatra was organised to strengthen the relations between the two countries on the occasion of the completion of half a century of diplomatic relations between India and South Korea.
It is believed Buddha's meditation tradition had entered Korea through his disciple Huineng in China.
"Shravasti, the origin of your meditation tradition Seon, is where your journey came to an end. In this sense, you have not come abroad but to the home of your spiritual ancestors," Adityanath said.
The group of monks travelled on foot along the entire Buddhist circuit traversing Lumbini in Nepal, the birthplace of Lord Buddha, to Kushinagar, the place of Buddha's Mahaparinirvana.
"Both India and South Korea celebrate independence on August 15. India got the opportunity to chair the G-20 summit in its 'Azadi ka Amrit Kaal'. This year the theme of G-20 is 'One Earth, One Family, One Future', it connects us with the spirit of India's 'Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam'," Adityanath said, adding that many places associated with the life of Mahatma Buddha are in UP.
"Lucknow is surrounded by the aura of Lord Buddha from all sides. Shanti Upvan Buddha Vihar is in UP, International Buddhist Research Institute in our state. As the international airport has become operational in Kushinagar, the development of an airport in Shravasti is also going on a war footing.
"The state government is going to set up an agriculture and technology university named after Mahatma Buddha in Kushinagar. The relations between India and South Korea are scaling new heights under the leadership of PM Modi," he said.
-With PTI Input