Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, on a visit to Japan, opened the Exhibition of Indian Museum Kolkata on Indian Buddhist Art at the prestigious National Museum of Tokyo. Addressing the gathering on the occasion, Rajnath Singh said that this exhibition is one of the most important events of the yearlong Festival of India in Japan 2014-15 organised by Government of India, as a means to foster closer people to people relations between India and Japan.
Rajnath Singh said that for this exhibition we have chosen with care to bring to the people of Japan, remarkable national treasures of India pertaining to the themes of the life of Lord Buddha, some of which date back to more than two thousand years. India is blessed to be the country touched by the holy feet of Lord Buddha from his enlightenment to attainment of nirvana.
The Union Home Minister said that he was fortunate to belong to the State of Uttar Pradesh in India where two of the four most important holy sites of Buddhism, ‘Sarnath’ and ‘Kushinagar’ are located. It was in Sarnath that Lord Buddha delivered his first sermon after attaining enlightenment; and Kushinagar is the place where the Lord Buddha attained Mahaparinirvana. He remarked that two sculptures from Sarnath from the 5th Century AD, – that of a standing Buddha and another depicting scenes from his life, – have been included as part of this exhibition.
Rajnath Singh said that the friendship between India and Japan has a long history rooted in spiritual affinity and strong cultural and religious ties. Buddhism has been one of the most important links between our two countries since its arrival in Japan in the sixth century AD. He said that this exhibition provides a unique opportunity for friends in Japan to see and enjoy India’s ancient Buddhist heritage. Rajnath Singh said that he was certain that this exhibition would help in reaffirming the civilizational ties between our two friendly countries which have endured into modern times with a legacy free of dispute, bound by converging values and interests.