Hanoi [Vietnam], Sept. 3 : Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday invited the Buddhist monks and nuns present at the Quan Su Pagoda to visit the 'land of Buddha' India and his parliamentary constituency Varanasi.
Quan Su Pagoda is the headquarters of the Buddhist Sangha of Vietnam. "I humbly invite you all in Vietnam to travel to the land of Buddha, and especially to Varanasi which I represent in India's Parliament," Prime Minister Modi said.
Stating that Buddhism, which took the sea route, travelled to Vietnam in its purest form from India, Prime Minister Modi said that world should walk on the path of peace that brings happiness and prosperity.
"I saw a glow on the faces of those monks, who travelled to India and a great curiosity in the faces of those who wish to travel to India," he added.
Asserting that the relationship between India and Vietnam spans 2000 years, the Prime Minister said that some people came here with the objective of war but India came to the country with a message of peace which has endured.
He stressed that war only brings transient greatness. Recalling first Indian President Dr Rajendra Prasad's visit to the Pagoda in 1959, Prime Minister Modi said that "he is fortunate to make a trip" here.
"I am humbled by blessings showered on me. Wish to thank honorable Deputy Prime Minister, who joined me on this pilgrimage today," he said. Prime Minister Modi, who received a rousing reception upon his arrival at the pagoda, earlier interacted with the Buddhist monks and nuns.
"A diplomat's pagoda for a visiting dignitary. PM gets rousing reception @ Pagoda, also known as Ambassador's pagoda," Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) official spokesperson Vikas Swarup tweeted.
"At the heart of Vietnamese Buddhism, a precious treasure of Hanoi. PM @narendramodi visits the Quan Su Pagoda," he said. Chief Priest Rev Thich Thien Nhon also outlined the history of Vietnam's links with India. Modi arrived in Vietnamese capital Hanoi last night in the first visit by an Indian Prime Minister in 15 years.
Former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had visited the country in 2001..