Mumbai, Jan 14 (PTI) President Ram Nath Kovind today said the message of Lord Buddha was essential for the society to move from violence towards mercy.

He was speaking at the ‘Gratitude Day’ function at the Global Vipassana Pagoda at Gorai in suburban Borivali here.

The day commemorates the death anniversary of Sayagyi U Ba Khin, a renowned Vipassana teacher from Myanmar, and the ‘pagoda’ is built as a token of gratitude to him.

“For the sake of humanity, we need to move from violence towards mercy and therefore it is essential to expand the message of Lord Buddha in society. Vipassana helps us in teaching such messages and principles to the people,” the president said while addressing the audience.

Kovind said that Maharashtra was famous for several achievements but it got wider recognition from its centres of faith and tradition.

“The caves of Ajanta that attract tourists from across the world is an example,” he said.

Underlining the benefits of Vipassana, Kovind said it helps improve concentration.

“..students can get better marks in exams. Government officials and sportsmen can also perform well as Vipassana has great impact on the mind, body and at the spiritual level,” he saod.

Kovind also praised the Maharashtra government for encouraging its employees to undertake Vipassana courses.

Earlier in the programme, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis paid rich tribute to Sayagyi U Ba Khin, Satyanarayan Goenka and, Elaichi Devi Goenka for their outstanding contribution in reviving Vipassana in the country.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.