The three days International Buddhist Conference was held at the Rajgir International Convention Center (RICC) of Nav Nalanda Mahavira Deemed University, Rajgir, Bihar from March 17-19, 2017.
- The conference was inaugurated by His Holiness, The Dalai Lama jointly with the Minister of Culture and Tourism, Dr. Mahesh Sharma by lighting a ceremonial lamp.
- The event was organized by Ministry of Culture and Nava Nalanda Mahaviahra Deemed University.
- Theme: The main theme of the conference was: Buddhism in the 21st Century – Perspectives and Responses to Global Challenges and Crises.
- Aim: The three-day conference aimed at discussing Buddhist perspectives and responses towards global issues such as ecological sustainability, social and economic justice, ethics and values, a holistic approach to education, inter-religious harmony and cooperation, gender equality.
- The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee addressed the closing ceremony of the International Conference on March 19, 2017.
Key Highlights of the Conference
The three day conference saw the participation of over 1000 Buddhist delegates from 35 countries including Sri Lanka, Burma, Taiwan, Thailand, Bangladesh, Uganda, representing both the Sanskrit and Pali traditions.
- The three-day conference include cultural programme, discussions, seminars on how to create a balance between economic development and conservation of nature and environment with secular ethics
- Some of the main topics of discussion during the conference included, Conflict Avoidance and Peace Building: The Buddhist Response; Environment & Nature Conservation; Buddhism & Sciences; Women in Buddhism; Preservation of Nalanda Tradition; Ethics & Values; Secular Ethics & Interfaith Understanding.
- One of the main highlight of the conference was the release 41-volume of the Pali Tripitaka by His Holiness the Dalai lama, reprinted by the Nava Nalanda University in Devanagri script.
- Besides, he also inaugurated the Nava Nalanda University’s new department of the Buddhist Science, first of its kind in Asia.
- His Holiness the Dalai Lama also visited the Nava Nalanda Mahavihara near Rajgir on March 18, 2017 to plant the sapling of the Bodhi Tree and inaugurate Nagajurna Faculty Building as well as Santarakshita Hostel.
- He praised India’s rich tradition of inner wisdom and secular tradition and called India as the seat of Buddhism worldwide, where most of the holiest Buddhist sites are located and described India as the seat of Buddhist learning and knowledge.
- The cultural programmes during the conference were performed by renowned Kathak dancer Manisha Guliyani and sarod players brother duo Amaan Ali Bangash and Ayaan Ali Bangash.
About Lord Buddha and Buddhism
Gautama Buddha also known as Siddhartha Gautama or simply Buddha was born in Lumbini, Nepal. He was a sage on whose teachings Buddhism was founded.
- Buddhism is a religion and dharma that is surrounded by a variety of traditions, beliefs and spiritual practices largely based on teachings attributed to the Buddha.
- Buddhism originated in India sometime between the 6th and 4th centuries BCE, from where it spread through much of Asia.
- Buddhism is the world’s fourth-largest religion, with over 500 million followers or 7% of the global population, known as Buddhists.
- Buddhism was an oral tradition in the ancient times. The Buddha’s words, the early doctrines and concepts, the interpretations were transmitted from one generation to the next by the word of mouth in monasteries, and not through written texts.
- The first Buddhist canonical texts, were likely written down in Sri Lanka, about 400 years after the Buddha died.
- These texts were written in Pali or Sanskrit as palm-leaf manuscripts, birch bark, painted scrolls, carved into temple walls, and later on paper.
- Buddhism is a tradition that focuses on personal spiritual development. Buddhists strive for a deep insight into the true nature of life and do not worship gods or deities