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DAILY NEWS ANALYSIS

  • 26 April, 2023

  • 4 Min Read

Global Buddhist Summit

Global Buddhist Summit

  • In order to improve diplomatic and cultural ties with other nations, the Ministry of Culture recently organised the First Global Buddhist Summit 2023 in collaboration with the International Buddhist Confederation (IBC).

About the summit

  • "Responses to Contemporary Challenges: Philosophy to Praxis" is the theme.
  • The Summit aims to bring together the leaders and scholars of the Buddhist Dhamma from across the world to discuss issues that are important to both Buddhism and humanity as a whole and to develop solutions for policy.

Highlights:

  • Eminent academics, Sangha leaders, and Dharma practitioners from all over the world participated in the Summit.
  • PM further presented 19 distinguished monks with monk robes (Chivar Dana).
  • The two-day Summit featured Buddhist monks from several nations.
  • International Dharma practitioners, leaders of the Sangha, and eminent scholars all attended the conference.
  • The summit's objectives are to address today's crucial international concerns and look for solutions in the Buddha Dhamma, which is founded on universal principles.
  • A forum for laity Buddhist scholars and Dharma Masters is intended to be established.
  • In order to work towards Universal Peace and Harmony in accordance with the core principles of Dharma, it aims to examine the Buddha's message of peace, compassion, and harmony. It also aims to produce a document for further academic research to examine its viability for use as a tool for conducting international relations on a global scale.

Relevance to India:

  • Given that Buddhism originated in India, this international summit will highlight the significance and importance of India in Buddhism.

  • This summit will also serve as a platform to strengthen diplomatic and cultural ties with other nations, particularly those that adhere to the Buddhist ethos.

  • The discussioommittee convened in 2011 at the India International Centre in New Delhi to lay the groundwork for the creation of the global Buddhist organisation.

  • In addition to giving the international Buddhist community a platform to disseminate its knowledge and actively engage in the continuing social and political conversation on a global scale, it serves to represent the rich diversity of Buddhism and to preserve and advance its common history.

The discussions were held under four themes:

  • Buddha Dhamma and Peace;
  • Buddha Dhamma: Environmental Crisis, Health and Sustainability;
  • Preservation of Nalanda Buddhist Tradition;
  • Buddha Dhamma Pilgrimage, Living Heritage and Buddha Relics: a resilient foundation to India’s centuries-old cultural links to countries in South, South-East and East Asia.

Buddhism

  • The founder of Buddhism was Siddhartha, also known as Gautama.Born: 563 BC at Lumbini, which is now in Nepal.

  • He was a kshatriya and belonged to an underprivileged gana called the Sakya gana.

  • He gave up his princely position and his belongings to pursue knowledge. He wandered for a while, meeting and conversing with other philosophers along the way.

  • He obtained enlightenment in Bodh Gaya, Bihar, under the peepal tree, and delivered his first sermon at Sarnath, close to Varanasi, where it is commemorated as Dharma-Chakra-Pravartana (the turning of the wheel of law).

  • Up until his death in Kusinara, he spent the remainder of his life walking from place to place and instructing people.

Teachings

  • Life is characterised by sorrow and unhappiness, according to the Buddha.
  • We have appetites and desires that are often unfulfillable, which is what causes this.
  • He also fostered in individuals a respect for other people's and animals' rights to life.
  • He held the view that both this life and the next are impacted by our acts' consequences, or karma.
  • In order for his message to be understood by everyone, the Buddha taught in the language of the common people, Prakrit.
Its Importance for Global Peace
  • The core of Buddhism is the idea of peace. The Buddha is hence referred to as the "Santiraja" or "king of peace."
  • Being a Buddhist requires maintaining a calm, trouble-free style of life called "samacariya," which directly translates to "a peaceful way of living with one's fellow beings."
  • The four infinite states (appamanna) of loving kindness (metta), compassion (karuna), sympathetic delight (mudita), and serenity (upekkha) are what the Buddha insisted his followers practise.
How does Buddhism fit into India's soft power strategy?
  • Buddhism has been utilised in India's soft power strategy in part through cultural diplomacy.
  • Through a variety of mediums, including art, music, films, literature, and festivals, this involves promoting Indian culture, including Buddhism.
  • As an illustration, the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) has planned a number of cultural events in Buddhist nations including Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand, and Bhutan in order to promote India's cultural history and fortify cultural connections.
  • Buddhism can also be incorporated into India's soft power strategy through capacity-building and education.
  • To advance Buddhist study and research, India has built a number of Buddhist institutions and centres of excellence, including the Nalanda University and the Central Institute of Higher Tibetan study.
  • The Dhamma Dipa International Buddhist University (DDIBU) in Tripura lay its cornerstone in 2022.
  • Through a number of initiatives, India has attempted to strengthen its bilateral relations with Buddhist nations like Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, and Bhutan.
  • To increase economic cooperation, India and Sri Lanka have signed a number of agreements, including the Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (BIPA).
International Buddhist Confederation
  • A working subcommittee convened in 2011 at the India International Centre in New Delhi to lay the groundwork for the creation of the global Buddhist organisation.
  • In addition to giving the international Buddhist community a platform to disseminate its knowledge and actively engage in the continuing social and political conversation on a global scale, it serves to represent the rich diversity of Buddhism and to preserve and advance its common history.

Read Also: All about Buddhism

Source: Press Information Bureau


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