News Brief

Prime Minister Modi To Inaugurate First Global Buddhist Summit On 20 April In Delhi

Arun Kumar Das

Apr 18, 2023, 10:58 AM | Updated 10:58 AM IST

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the conference with delegates, eminent scholars and Dharma practitioners. (Representative image via DD).
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the conference with delegates, eminent scholars and Dharma practitioners. (Representative image via DD).
  • It is expected that the summit will explore as to how the Buddha Dhamma’s fundamental values can provide inspiration and guidance in contemporary settings.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the first Global Buddhist Summit with participation of 171 delegates from foreign countries and 150 delegates from Indian Buddhist organisations, on 20 April.

    Informing the media about the mega event, Union Culture Minister G K Reddy said that the first International Global Buddhist Summit will be organised in India under Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav.

    He added that for the first time prominent Buddhist monks from various countries will visit India and take part in the summit.

    The Minister also added that in the summit, discussions will be held on how to deal with contemporary challenges, with the help of Buddhist philosophy and thought. This global summit will mark the significance and importance of India in Buddhism, as Buddhism was born in India.

    Reddy also informed that the two-day global summit will also be a medium to enhance the cultural and diplomatic relationships with other countries. He disclosed that delegates from almost 30 countries will participate in this summit and around 171 delegates from foreign countries and 150 delegates Indian Buddhist organisations will be present.

    Eminent scholars, Sangha leaders and Dharma practitioners from all over the world are attending the conference. There are 173 international participants comprising 84 Sangha members and 151 Indian delegates comprising 46 Sangha members, 40 nuns and 65 laity from outside Delhi.

    Nearly 200 persons from NCR region will also be participating in the conference, including more than 30 ambassadors from foreign embassies.  The delegates will discuss today’s pressing global issues and look for answers in the Buddha Dhamma, that is based on universal values.

    The discussions will take place on Buddha Dhamma, environmental crisis, health and sustainability, preservation of Nalanda Buddhist tradition and Buddha Dhamma pilgrimage, living heritage and Buddha relics — a resilient foundation to India’s centuries-old cultural links to countries in South, Southeast and East Asia.

    Two keynote speeches will be delivered by His Holiness Thich Tri Quang, Supreme Patriarch of Vietnam Buddhist Sangha and Prof Robert Thurman, for Sangha and academic sessions, respectively.

    Religious traditions that have originated in India are part and parcel of the ancient Dharma, the eternal way of life. Buddha Dhamma in ancient India made significant contributions to the development of human civilization. Its spread to the world led to a great churning of knowledge and cultures and flowering of diverse spiritual and philosophical traditions the world over.

    It is expected that the deliberations will explore, as to how the Buddha Dhamma’s fundamental values can provide inspiration and guidance in contemporary settings, which drives technological advancements and consumerism yet grapples with a devastated planet and rapid disenchantment of societies.

    The prime vision of the summit is to look into the teachings of the Shakyamuni Buddha that have been continuously enriched over the centuries with the practice of Buddha Dhamma.

    The aim is to set up a forum for the lay Buddhist scholars and Dharma masters. It will also delve into Buddha’s message for peace, compassion and harmony, with the objective of working towards universal peace in accordance with the core values of Dharma and produce a document for further academic research, to study its viability for use as a tool for the conduct of international relations on the global stage.

    Organised by International Buddhist Confederation (IBC) and Culture Ministry, the GBS-2023 is a similar effort towards engaging the global Buddhist Dhamma leadership and scholars on matters of Buddhist and universal concerns, and to come up with policy inputs to address them collectively.

    Arun Kumar Das is a senior journalist covering railways. He can be contacted at akdas2005@gmail.com.


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