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Dalai Lama inaugurates International Sangha Forum in Bodh Gaya

Gaya: Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama inaugurated the three-day International Sangha Forum (ISF) 2023 on ‘Bridging Traditions, Embracing Modernity-A Dialogue on the Buddha’s Teaching in Today’s World’ in Bodh Gaya on Wednesday.

While addressing the gathering, the Dalai Lama said, “Compassion should be instilled in everyone, regardless of whether they practice Buddhism in Pali or Sanskrit traditions. We must follow the practices of Bodhisattva for ourselves and world peace. I follow the practices of Bodhisattva and they are very beneficial to me.”

“Similarly, Bodhichitta, the mind of enlightenment, is a very precious practice that gives inner strength. Because of Bodhichitta, Buddha became enlightened. We too should make Bbodhichitta our principal practice and should not harm others. When you have Bodhichitta, you feel at ease. Anger, hatred and jealousy subside,” the Dalai Lama said.

The event, being held at the International Convention Centre Bodhgaya, is being attended by over 2,000 monastics from Buddhist traditions from different countries. Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu was also present on the occasion.

During the conference, monks, nuns and Bhikkhu scholars from different Buddhist traditions will discuss the finer aspects of Vinaya rules and the role of Buddhism in the 21st century.

According to the ISF, “The primary focus of the conference is to develop ongoing dialogues and collaborations between practitioners of the Pali traditions of Southeast and South Asian countries such as India, Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Indonesia and those of Sanskrit tradition from Tibet, Bhutan, Nepal, Vietnam, China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Russia, Mongolia and other parts of the world.”

“The conference will identify and highlight the benefits of studies and practices that are common to all traditions as well as develop an appreciation and understanding of the strengths found within those traditions,” it said.

On December 23, Tibetan spiritual leader will participate in a World Peace Prayer Session in the morning with delegates at the International Sangha Forum along with the public at the Mahabodhi Stupa.

Further, he will give three days of teachings (morning) at the Kalachakra Teaching Ground on December 29 and December 31. He will attend a Long Life Prayer that will be offered to him in the morning at the Kalachakra Teaching Ground on January 1, 2024.

(Published 20 December 2023, 12:53 IST)

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