Buddhism Current Affairs
The International Buddhist Conclave (IBC), 2018 was held in New Delhi. It was inaugurated by President Ram Nath Kovind. It was sixth edition of International Buddhist Conclave. Its theme was ‘Buddha Path – The Living Heritage”.
The Conclave was organized by Ministry of Tourism in collaboration with State Governments of Maharashtra, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. Japan is ‘Partner Country for IBC-2018. It was held from 23rd to 26th August, 2018 at New Delhi and Ajanta (Maharashtra), followed by site visits to Rajgir, Nalanda and Bodhgaya (Bihar) and Sarnath (Uttar Pradesh). It saw participation delegates from following 29 countries including ministerial level delegation from Bangladesh, Indonesia, Myanmar and Sri Lanka. This edition of conclave had religious and spiritual dimension, academic theme and diplomatic and business component.
Union Ministry of Tourism has been organizing International Buddhist Conclave biennially. The earlier Conclaves were organized in New Delhi and Bodhgaya (February 2004), Nalanda and Bodhgaya (February 2010), Varanasi and Bodhgaya (September 2012), Bodhgaya and Varanasi (September 2014) and in Sarnath/Varanasi and Bodhgaya (October 2016). ASEAN countries were guest of honour during IBC, 2016.
Objectives of this conclave are
- Showcase and project Buddhist Heritage in India.
- Boost tourism to Buddhist sites in the country.
- Cultivate friendly ties with countries and communities interested in Buddhism.
Buddha Path: It refers to eight great places of Buddhist Heritage (referred in Pali as Aṭṭhamahāṭhānāni). These places are connected with important events of life of Buddha from the time of his birth, enlightenment, reaching dhamma to suffering humanity, till he passed away (Mahāparinirvāna) at the age of 80 years. These are living heritage that still continues to inspire millions of people to walk and find out peace, happiness, harmony and solace.
International Buddhist Conference was held in Lumbini, Nepal on 29 and 30 April 2018 to commemorate 2562nd Buddha Jayanti. The theme of the conference was ‘Lumbini Nepal: The birthplace of Lord Buddha and the fountain of Buddhism and world peace’.
Lumbini is birth place of Gautama Buddha, founder of Buddhist religion. Lord Buddha was born in sacred garden of Lumbini during 6th century BC and had attained enlightenment in Bodh Gaya, (now in Bihar, India) and gave his first sermon in Sarnath and died in Kushinagar.
The basic objective of conference was to disseminate teachings of Buddha and spread messages of nonviolence, brotherhood, co-existence, love and peace to international community. It also aimed to help to propagate and enhance the importance and the glory of Lumbini in the international arena.
Representatives from 16 countries including US, Japan, India, China, Indonesia and Sri Lanka attended the conference. Buddhist scholars from various countries also presented their papers for discussions during the conference.
At end of the conference, 10 point Lumbini Declaration was adopted. It includes issues such as interfaith dialogue, infrastructure development, connecting Buddhist attractions in Nepal and India, and implementing Greater Lumbini Area Master Plan.