PM Shri Narendra Modi to inaugurate first Global Buddhist Summit on 20th April

Union Minister for Culture Tourism and DoNER G.K Reddy addressed a press briefing on the upcoming first Global Buddhist Summit in New Delhi today.

G.K Reddy informed that PM Narendra Modi  will inaugurate first Global Buddhist Summit on 20th April in New Delhi. The Ministry of Culture in collaboration with its grantee body International Buddhist Confederation (IBC) will be hosting the Global Buddhist Summit (GBS) on 20-21 April at the Ashok Hotel.  He also said that central government is organising several events, commemorations under Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav and  Central government has decided that the first International Global Buddhist Summit will be organized in India.

Addressing the briefing he said that for the first time prominent  Buddhist monks from various countries will visit India and take part in the Summit. He 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. He also said that the theme of the two- day Global Buddhist Summit is “Responses to Contemporary Challenges : Philosophy to Praxis”.

Sh G Kishan Reddy also informed that this global summit will also be a medium to enhance the cultural and diplomatic relationships with other countries. Union Minister disclosed that Delegates from almost 30 countries will participate in this summit and around 171 delegates from foreign countries and 150 delegates Indian Buddhist organizations.

Eminent scholars, Sangha leaders and Dharma practitioners from all over the world are attending the conference. There are 173 international participants comprising 84 Sangha member 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 fall under the following four themes:

1. Buddha Dhamma and Peace

2. Buddha Dhamma: Environmental Crisis, Health and Sustainability

3. Preservation of Nalanda Buddhist Tradition

4. 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 and Harmony, 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.

The Ministry of Culture alongwith the IBC, a global Buddhist umbrella body, headquartered in New Delhi, recently held a successful international meet of experts from the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) nations on Shared Buddhist Heritage in order to re-establish trans-cultural links, seek out commonalities, between Buddhist art of Central Asia, art styles, archaeological sites and antiquity in various museums’ collections of the SCO countries.

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.