Buddhist Conference in India Highlights the Nalanda Tradition

Over 600 representatives from various parts of India gathered in the scenic Zimithang Valley, Tawang District, in Arunachal Pradesh to engage in a dialogue about Nalanda Buddhism. This tradition has its origins in the esteemed Nalanda monastic university of India and has spread across regions such as northern India, Bhutan, and areas with Tibetan influence. The conference sought to celebrate the historical ties between the people and religions within this region.

Arunachal Pradesh’s Chief Minister, Pema Khandu, was one of the distinguished attendees at the event, which was titled “Nalanda Buddhism – Retracing the Source in Footsteps of Acharyas: From Nalanda to the Himalayas and Beyond.” Khandu highlighted that Arunachal Pradesh is a diverse state, embracing various religions and that it is essential for all faiths to coexist peacefully.

The conference was organized by the Indian Himalayan Council of Nalanda Buddhist Tradition (IHCNBT), a body based in New Delhi. The two-day event comprised prayers, speeches from religious and political leaders, teachings about the journeys and ideas of Nalanda masters, discussions on contemporary challenges faced by Nalanda Buddhism, and cultural performances.

Delegates at the conference represented a wide range of regions and included Buddhist teachers and scholars. Khandu emphasized the significance of the conference’s location, acknowledging Zemithang as the last Indian border through which the 14th Dalai Lama entered India in 1959.

Khandu praised the principle of reasoning and analysis that forms the core of Nalanda Buddhism, asserting that it allows followers to subject even Lord Buddha’s teachings to scrutiny. He commended the people of Arunachal Pradesh for preserving their culture and traditions with religious zeal. Khandu also urged attendees, particularly the youth, to be mindful of the challenges Buddhism is anticipated to face in the 21st century.

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