India claims honour of being Buddhist centre stage at IBC General Assembly

| Updated: 30 November, 2023 10:07 pm IST

NEW DELHI: India, the birthplace of Lord Buddha, has been taking the initiative to push forward Buddhism and preach the word of His teachings through the International Buddhist Confederation (IBC), which was held on November 27 and 28.

The two-day General Assembly also witnessed the presence of the IBC Secretary General Shartse Khensur Jangchup Choeden Rinpoche.

The New Indian spoke to Buddhist leaders, or Sangha leaders, who commended the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Ministry of Culture to promote Buddhism in the world and bring all the leaders together.

Thich Nhat Tu, the Standing Vice Chancellor of Vietnam Buddhist University, said, “Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India has a very good vision as the leader of a rising country, not only economically, but also spiritually. One of the soft powers, Prime Minister Modi, is to introduce Buddhism as the cultural, spiritual, intellectual perspective to help people release the suffering, as well as the other human problems.”

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Further commending Modi, he commended his efforts of getting 155 countries to support yoga, bringing physical and mental well-being to the fore. “He is also the person who got 155 countries to support yoga, bringing about physical health and well-being. So I think in this juncture of the world, the way the PM did this is very insightful and encouraging. So in the same way, he supported the IBC for the cause of Buddhism,” he added.

Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo, IBC President and listed as one of the BBC 100 inspiring women, emphasised the importance of a global platform like IBC. She said, “The idea behind IBC is that we should bring Buddhists of the world together to recognise the commonality of Dharma.”

She further added, “It’s very important that India gives an example of religious tolerance, that all religions are seeking the best in a human being, in the human spirit, while teaching that we should not be in conflict. Religions should show how we can live together, respecting each other in harmony. India is home to many different religions and by rights, they should all respect each other and live together appreciating each other’s good qualities rather than (remain) in conflict.”

Henry Baey, Former Vice President of IBC, stressed upon India being the best place to preach Buddha’s teachings to the world. He said, “India is the place of the birth of our great teacher, the Buddha. It has the right to use that and to bring Buddhists together, especially since there are so many holy sites, they’re all in India and parts of Nepal. So Indians or even the government of India are in a good position to bring peace through Buddhist values.”

Palmo asked the world to not plug into their dark energies to avoid conflict. She said, “I think the most important thing is that we do not plug in to the dark energy which is being generated also by the media of fear and anger, hatred, partisanship of ‘we are right, you are wrong’, thoughts that create conflict. Don’t plug into that dark energy. Send out the light and love and compassion on all sides for all beings. It’s very important. The Buddha always talked about universal compassion and that’s what the world desperately needs right now.”

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