Three-day Buddhist convention starts in Patna

Three-day Buddhist convention starts in PatnaPatna, Jan 5:Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama Saturday inaugurated a three-day international Buddhist convention at Buddha Smriti Park in the heart of the Bihar capital, officials said.

Hundreds of delegates, mostly scholars of Buddhism and monks from across the world, are partcipating in the conference.

Bandana Preyashi, district magistrate of Gaya and chairperson of the Bodh Gaya Temple Management Committee said: "Delegates will deliberate on various aspects of the life and teachings of Lord Buddha."

The convention is being organised by the committee in collaboration with the state art and culture department. There are participants from Thailand, Sri Lanka, China, Myanmar, United Kingdom and Japan.

Preyashi said the convention would offer a venue for Buddhist sangha traditions from different parts of the world to dialogue on issues of common interest.

The Dalai Lama said it was significant that the Buddhist convention was taking place in Patna, ancient Patliputra, the land of Emperor Ashoka, who propagated Buddhism and took it across the world.

"We are happy and lucky to be here to deliberate and discuss Buddhism," the Dalai Lama said.

The Dalai Lama had also inaugurated the 22-acre Buddha Smriti Park in the heart of Patna in 2010. "The park was chosen as the venue of the convention, since its Karuna stupa enshrines the holy relics of Lord Buddha, brought from Sri Lanka, Japan, Mayanmar, South Korea, Thailand and Tibet," she said.

The Dalai Lama has lived in India in self-imposed exile since 1959, when he fled his homeland after Chinese communist troops took over Tibet. (IANS)

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