(TibetanReview.net, Apr16’23) – The Dalai Lama is expected to attend a first-of-its-kind global summit of Buddhist scholars to be hosted by India in New Delhi over Apr 20-21. It will focus on Buddhism’s response to the world’s most pressing challenges. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the summit on the first day and the Dalai Lama is expected to attend it on the second day, although this is yet to be publicly confirmed, reported the wionews.com Apr 14.
The event is being organized by the International Buddhist Confederation, an umbrella group that serves as a platform for Buddhists worldwide, under the theme of ‘Response to Contemporary Challenges from Philosophy to Praxis’.
Keynote speakers will include Prof Robert Thurman, a renowned scholar of Buddhism, and His Holiness Thich Tri Quang, Deputy Patriarch, Vietnam Buddhist Sangha. Over 170 overseas Buddhist dharma masters from more than 30 countries are expected to participate in the discussions, the report said.
Prof Thurman, a scholar of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies, was ordained by the Dalai Lama in 1965, becoming the first American Buddhist monk of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. India awarded him the Padma Shri in 2020 for his work on discovering India’s ancient Buddhist heritage, noted the newindianexpress.com Apr 15.
The conference will cover subjects such as Buddhism and peace; environmental crisis, health and sustainability; and the preservation of the Nalanda Buddhist tradition; as well as Buddhist pilgrimage, living heritage and Buddha relics.
The summit follows a two-day international conference on Buddhist heritage hosted by
India as the chair of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) on ‘shared Buddhist heritage’, a first of its kind gathering that brought together participants from Central Asia, East Asia, South Asia and Arab nations, noted the swarajyamag.com Apr 15. The SCO countries, all of which took part in the conference, includes China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.
The wionews.com report said that while there has been no public confirmation of the Dalai Lama’s participation, his presence would be significant, noting that China has been trying to interfere in the process of the discovery, recognition, and enthronement of his reincarnation.
The newindianexpress.com report cited sources as saying the Dalai Lama’s participation will be subject to his health condition. “Since he is senior in age, his mobility is restricted and he needs assistance. There is a lot of security around him. It is for these reasons that confirmation on his attendance hasn’t been received yet,” the sources were quoted as saying.