By Arvind Singh
The International Buddhist Conference 2023 on “The Tenets of the Buddha Dhamma and Global Well-being: Nature, Significance and Applicability” and celebrations of “International Abhidhamma Divas”and “Birth Centenary Year of Vipassanā Ācārya Dr Satya Narayan Goenka” was a monumental event that brought together scholars, practitioners, and enthusiasts of Buddhism from across the world. In this report I am going to highlights the key features of the three events, showcasing the collective efforts that made it a resounding success.
1. Collaborative Efforts: The conference was initiated through a collaborative effort between two prominent organizations, the Gautam Buddhist University (GBU) and the International Buddhist Confederation (IBC). This partnership set the stage for a remarkable gathering of minds in the field of Buddhism. 2. Collaboration with CIHCS: To enhance the academic rigor and reach of the conference, collaboration was established with the Central Institute of Himalayan Culture Studies (CIHCS) with the support of institute’s Director Dr Gurmet Dorjey, strengthening the educational foundation of the event.
3. Diverse Academic Participation: The event featured esteemed institutions such as Dongguk University, Dhammaduta Chekinda University, and the Dhammachai International Research Institute as key collaborators, ensuring a diverse range of academic perspectives and expertise. 4. Guidance and Support: Shri Abhijit Halder, Prof. Ravindra Panth, and Dr. Niraj Kumar provided invaluable guidance, mentorship, and support, elevating the quality and impact of the conference.
5. Media Partnership: Raju Lama, President of the SAARC Journalist Forum, played a crucial role as the media partner, ensuring the conference’s reach and influence extended far beyond the physical event. Along with that we have also got needed publicity by the local media friends of GBU. 6. University Administration Support: The conference received unwavering support from the university administration, from top-level officials to dedicated lower-level staff, facilitating the smooth execution of the event.
7. Dedicated Volunteers: The contributions of student volunteers and faculty members were instrumental in managing the logistics and ensuring the event’s success. Their dedication and hard work were commendable. I on behalf of organizing committee will remain oblized to one and all for their tireless job despite the pressure of ongoing Mid Semester Exams. 8. Global Participation: The conference drew participants from the global Buddhist community, including representatives and scholars from countries such as the UK, Russia, South Korea, New Zealand, Australia, Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia, Thailand, Laos, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Nepal, and Taiwan. Ambassadors from seven countries also lent their presence, adding a diplomatic dimension to the gathering.
9. Academic Content: The conference hosted a total of 187 research papers presented across 24 academic sessions, spanning various aspects of Buddhism apart from Abhidhamma Divas celebration event with packed house, a open house dialogue session on Goenka ji and Vipassana, and a thought-provoking plenary session that enriched the scholarly discourse on meaning, nature, significance and applicability of Vipassanā practice which was re-discovered by the Buddha and popularised across the world by Goenka jee in modern world. I have no hesitation in declaring, the International Buddhist Conference 2023 jointly organized by GBU and IBC was a remarkable confluence of academic excellence, global collaboration, and spiritual enrichment. The efforts of all involved, from the organizers to the participants, knowledge partners to Media partners, staffs to Volunteers, contributed to making this event a significant milestone in the world of Buddhist Studies. The exchange of ideas, research, and dialogue during the conference has undoubtedly advanced the understanding and practice of Buddhism on a global scale. We promise here using this platform that we are going to come up with a conference proceedings in the shape of book very soon. Last but not the least, we are also thankful to Hon’ble Shri Ram Nath Kovind Jee, former President of India for gracing the inaugural ceremony as Chief Guest of the event and also to some eminent personalities from the academia who participated as special invitees to Chair a session or as guest of honour viz. Prof. Santishree Dhulipudi Pandit, VC, JNU, Prof Ravindra Panth, Prof KTS Sarao, Prof Mahesh Deokar, Most Venerable Dhammaduta Sayadaw, Rector, ITBMU, Prof Soonil Hwang and Prof Chongdok CH Park from Dongguk University, Dr Rev Sumana Siri, Prof Rajesh Ranjan, VC, CIBS, Prof Ram Nakshatra Prasad, VC, NNM, Smt Amita Prasad Sarbhai, JS, Min of Culture, Dr Niraj Kumar, Mr Shah Faezal, Prof H P Gangnegi, Prof RK Rana, Prof Subhra Barua, Prof RC Gaur, IGNCA, Prof IN Singh, Prof Ranjana Mishra, and many more.
Thanks to one and all for joining us for this event and making it a huge success.