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Nalanda Tradition of Buddhsim in Asia - National Seminar


Tibet House in collaboration with Indira Gandhi National Center for Arts, organised a two-day national seminar on the Nalanda Tradition in Asia. The seminar was inaugurated by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, who addressed an audience of nearly 3000 people from India and abroad. The seminar focused on various facets of the Nalanda tradition and several renowned scholars spoke at the event. The issues addressed during the seminar were:

  1. History of Nalanda
  2. Prominent saint-scholars of Nalanda
  3. Philosophy and logic in Nalanda
  4. Psychology and Medicine
  5. The spread of the Nalanda tradition
  6. Challenges to the preservation of the Nalanda tradition
  7. Revival and continuation of the Nalanda tradition in modern times

There was also a film-screening and an exhibition of photographs of Buddhist heritage in 19 countries by by Benoy K. Behl, renowned film-maker and art historian. The exhibition focused on  Buddhist heritage in India, Tibet, My­anmar, Thailand, Lao PDR, Indonesia, Cam­bodia, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, China, Japan, Mongolia, Siberia, Uzbekistan, Kalmykia (in European Russia), Afghanistan, Nepal and Bhutan, and shows the birth and develop­ment of different schools of Buddhism in India and their spread to the many countries of Asia.

The seminar concluded with monks from Drepung Loseling Monastery, South India performing sacred chants, and displaying the tradition of debate which epitomised the mode of study at the erstwhile Nalanda Mahavihara, that thrives to this day in Tibetan Buddhist Monasteries. The monks also made a sand mandala of Arya Avalokiteshwara, which symbol­izes the perfection of body, speech and mind of the Buddha of Compassion.