Dalai Lama Opens First World Sangha Forum
GAYA (IANS) – Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, on December 20 inaugurated the first International Sangha Forum here in Bihar, stressing that all should help people and bring them benefits as this will bring peace of mind, which, in turn, will enhance our physical well-being.
The Dalai Lama, who drove down from the Ganden Polygeline Monastery to the venue, the International Convention Centre, stopped to see a group of Monpas from Arunachal Pradesh dancing on the lawn in celebration of his arrival before entering.
Moderator, Ven Mahayano Aun declared the aim of the Forum was to hold a dialogue on the role of Buddhism in the 21st century and to discuss how to create understanding and cooperation among the array of Buddhist traditions.
The purpose of the conclave is to establish collaboration between the Buddhist Pali and Sanskrit traditions and to discuss what it means to be a Buddhist in the 21st century.
In his address, the Dalai Lama, noted that they were gathered in this sacred place where Buddha Shakyamuni attained enlightenment, and “although we are living in a degenerate era, the Dharma he taught still shines bright”.
“The Buddhas do not wash away unwholesome deeds with water, nor do they remove the sufferings of beings with their hands, nor do they transplant their own realization into others. It’s by revealing the truth that they help beings to become liberated,” he said.
Representatives of the several Buddhist traditions also addressed the assembly, including Ven Ru-Jing, Abbot of the Bliss and Wisdom Monastic Community, Taiwan, Phra Dhambodhivong, Chief Abbot of the Royal Thai Monastery, Bodhgaya, representing the Thai Sangharaja and the Thai royal family, Ven Khenpo Sonam Bhumden, Chief of Research and Translation, Office of Je Khenpo, Bhutan, and Shadjin Lama, Geshe Lobsang Chodak, Head Lama of the Kalmyk Buddhists of Russia’s Kalmykia.
Khambo Nomun Khaan, Geshe Jetsun Dorje, Abbot of Ganden Thickening Monastery, Mongolia, sent a message that was read on his behalf.