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Dalai Lama to open International Buddhist convention in Patna on January 5

by Faizan Ahmad, TNN Dec 30, 2012

PATNA, India -- The Dalai Lama will inaugurate a three-day International Buddhist Samagam (convention) here on January 5. The convention is expected to attract over 1500 delegates from various countries. It will be held at the Buddha Smriti Park in Patna which was inaugurated by the Nobel laureate in 2010 to mark the 2550 thMahaparinirvana of Buddha.

The delegates and Buddhist monks from China, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Japan and other countries will attend the convention which will conclude on January 7. They will deliberate on various aspects of the life and teachings of Buddha. Chief minister Nitish Kumar who on Sunday visited the park to see the preparations said, "A message of peace and harmony will be sent to the world from here."

The convention is being organised by the Bodh Gaya Mahabodhi Temple Management Committee in collaboration with the state art and culture department.

The Dalai Lama will also install a statue of Buddha in the park between the two sacred plants of the Mahabodhi tree, one brought from Bodh Gaya and another from Anuradhapuram in Sri Lanka. Both the saplings had been planted by the Tibetan spiritual leader.

On January 4, the Dalai Lama will unveil a Buddha statue installed between the two sacred saplings of Bodhi tree, one brought from Bodh Gaya and another from Anuradhapuram in Sri Lanka. Both the saplings had been planted by the Lama while inaugurating the park in 2010. Nitish said the Dalai Lama will also go to CM's residence 1, Anne Marg same day and sat there for prayers. This sapling was brought from Bodh Gaya and had been planted by the Buddhist monks.

The park also has a stupa which was named as Patliputra Karuna Stupa by the Dalai Lama where relics brought from six countries have been preserved. The believers come to meditate in this stupa and the government has planned to open a museum there to impart the visitors' basic information about the Buddha and Buddhism.

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