Buddhist institute coming up in Bihar

IANS, February 20, 2008

Patna, India -- A Japan-based organisation is setting up a research institute of Buddhism and oriental studies in Bihar’s Bodh Gaya, a city revered for being the place of Buddha’s attainment of enlightenment.

The institute set up by the International Buddhist Brotherhood Association (IBBA) will promote world peace and understanding of different cultures through research and learning, according to officials of the association.

Yataro Daikubara, general secretary of IBBA, said the Institute of Buddhist and Oriental Studies would start functioning from 2010.

Bihar Governor R.S. Kidwai laid the foundation of the institute Tuesday near Mahabodhi temple in Bodh Gaya, about 110 km from here.

Lord Buddha is believed to have attained enlightenment under the Bodhi tree behind the temple about 2,550 years ago. The Mahabodhi temple was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2002.

Yataro Daikubara said the institute would help all those keen on studies and research on Buddhism and oriental subjects.

The institute will offer facilities for higher studies and research work for scholars around the world.

“It will be a centre of excellence for scholars, researchers and students interested in pursuing comparative studies in history, languages, history of art, particularly Buddhist art, humanities, cultural heritage and religions of the world. It will be an autonomous institute,” he said.