Dalai Lama to grace int'l conference on Buddhist heritage at MSU

TNN, December 22, 2009

VADODARA, India -- M S University and the city will receive a special guest on its campus in January. His holiness 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet has confirmed his presence at the International Conference on Buddhist Heritage' in Gujarat. Accompanying him will be exiled Tibetan prime minister Samdhong Rinpoche.

The Tibetan spiritual leader is coming to the city after a gap of seven years. His holiness last came to take part in Swaminarayan Mahamantra bicentenary celebrations at Sokhada.

The international conference will also see 400 Lamas from within the country as well as from abroad converging in the city for the meet that begins from January 15. Over 250 dignitaries from various states will also be present. Of 144 abstracts selected for the conference, 45 contributions are coming from United Kingdom, United States of America, Japan and Sri Lanka.

"This is a very ambitious and special event to be hosted by MSU and it becomes all the more important with his holiness consenting to be present at the conference. We have yet not decided on showcasing Lord Buddha's ashes unearthed by department of archaeology and ancient history during an excavation drive in Devni Mori site near Shamalaji. But, a special arrangement will be made for Dalai Lama so that he can have a glimpse of the treasure," said vice-chancellor Ramesh Goyal.

The four-day conference will be inaugurated by Chief Minister Narendra Modi and state government has already sanctioned Rs 1 crore to host this seminar. "There will be series of seminars and lectures as well as cultural performances. A musical troupe from Himachal Pradesh will be coming to perform and faculty member from performing arts Dr Parul Shah from MSU will make a presentation," Goyal added.

A gala exhibition is also planned for the conference aimed at promoting Buddhism tourism. "We will be putting two sets of exhibitions. One will be aimed at promoting sites in Gujarat from which Buddha's belongings have been excavated. Second display will be at archaeology department that will show material found during excavation drive. Even items relating to Indus Valley civilization will be displayed in the exhibition. It was our department that brought to light Buddha's link to the state," Goyal shared.
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