The year 2011 is of immense importance to Dhamma practitioners, being the 2600th year of Sambodhiprapti, the Enlightenment of Buddha. Since that momentous turning point in the history of civilization, Buddha’s teachings have become the predominant way of life for people of various nationalities and cultures. Consequently 2011 will see many events taking place all over the world in commemoration.

The seeds of the International Buddhist Confederation were sown in the Autumn of 2010, during Ven. Lama Lobzang's, visit to Sri Lanka. There, some respected Sangha members suggested that India host a large-scale international Buddhist conference. The planning then began for one of the largest international gatherings of Buddhists ever to take place on Indian soil the Global Buddhist congregation. The suggestion was then made that a permanent umbrella body should be formed to carry the work and vision of the Global Buddhist Congregation forward into the future and to represent the enduring interests of Buddhism in the world. see many events taking.

From August 27-28th 2011, a working sub-committee met at the India International Centre in New Delhi to prepare the ground for the formation of this international Buddhist body.

In November 2011, New Delhi was host to Global Buddhist Congregation (GBC) that was attended by over 800 delegates and observers from Buddhist organizations and institutions from around the world, who came together to address common issues facing the modern world from the perspective of the Holy Dhamma.

Under the banner: Collective Wisdom: United Voice, the attendees of the GBC voted to form an international umbrella body - the International Buddhist Confederation (IBC). The purpose of this body is to create a role for Buddhism on the global stage so as to help to preserve our heritage, share our knowledge, and promote our values and to represent a united front for Buddhism to enjoy meaningful participation in the global discourse.

Regardless of the doctrinal differences within the rich and varied Buddhist traditions, there is far more that unites us than divides, and the IBC provides the foundation for the growth and development of this common ground. The IBC is blessed to include the Holy Sangha and eminent representatives of Buddhist lineages, organizations, institutions, and monastic bodies worldwide as Founding Members and Signatories to its Charter.

Included in the Charter, that was finalized during the GBC on November 30th, are the following aims and objectives.

  • Lending a united voice to all Buddhist organizations, towards addressing and engaging in issues of common global concern.
  • Conserving Buddhist practices, traditions and heritage worldwide and exploring Buddhist cultural assets
  • Coordinating knowledge, experience, facilities and resources desirable for the attainment of the objectives of IBC
  • Deepening the understanding among members as well as among differing Buddhist traditions
  • Taking a firm stand against all forms of violence and encouraging a greater understanding of compassion and interdependence
  • Working to foster greater social and gender equality and tolerance within the Buddhist world
  • Adding a Buddhist dimension to the on-going interfaith dialogue
  • Functioning as a networking body to lobby state and local governments and global institutions on issues of shared Buddhist concerns.

The IBC was formally registered on November 2, 2012, and as per statutory requirements under Indian law, a 10-member provisional Governing Body was formed, which has been working on IBC’s formal structure.

A sub-committee meeting was held on December 3, 2012, attended by delegates from the United States, Bhutan, Mongolia, Russian Federation, Nepal, and India, during which an Organising Committee along with Working Committees on agenda, membership, electoral process, projects, and funding, were formed.

During the upcoming 1st Founding Members Conclave, the provisional Governing Body will be dissolved and the Founding Members will elect the new Governing Body and Office Bearers of the IBC. The members will also decide on membership structure, IBC’s core projects and activities and corpus funding. Working sub-committees will be formed to address issues facing Buddhists in the modern world such as heritage, preservation of traditions and practices, equality issues, social engagement and the environment.

The International Buddhist Confederation creates a platform for Buddhism in the global discourse, so as to help to preserve our heritage, share our knowledge, and promote our values for the benefit of all.

For four days in September, 250 representatives from Buddhist National Sanghas, organizations, institutions and monastic bodies will gather in New Delhi for the 1st Founding Members Conclave of the International Buddhist Confederation (IBC).

Sessions will include:

  • Preservation of Buddhist Traditions & Practices: Pali & Sanskrit
  • Our Collective Heritage: Conservation & Development of Buddhist Sites
  • IBC Membership: Structure, Contributions & Benefits
  • Changing Times: Buddhism in the 21st Century
  • A day-long visit to Patna city, in the state of Bihar, has been arranged on September 13th with the Bihar Government, wherein matters related to the sustainable re-development of the Mahabodhi temple complex and the environs of Bodhgaya will be discussed.

Buddhism contains a kaleidoscope of traditions, each arising from different interpretations by the various philosophical schools and presentations of the three Yanas, manifesting the Dhamma in multi-faceted ways that reflect the enormous diversity of needs and spiritual capacities of its practitioners.

The three main Buddhist traditions that remain in existence are Theravada (Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, India, etc.), Bodhisattvayana (China, Tibet, Mongolia, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, etc.) and Vajrayana (India, Tibet, Mongolia, Bhutan, etc).

All these traditions exist in contemporary India, the birthplace of the Dhamma.  As the source and site of the Buddha's final awakening, it is India's responsibility to share the combined knowledge of all these different traditions with the entire Dhamma world. To this end the Global Buddhist Congregation will endeavour to provide a common platform to all the different Buddhist traditions, enabling the event to serve humanity in a fully inclusive and much more effective way.  

Buddha's teachings of interdependence and non-violence are of great significance and practical importance in conflict resolution across the global community.  In the light of this the Congregation will examine both the capacity and resilience of Buddhism to engage with the most pressing concerns of the modern world, namely violence, social and economic disparity, environmental degradation, and discord between and within communities and nations.

The Global Buddhist Congregation will also focus on how the teachings of Buddha surpass the ordinary realms of conventional religion, to include topics such as metaphysics, philosophy and the physical sciences. Buddhism is, undoubtedly, increasingly appreciated by the modern scientific community.   There has been an ongoing dialogue over recent years between scientists and Buddhist philosophers, for instance the dialogue on the concept of interdependent origination, a theme that scholars of the physical sciences are now exploring to explain some of the fundamental questions about the nature of matter.

The following objectives have been specified for the Congregation:

  • Defining how Buddhism can positively contribute to the establishment of peace and harmony among religions and communities, and minimize environmental degradation and economic disparity, through a non-violent, environment friendly and sustainable model of development based on the principles of right livelihood.
  • Establishing close relationships between the various Buddhist traditions and communities by sharing and exchanging knowledge and wisdom, and creating a united voice against violence, injustice and immorality.
  • Developing an interactive forum for scholars and practitioners through which they can define collective action plans aimed at promoting peace, stability and prosperity throughout the world.
  • Encouraging increased dialogue between the modern scientific community and Buddhist contemplative traditions, so that further means of preserving and promoting Buddhist traditions and their inner sciences can be found. Based on this, bringing Mindfulness into Education will be a point of special focus.

Thus the Global Buddhist Congregation aims to lay the foundations of cooperation in the dissemination of Buddha's teachings in a relevant and contemporary way.

In this world of storm and strife, hatred and violence, the message of the Buddha shines like a radiant sun. Perhaps at no time was that message more needed than in the world of the atomic and hydrogen bombs. Two thousand five hundred years have only added to the vitality and truth of that message. Let us remember that immortal message and try to fashion our thoughts and actions in the light of that teaching. We may face with equanimity even the terrors of the atomic bomb age and help a little in promoting right thinking and right action."

Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru,
First Prime Minister of India

Buddhism in the 21st Century: A call to action

Exploring how Buddhism can contribute to a greater understanding of the environmental crisis facing the planet, and encourage individual and collective responsibility in protecting the environment

Ethics & Values

Exploring how Buddhism can contribute to promoting ethics and values, particularly among the youth

Conflict & Violence

Exploring how Buddhism can help towards an understanding of the roots of violence and finding resolution to conflict

Politics & Society

Exploring how the Buddhist principles of non-violence, non-competitiveness, co-operation and human responsibility can be incorporated in the political and social arena

Anxiety, Depression & Alienation

Exploring how Buddhist meditation and philosophy can help to alleviate anxiety, depression and alienation

The Environmental Crisis

Exploring how Buddhism can contribute to a greater understanding of the environmental crisis facing the planet, and encourage individual and collective responsibility in protecting the environment

Science & Technology

Exploring how Buddhism can contribute in the advancement of science, and the proper usage of technology in advancing human happiness and removing human suffering

Preservation & Development of Budhism

Exploring how to preserve Buddhist traditions and form closer relationships within the traditions of the global Buddhist communities

Livelihood & Development

Exploring how Buddhism can guide in promoting right livelihood, and a model of development based on the principles of non-violence, environmental awareness and sustainability.

Global Buddhist Congregation 2011: Communique

Environment & the Natural World: A Buddhist Response

A declaration on the urgent need to apply compassion, ethics and wisdom to the environmental crisis

The human population now stands at seven billion and human beings are placing increasingly unrealistic demands on the earth’s resources. We are witnessing extreme weather events, dramatic changes in climate, rising sea levels, retreating glaciers and depleting ice at the poles. Still, we continue to pump greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. The great forests of the world are being destroyed more quickly than they can be replaced, coral reefs are dying, and species are disappearing at an alarming rate due to habitat loss and changes in temperatures and water supply. With the current rate of extinction, it is likely that very many species will become extinct before we are even aware of their existence. Many people view this as the sixth mass extinction, but this one is different in that it is not caused by an unavoidable catastrophe, but primarily by our actions.

Scientific research is revealing evidence of animals’ intelligence and emotions. This new understanding of animal sentience has huge implications for the way we treat them and the policies and laws we adopt. By addressing the needs of other sentient beings, we stand to safeguard the well-being of the Earth’s environment and ecosystems it supports. This eventually benefits all life forms including our own kind.

2,600 years ago, when the Buddha attained enlightenment under the Bodhi tree, he touched the ground to signify that the earth was witness to that moment. Today, the earth is witnessing a collective ignorance that endangers the future of all species and the future of our children. As entire ecosystems and habitats disappear, the Buddha’s teachings on interdependence are more evident than ever before. The Karma of our actions haunts the present and stands to threaten the future of all.

We as followers of the Buddha’s teaching make a commitment to:

  1. Act with the knowledge that the warming planet and species loss presents a moral issue of the highest order.
  2. Become more educated about environmental issues, seek to educate others regarding the interdependence of all life forms and take right action to minimize our negative impacts on the Earth.
  3. Within the Buddhist community, bring our collective wisdom to bear on environmental issues and address them with compassion and insight based on the skilful means of sound ethics and scientific research. 
  4. Recognizing that animals are fellow sentient beings who feel pain and fear and take right action to reduce the suffering they endure as a result of human behaviour.
  5. Apply our commitment to have compassion to sentient beings in interactions with them and address the indirect harm caused to them by our consumption of resources, use of land and climate change.
  6. Be a mindful consumer by avoiding waste and refusing to buy products created from the suffering of other beings.  
  7. Seek to change societal, consumer and political frameworks so that they see animals as kin and not merely resources or commodities that can be utilized by humans without regard to their welfare. 
  8. Apply Buddhist principles and teaching to overcome the denial of the situation we face and seek co-operation with other communities as we move towards true ecological sustainability.

Preservation & Development of Buddhism

Preservation and development means that we have to be concerned with the past and the future at the same time. Both dimensions are available to us in the present only, so we have to be aware of cultivating awareness for collecting data, objects, information, texts and resources with which our ancestors have endowed us. We have to look for support, both spiritual and financial, to preserve Buddhist architecture and documents of Buddhist life in India, make it available to the public and create excitement about engaging in pilgrimages to the sites of the origins of Buddhist culture. Some projects of Buddhist text editions and archives are underway on the internet. Websites for applying Buddhists principles in daily life (private counseling, sustainable development, wholesome governments) are underway. We need to be aware of it, share these resources with others and raise support for it. Simultaneously, Buddhist needs to be developed in correspondence to changing societies worldwide. All structures and institutions are impermanent. And we need to apply a creative intelligence to the central principle of upaya in our times so that the primordial Buddhist truths and insights concerning the human condition and possibilities for enhancing the moral and spiritual life as well as steps to enlightenment may be made available also in unconventional ways to the younger generations. Each one of us, and each group is responsible for their own way, and should be supported by all Buddhist sisters and brothers.

Buddhism & Science

Science runs on experiments to collect data and to discover relationships, which will be understood in theories. Those theories are to be tested by new data and their interpretation so as to falsify theories in order to get a deeper understanding of the world. Buddhism has a similar approach towards the investigation of the mental realm. It can be useful in both the collection of data concerning mental events and forming notions and theories to interpret them. We note that all theories are mental projection. Sense experience is often illusory. It depends on the mental framework. Other states of consciousness such as dream states or meditative states (the jhnanas) are as valid for exploration as our waking states. The mind-body relationship is mapped out differently in Indian traditions (samkhya) as in Greek Aristolelian world views. All mental states, psychic events, emotions, etc are part of the changing world (prakrite) with no permament or independent soul. It is only pure awareness (purusha) that is formless and beyond space-time. This can be experienced. We need to develop relational non-dualistic view in order to understand the bottom-up causality (body influencing mind) as well as rigorous up-bottom causality (mind influencing body). Steps towards such a non-dualistic view have been made. Suggestions have been elaborated in our discussions. Those non-dualistic framings (based on the oneness of form and formlessness) as the Heart Sutra expresses it may be able to explain the non-substantial reality of the world better than substantialistic theories. First, there is the potentiality space of relationships. Second, there is the realm of particles, waves, etc. Such a view is of relevance to our self-understanding and action in the world.

Politics & Society: Buddhism engage with the world

It is impossible to separate politics from religion, since politics is simply the totality of interrelationships in any particular area of life involving power, authority or influence. We need to understand that in every dharma community, monastery, nunnery, organization or institution, politics plays play a part. Any religious body or institution needs to have structures of leadership and to create and maintain policies within those structures. What we need to recognize are the dangers that exist in power that is exclusive and self-serving rather than power that seeks to benefit the community and the world at large. While we honour our own traditions and practices, we take an active stand against sectarianism and oligarchies and urge a more inclusive, democratic and universal vision of Buddhist leadership. Regarding society, we honour the work of engaged Buddhists around the world who are a source of hope and inspiration. And we commit ourselves to make engagement with the sick, the hungry, the miserable and the disenfranchised part of our daily practice.

Women and Buddhism: Equality & Equanimity

First of all, we realize the importance of accepting that Buddhist women do not enjoy the same status, power or influence as their dharma brothers. The status of women within the Buddhist tradition is out of touch with their abilities and contribution. We need to look at the attitudes that have led to this imbalance on both a personal and institutional level, and realize that this is vital to the future of the dharma. When we discriminate and marginalize women within Buddhist organizations and communities, we lose half of our effectiveness, half of our wisdom, and half of our resources. As it is acknowledged that throughout the world, most dharma centres are run by women and many of the dharma communities are made up of a female majority, if we exclude women, we exclude a crucial body of support. For Buddhism to thrive, women must be included at every level, from decision-making powers to leadership roles, so that this imbalance is adjusted and so that we can benefit even more from their participation.

Ethics & Values

As the Buddha said, “morality is like the earth. It supports everything”. We as Buddhists determine to make ethical conduct and positive values the founding inspiration for all our actions of body, speech and mind. We understand that ethics and values are not the property of Buddhists alone, and that a religious belief is not necessary for a person to practice moral principles. We assert that moral principles do not exist outside in books and directives, but are simply the choices we make for how to act in the world, for the  least harm and the most benefit. With this in mind, we will also make efforts to make ethics and values part of the curriculum in schools and to make ethics and values part of the active principles of private enterprise and corporations, so that the generations to come can improve the collective karma of all humanity.

Buddhism & Mental Health

The insight into the 3 poisons: ignorance, attachment and aversion is an excellent analystical tool to understand mental disorders. Though this refers to an on-going human problem, new disorders are developming due to the modern lifestyle such as up rootedness, loneliness etc. Buddhist practice of unconditional compassion is of great value here. We need to be aware that meditation practice requires a rather stable personality, so that depressive clients should not be encouraged to engage in meditation until their condition is alleviated by proper therapy. Often, empathic relationship to the troubled persons is an excellent way of expressing Buddhist values.

Livelihood & Development: Buddhism in a fast-changing world

Livelihood means to be able to stay alive and have the conducive conditions to be in the dharma. Though the world is changing at tremendous speed, the Buddha’s insights remain the same.  We have to discern the absolute from the relative and our interpretations of old behavioural patterns need to be looked at and judged from a fresh insight into the principle Buddhist values. In practice, we need to be flexible to adapt to modern means of livelihood bearing in mind that the happiness of human beings is our primordial condition where suffering is the conditioned state which can be alleviated and eradicated by application of the four noble truths. We need to teach ourselves and others delight in simplicity and generosity. What matters is the quality of life and not quantity of consumption. The modern consumerist way of the life is to be rejected because it is unwholesome and destructive for ourselves and all other sentient beings. But we have to start with ourselves giving living examples because people learn by imitation and experience. Here, the ordained sangha and lay sangha are both called to account. We need to develop a holistic understanding of mutuality of individual and social development. It is wise to start difference lifestyles based on these principles in small communities in local neighbourhoods in cooperative structures at the basis of our society.

Conflict & Violence: A Buddhist Response

As Buddhists, we determine to address the root causes of conflict and violence, whether between nations, cultures, peoples, organizations, creeds, sects, communities, families or individuals. We believe that conflict and violence begins in the mind with an artificial distinction between self and other and an exaggerated attachment to one position, idea or perspective. At the same time, we need to acknowledge the institutional violence that becomes deeply embedded in society to the point that people even cannot see it. When violence becomes a policy that is dictated by a single group or inspired by an individual, then we as Buddhists must address the immediate ramifications of conflict and do what we can to alleviate the suffering that entails. It is also our duty to develop effective systems of mediation between the conflicting parties.

Eminent Invitees

 

The eminent personalities invited for the Congregation include:

  • His Holiness the 70th Je Khempo Trulku Jigme Chhoeda, Bhutan
  • His Holiness Samdech Preah Agga Mahā Sangharājādhipati Tep Vong, Great Supreme Patriach, Cambodia
  • His Holiness Samdech Preah Abhisiri Sugandhādhipati Bour Kry, Supreme Patriarch of the Dhammayuttika Nikaya, Cambodia
  • His Holiness Samdech Preah Sumedhādhipati Non Nget, Supreme Patriarch of the Maha Nikaya, Cambodia
  • His Holiness Phra Achan Maha Phong Samaleuk, Sangharajah and Acting President Lao
  • Buddhist Fellowship Organization, Laos
  • Most Venerable Udugama Sri Dhammadassi Ratanapala Buddharakkitha, Mahanayaka
  • Thero, Asgiriya Viharaya, Sri Lanka
  • His Eminence Thibbatuwawe Sri Siddhartha Sumangala, Mahanyaka Thero, Malwatta
  • Chapter of Syamopali Maha Nikayaka, Sri Lanka
  • His Eminence Agga Maha Panditha Dawuldena Gnanissara, Mahanayaka Thero, Supreme
  • Prelate of Amarapura Sangha Sabha, Sri Lanka
  • His Eminence Weveldeniye Medhalankara, Mahanayaka Thero, Ramanya Nikaya, Sri Lanka
  • His Eminence Dr.Bhaddanata Kumarabhivamsa, Chairman, State Sangha Maha Nayaka
  • Committee and President, Aggamahapandita, Abhidhaja Agga-Maha Saddhamma Jotika, Myanmar
  • His Eminence Bhaddanta Kumara, Abhidhaja Maha Ratthaguru, Abhidhaja Agga Maha Saddahamajotika, Myanmar
  • Most Venerable Dr. Ashin Nyanissara, Chancellor, Sitagu International Buddhist Academy, Myanmar
  • Ven. Dr. Nandamalabhivamsa, Rector, International Theravada Buddhist Missionary University, Myanmar
  • His Eminence Khambo Lama D. Choijamts, Supreme Head of Mongolian Buddhists, Gaden Thekchen Monastery, Mongolia
  • His Eminence Ch. Dambajav, Chief Abbot, Dashicholing monastery, Mongolia
  • His Eminence Damba Ayusheev Pandito Khambo Lama, Supreme Head of Russian Buddhists, Russia
  • His Eminence Beopjeon Sunim, Supreme Patriarch, Korean Buddhist Jogye Order, South Korea
  • His Eminence Jaseung Sunim, President, Korean Buddhist Jogye Order, South Korea
  • Most Venerable Yuan Zhog, President, Chinese Buddhist Association, Taiwan
  • Most Venereble Liao Chung, President, World Buddhist Sangha Council, Taiwan
  • Most Venerable Hsin Tao, Dharma Master, Taiwan
  • Ven. Ming Kuang, President, Buddhist Association of Taipei, Taiwan
  • Venerable Guo Dong, Abbot President, Dharma Drum Mountain World Centre for Buddhist Education, Taiwan
  • His Excellency Phan Wannamethee, President, World Fellowship of Buddhists (WFB), Thailand
  • Most Venerable Prof. Dr. Phra Dhammakosajarn, Rector, Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya
  • University (MCU), Thailand
  • Most Venerable Phra Theppariyattivimol, Mahamakut Buddhist University, Thailand
  • Anurut Vongvanij, President, World Fellowship of Buddhist Youth (WFBY), Thailand
  • Most Venerable Kok Kwong, President, Hong Kong Buddhist Association, Hong Kong
  • Most Venerable Sik Sau Chi, Hong Kong, Education Director, World Buddhist Sangha Council (WBSC)
  • Most Venerable Sik Kwang Sheng, President, Singapore Buddhist Federation, Singapore
  • Most Venerable Kwang Shen, President, Bright Hill Temple, Singapore
  • Most Venerable Wei Wu, President, Than Hsiang Temple. Malaysia
  • Datuk Dr. Victor Wee, President, Buddhist Gem Fellowship, Malaysia
  • His Eminence Kouno Taitsu, Chairman, All Japan Buddhist Association, Japan
  • His Eminence Enami Kakuhan, President, Japan Association of Buddhists for World Federation, Japan
  • Most Rev. Her Eminency Otani Kiyoko, President, All Japan Women Buddhists Federation Japan
  • Most Reverend Hashimoto Shonen, Chief Abbot, Shinshouji, Japan
  • Most Reverend Nichiko Niwano, President, Rissho Kosei-kai International, Japan
  • Most Venerable Tongariodjo Angkasa, Maha Saddammajotika Dhaja, Chairman, International Buddhist Centre, Indonesia
  • Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche, Spiritual Director, Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT), USA
  • Kyabje Sogyal Rinpoche, Founder & Director, Rigpa International and author of The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, France
  • Lama Gelek Rinpoche, Founder & President, Jewel Heart International, USA
  • Dr (Smt) Kapila Vatsyayan, Member of Parliament, Renowned scholar of Indian art, culture, dance and architecture, educationist, Author Chairperson, IIC-Asia Project, India International
  • Centre, Founder and Former Academic Director Indira Gandhi National Centre of the Arts, New Delhi, India
  • Dr. Lokesh Chandra, Padma Bhushan Awardee, former Member Of Parliament, Eminent author and Scholar of Buddhism and Indian arts, Director, International Academy of Indian
  • Culture (IAIC), Vice-President of Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR) and Chairman of the Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR).
  • Eminent invitees to the Congregation also include Supreme Masters, foremost Buddhalogists, scholars and experts from India, China, Vietnam, Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand and Oceania, South and North America, Africa and Europe.

Delegates

500 delegates from various countries will participate in the Congregation. The organizers will extend necessary support for all delegates. Travel and hospitality support, including air-fare (to and from New Delhi), hotel accommodation (from 26 November to 30 November) and local transportation will be provided. A complimentary pilgrimage to Buddhist holy places in India from 01 December to 05 December has also been organized. Delegates are requested to reach New Delhi on 26 November 2011.

Observers

300 observers from various countries have been invited to the Congregation. Hotel accommodation (from 26 November to 30 November) and local transportation will be provided. Observers are however requested to bear their own travel costs to and from New Delhi. A complimentary pilgrimage to Buddhist holy places in India from 01 December to 04 December has also been organized. Observers are requested to reach New Delhi on 26 November 2011.

Hyatt Regency, New Delhi, 9-12 September 2013

Delegation to Bihar 13-14 September

Time Programme Venue
September 8:
12:00 PM onwards Arrival & Registration Hyatt
08:00 PM Dinner Hyatt
September 9:
07:00—09:00 AM Breakfast Cafeteria, Hyatt
10:00 AM INAUGURATION PROGRAMME opening Regency Ballroom, Hyatt
10:05—10:10 AM Welcome speech,Ven. Lama Lobsang, Convener  
10:10—10:30 AM Recitation of Heart Sutra in Korean, Vietnamese, Chinese, Japanese, Tibetan, Sanskrit. Recitation of Maha Mangala Sutta in Pali by Theravadan sangha  
10:30—10:40 AM Unveiling of IBC logo & Website launch  
10:40—10:45 AM Short AV on story of IBC  
10:40—11:00 AM Allow for overtime  
11:00—11:30 AM Tea Break & lunch for Theravada Sangha  
11:30—11:45 AM Video Messages  
11:45—01:00 PM Addresses by distinguished guests & delegates  
12:55—01:00 PM Vote of Thanks  
01:15—2:00 PM Lunch Buffet/Hyatt
2:00—3:30 PM Elections for IBC Office Bearers, Governing Body & Executive Committee  
3:30—4:00 PM Tea break  
4:00—4:30 PM Sanchi University of Buddhist-Indic Studies  
4:30—6:00 PM 1st SESSION - Inter-Faith Relations: A Meeting of Hearts & Minds  
6:00—6:30 PM Buddhist Inspiration in Asian Calligraphy, Bryan Mulvihill  
08:00 PM Dinner Hyatt Regency
September 10:
07:00—09:00 AM Breakfast Breakfast
09:00—11:00 AM 2nd SESSION - Topic "Preservation, Dissemination & Continuity of Buddhist Traditions & Practices — Pali & Sanskrit" Regency Ballroom
09:00—09:05 AM Opening remarks  

5 minute introductory remarks, followed by several working group sessions

09:05—09:10 AM The Common Ground of Buddhist Traditions  
09:10—09:15 AM Collective Wisdom  
09:15—09:20 AM Continuity of the Pali Tradition  
09:20—09:25 AM Continuity of the Sanskrit Tradition  
09:25—09:30 AM Future of Buddhism in India  
09:30—09:35 AM Strengthening & Support of Living Buddhist Heritage of Trans-Himalayas  
09:35—09:40 AM The Nalanda Tradition  
09:40—09:45 AM United Voice – Beyond Sectarianism  
09:45—09:50 AM Orientation and breaking up into working groups  
09:50—11:00 AM Working Groups for Purpose Plans on: (groups can choose) Common Ground of Buddhist Traditions & Preservation of Buddhist Traditions & Practices Nalanda Cloud group in boardroom
11:00—11:30 AM Tea break (lunch for Theravada Sangha)  
11:30—01:30 PM 3rd SESSION Topic "Our Collective Heritage: Stewardship & Revival of Buddhist Sites & Relics" – PART I Bodhgaya: Navel of the World  
11:30—11:35 AM Introductory remarks & orientation  
11:35—11:40 AM Opening remarks  
Introductions before the breaking up into working groups
11:40—11:55 AM Bodhgaya: Revival & Management  
11:55—12:05 PM Bodhgaya: Hallowed Ground  
12:05—12:10 PM Orientation  
12:10—01:30 PM Working Groups for Purpose Plans on Bodhgaya Revival & Management  
01:30—02:30 PM Lunch Buffet, Hyatt
02:30—04:00 PM Meeting of IBC elected body (for others shopping option to Dilli Haat) Regency Ballroom
04:15—04:45 PM Presentation on IBC Headquarters  
05:00—05:30 PM Buses to Asoka Mission  
05:30—07:30 PM 4th SESSION - Asoka Mission
07:30—08:00 PM Travel back to Hyatt  
08:30 PM Dinner Hyatt
September 11:
07:00—09:00 AM Breakfast Cafeteria, Hyatt
09:00—11:00 AM 5th SESSION Topic "Our Collective Heritage: Preservation & Rehabilitation of Buddhist Sites & Relics" –– PART II –Holy Relics & Pilgrimage Sites Regency Ballroom
09:00—09:05 AM Opening remarks & orientation  
09:05—09:10 AM Introductory remarks  
09:10—09:15 AM China's Buddhist Heritage  
09:15—09:20 AM The Buddhist Pilgrimage Circuit  
09:20—09:25 AM Development of Buddhist Pilgrimage  
09:25—09:30 AM Buddhist Relics: A Plan for Sacred Stewardship  
09:30—09:35 AM Government of Bihars  
09:35—09:40 AM Government of Madhya Pradesh  
09:40—09:45 AM Government of Gujarat  
09:45—09:50 AM Orientation & breaking up into Working Groups  
09:55—11:00 AM Working Groups for Joint Statement of Intent on: Holy Relics & Pilgrimage Circuit  
11:00—11:30 AM Tea Break & lunch for Theravada Sangha (working groups can continue through tea break)  
11:30—01:00 PM 6th SESSION - IBC Membership: Structure, Contributions & Benefits Regency Ballroom
01:00—02:00 PM Lunch Buffet, Hyatt
02:00—03:00 PM 6th SESSION cont- IBC Membership: Structure, Contributions & Benefits Regency Ballroom
03:00—03:30 PM Tea Break  
03:30 PM Audience with Hon'ble PM – Office Bearers of IBC (time not confirmed) PM House or PMO
03:30—05:30 PM 7th SESSION - "Changing Times: Buddhism in the 21st Century" PM House or PMO
03:30—03:35 PM Opening remarks  
03:35—03:40 PM Introductory remarks  
03:40—03:45 PM Buddhism in Changing Times  
03:45—03:50 PM What it Means to be 'Engaged'  
03:50—03:55 PM Women in Buddhism: Equality & Equanimity  
03:55—04:00 PM Buddhism in the Global Discourse – working with governments and international bodies  
04:00—04:10 PM Environment & the Natural World, A Buddhist Response  
04:10—04:15 PM Passing it On: Buddhism & Youth Outreach  
04:15—04:20 PM Orientation  
04:20—05:20 PM Working Groups on last 4 themes: Buddhism in the Global Discourse, Women in Buddhism, Environment & the Natural World, Outreach to Buddhist Youth  
06:00—06:30 PM Buses to Holy Relic Darshan  
06:30—07:30 PM Darshan of the Kapilavastudhatu (Lord Buddha's Relic) Delhi National Museum;
07:30—8:00 PM Buses to dinner  
08:00 PM Dinner Hyatt
September 12:
07:00—09:00 AM Breakfast Cafeteria, Hyatt
09:00—10:30 AM 8th SESSION - Topic "Corpus Funds & Finance for IBC Projects" Regency Ballroom
10:30—11:00 AM 9th SESSION - Proposals and discussion for Karuna Maitri award and next host for GBC, next IBC Elected & General Body Meetings—  
11:00—11:30 AM Tea Break & lunch for Theravada Sangha  
11:30—01:00 PM 10th SESSION - Presentation of Joint Statements of Intent and Purpose Plans by Chairs of working groups Regency Ballroom,
01:00—02:00 PM Lunch Buffet, Hyatt
03:00—04:30 PM Concluding Session Regency Ballroom,
05:00—05:30 PM Press Conference, IBC Office Bearers  
08:00—09:00 PM Dinner  
September 13 & 14 - IBC Heritage delegation to Bihar:
September 13:
06:00—07:00 AM Breakfast Cafeteria, Hyatt
07:30 Depart for Airport Cafeteria, Hyatt
08:30 Flight to Patna, Bihar  
10:30 Grand Conclave & Public Felicitation of Delegates organized by Govt of Bihar in the presence of Chief Minister Sh Nitish Kumar & other dignitaries. Signing of Statement of Intent Patna
AFTERNOON Visit to Bodhgaya  
September 14:
MORNING Visit to Rajgir  
EVENING Return to New Delhi  

30 November 2011: Wednesday

ALL-FAITH PRAYER MEET, DHAMMA YATRA MARCH & PLANTING OF BODHI TREE SAPLINGS

Morning Programme

 
09: 00 AM - 11:00 AM
All-faith prayer meets at Gandhi Smriti
Representatives of all religions from India as well as all 800 delegates, observers and eminent invitees to the Global Buddhist Congregation (GBC) will participate in the all- faith prayer meet at Gandhi Smriti. Arrangements will be made for its live TV and Web broadcast.
11:00 AM
Start of March from GANDHI SMRITI
12:00 AM
Arrival at Nehru Park, Chankyapuri (Total distance of march - 3 km)
12:00 to 1:00 PM
Planting of Bodhi Tree saplings
Three Bodhi tree saplings from Anuradhapura (Sri Lanka) Bodghaya and Sravasti will be taken in procession from Gandhi Smirti to Nehru Park and planted in the presence of supreme religious patriarchs and state leaders. The Dhamma Sangam will be a new landmark on the map of New Delhi.
It may be noted that in the mid 1960s a sapling from the Bodhi tree at Anuradhapura in Sri Lanka was brought by the then Sri Lankan PM Sh. Bhandaranayaka. It was planted by the late PM of India, Sh. Lal Bahadur Shastrij, at Buddha Jayanti Park in New Delhi. This event would thus be the first of its kind in more than 50 years. It will symbolize the spirit of friendship, common heritage, and cultural bond and shared future, not only in the Indian sub-continent but throughout the entire Buddhist world.

Afternoon Programme

 
03:30 onwards
Valedictory and concluding session

*Program Schedule is subject to amendments

GBC Secretariat

P.C. Sethi, Director, Coordinator
Rebecca Novick, Director (Communication and Promotions)
Aarini Sharma (Event Coordinator)
Sandeep Negi, Office Assistant & Accounts

Organizing Committee

  • H.H. Gaden Tripa

    The 102nd Ganden Tripa Kyabje Rizong Rinpoche. The Supreme Head of the Gelug Tradition of Tibetan Buddhism

    The 102nd Ganden Tripa Kyabje Rizong Rinpoche born in Ladakh in the early 1930s, Kyabje Rizong Rinpoche was recognized and enthroned as a child as the reincarnation of the founder of the illustrious Rizong Hermitage.

  • Rev. Lochen Tulku

    A renowned scholar and master of Buddhist

    Rev. Lochen Tulku is the 19th incarnation of Latsawa Rinchen Zango the Great Translator who was instrumental in second diffusion of Buddhist in Tibet during the 9th and 10th Century.

    He was born in Shalkhar village of Kinnaur, a district in the north Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. The Revered Lochen Tulku is currently the Spiritual Head & Director of Key Monastic Institution, Spiti, Himachal Pradesh.

  • Ven. Lama Lobzang

    President of Asoka Mission

    Ven. Lama Lobzang was born in 1931, at Leh, Ladakh, Jammu & Kashmir state of India. Early in his younger days he had intensive training in Buddhist monastic life, both in Theravada and Mahayana and attained higher ordination in Tashi Lhunpo monastery in Shigatse, Tibet, in 1952 which is the traditional seat of Panchen Lamas. To fulfill this religious, spiritual and academic quest he walked to Tibet via then kingdom of Sikkim surviving on the goodwill and charity of the people along the way.

  • Ven Bhikkhu Sanghasena

    Founder of the Mahabodhi International Meditation Centre

    Venerable Bhikkhu Sanghasena was born in the Himalayan region of Ladakh – a state in the northern most part of India. He was brought up in a religious family among people with an ancient Buddhist tradition where peacefulness, humility and innocence are the way of life. At seventeen, he joined the Indian Army where he developed a strong sense of discipline.

    The year 1977 was a significant year in his life when he felt the inner spiritual call, he left the army and became a disciple of the renowned scholar and celebrated monk, Venerable Acharya Buddharakhita Maha Thera, the Founder President of the Mahabodhi Society Bangalore India. After having received full ordination, Ven. Sanghasena undertook enthusiastic studies of the Dharma and also practiced various modes of Buddhist meditation.

  • Tashi Densapa

    Director of Namgyal Institute of Tibetology, based in Gangtok, Sikkim

    Mr. Tashi Densapa is the Director of Namgyal Institute of Tibetology, based in Gangtok, Sikkim. Since its establishment in 1958, the Namgyal Institute of Tibetology has sponsored and promoted research on the religion, history, language, art and culture of the people of the Tibetan cultural area which includes Sikkim. The NIT's library holds one of the largest collections of Tibetan works in the world outside Tibet and a museum of Tibetan iconography and religious art.

  • Ashok K Wangdi

    Member of the governing body of Asoka Mission Trust in New Delhi

    Ashok K Wangdi was born in Darjeeling and was based in Dehradun. He is a member of the Governing Body of Asoka Mission Trust in New Delhi. He is advisor, Tibetan Campaign for Awareness of Conservation, an initiative of Wildlife Trust of India (WTI). He is a Trustee, Winterline Trust. He is currently based in Delhi, and as an active Organizing Committee Member, is responsible for planning and coordination.

  • Kishore Thukral

    Member of the governing body of Asoka Mission Trust in New Delhi

    Kishore Thukral, 50, has trekked, photographed and researched extensively in the western Himalaya. Born, raised and residing in Delhi, he has been a member of several mountaineering expeditions. He is, by profession, a financial advisor.

    He is the author of Spiti through Legend and Lore (Mosaic Books, Delhi, 2006), a book that documents the legends and folklore of Spiti both in text and photographs. A bilingual writer, Kishore has also authored The Chronicler’s Daughter .

  • Dr. Dipankar Das

    Member of the Global Buddhist Congregation

    Member of the Global Buddhist Congregation

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