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Sumedha Singh | HENB | Patna | July 28, 2019:: Indian Union minister of state for youth affairs and sports Kiren Rijiju on Saturday highlighted similarities between Hinduism and Buddhism while speaking as a chief guest in the inaugural session of a two-day international conference on ‘Sat-Chit-Ananda and Nirvana in Dharma-Dhamma Traditions’, organised by Nalanda University (NU) in collaboration with ‘Centre for Study of Religion’ and ‘India Foundation’ at Rajgir International Convention Centre.
The inaugural session of the conference was attended by over 250 scholars from 11 countries, including Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Korea, China and Maldives.
The conference began with invocation rooted in the Hindu and Bauddha traditions by the students and teachers of the university. Lalita Kumarmangalam welcomed the guests, eminent scholars, academics and students.
Rijiju said the conference was an endeavour to underscore the basic commonality between the two religions – Hinduism and Buddhism. “Knowledge culture, which is the Indian Culture, is common among the two religions. The texts of the two traditions have many similarities, though people theorize and practise them differently,” he said.
NU vice-chancellor Sunaina Singh underlined the purpose of the academic deliberation to elevate the university as a thought leader and a knowledge ‘soft power’ of the world.
“This conference is aimed at enquiring into the reality, knowledge and values from diverse perspectives so as to understand the nature, meaning and significance of human and cosmic existence. Nalanda traditions have been in the true spirit of SatChit-Ananda. The conference provides a forum for the best minds form the world of academics as well as leading statesmen, policymakers, religious heads from India and abroad to come together to explore new wisdom and meaning in the contemporary world,” Singh said.
Minister of home and cultural affairs, government of Bhutan, Lyonpo Sherab Gyaltshen said there is a natural linkage between Nalanda and Bhutan since the time immemorial.
Eminent Hindu saint Swami Avdheshanand Giri Acharya Mahamandleshwar of Juna Akhara was also present in the programme and exhorted on the basics of Dharma and tweeted in his twitter handle, “नालन्दा विश्वविद्यालय बिहार में इंडिया फाउंडेशन द्वारा आयोजित पंचम अंतरराष्ट्रीय धर्म-धम्मम सम्मेलन के उद्घाटन अवसर पर इस सम्मेलन में सहकार कर आनंदित हूँ ! अभ्युदय और श्रेयस सिद्धिकारक है-धर्म ।अर्थात जो हमारे लौकिक-पारलौकिक उन्नयन-उत्कर्ष का आधार है !” (I am happy to cooperate in this conference on the occasion of the inauguration of Fifth International Dharma-Dhammam Conference organized by India Foundation in Nalanda University, Bihar. Abhyudaya-Prosperity and Shreyas-that brings Supreme Consciousness– are proven as Dharma. That is, the basis of our material and spiritual upliftment and elevation both!)
A traditional cultural programme was also organised as part of the conference to present the intermingling tradition of Hindu and Buddhist faith.
__With the inputs from TNN.