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India-Nepal re-look ties through Buddhism prism

Nepal is the birthplace of Lord Buddha and India is where Buddhism was born. But Hinduism, the dominant religion in both nations, has been the more prominent link between both.

world Updated: Mar 27, 2011 15:57 IST
Utpal Parashar

Nepal is the birthplace of Lord Buddha and India is where Buddhism was born. But Hinduism, the dominant religion in both nations, has been the more prominent link between both.

Now, a fresh effort is underway to re-look at the historical ties between Nepal and India through the prism of Buddhism. A three-day international conference that started here on Sunday hopes to do this.

“This conference will focus on the role of Buddhism and its impact on the cultural bonding between both countries,” said Yogeshwar Verma, Deputy Director General of Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR).

The conference jointly organized by ICCR and Centre for Nepal and Asian Studies of Tribhuwan University, Kathmandu is being attended by Buddhist monks and experts from South Asia and South-East Asian nations.

Titled ‘Buddhism: Traditional Practices and Pluralistic Innovation’, the conference will also delve into plurality of Buddhist sects in India and Nepal in historical and present day context.

“Buddhist teachings are still relevant in Nepal and rest of the world,” President Ram Baran Yadav stated in his keynote address.

Indian Ambassador to Nepal Rakesh Sood hoped the conference will highlight the common practices and religious legacies between both countries.

Efforts are also on to connect the four most important Buddhisht sites—Lumbini, Bodh Gaya, Sarnath and Kushinagar, located in Nepal and India as part of a pilgrimage circuit.