Greater Noida to host international Buddhist conference; CM Adityanath likely to attend

Published on Oct 08, 2022 12:08 AM IST

The International Buddhist Confederation (IBC), in collaboration with Gautam Buddha University (GBU), is organising the International Abhidhamma Divas at the varsity campus in Greater Noida on October 9, to mark the day when Gautam Buddha is believed to have returned to earth from heaven

Lucknow, India-Sep 19, 2022: UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath along with other legislative members arrive for the first day of the monsoon session at the UP assembly in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, on Monday September 19, 2022. (HT Photo)
Lucknow, India-Sep 19, 2022: UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath along with other legislative members arrive for the first day of the monsoon session at the UP assembly in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, on Monday September 19, 2022. (HT Photo)

The International Buddhist Confederation (IBC), in collaboration with Gautam Buddha University (GBU), is organising the International Abhidhamma Divas at the varsity campus in Greater Noida on October 9, to mark the day when Gautam Buddha is believed to have returned to earth from heaven.

Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath is likely to be the guest of honour at the event, which will see the participation of delegates from over 20 countries.

According to GBU officials, the state has several important spaces connected to Buddhism, making it an integral part of the religion.

Lord Buddha is believed to have descended to earth from the celestial domain of the thirty-three divine beings after teaching them the Abhidhamma Pitaka (Basket of Ultimate Doctrine) in the presence of his mother. He is believed to have descended in Sankassiya, which is the present day Sankisa Basantapur, in Farrukhabad, Uttar Pradesh.

Sankassiya is marked by an Asokan edict, an elephant pillar signifying the importance of the place and event, which stands to this day.

The chief guest of the event this time will be Dr Ashin Nanissara (Sitagu Sayadaw), chancellor, Sitagu International Buddhist Academy, Myanmar.

Last year, the Abhidhamma Divas was organised at the Mahaparinirvana Temple in Kushinagar, Uttar Pradesh, and chief guest Prime Minister Narendra Modi had also inaugurated an international airport at the Buddhist pilgrimage town on the occasion.

“According to the Theravāda tradition, it is believed that this day is blessed. The teachings took three months, after which Buddha came back to earth. His followers mark the three-month time by staying in one place and praying. It is known as the three-month rainy retreat or “Varshavaas” of Buddhist monks and nuns,” a GBU spokesperson said.

The participants in the conference will include notable personalities, researchers, monks and followers of Buddhism from various countries such as Myanmar, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and others. Ambassadors of these countries to India and other diplomats will also take part in the Abhidhamma Divas celebrations at GBU.

The IBC is a Buddhist umbrella body that serves as a common platform for Buddhists worldwide. It is headquartered in New Delhi, India. The organisation aims to make Buddhist values and principles a part of the global discourse by presenting a united Buddhist voice on issues that concern all humankind.

This is the third flagship programme of the IBC, the other two being Buddha Purnima and the Asadha Purnima, officials said.

The event will include a panel discussion on the ”significance of Abhidhamma”, the launch of a book titled “Recent Development in the studies of Abhidhamma in India”, and the screening of a film on the IBC’s project in Lumbini, along with a cultural programmes by students of Buddhist universities.

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