India to host a new international Buddhist body
New Delhi: India, the place from where Lord
Buddha spread his message almost three centuries back, will
now host the headquarters of first of its kind international
body that will serve as a common platform for Buddhists
To be called the International Buddhist Confederation
(IBC), the body will be a common ground where Buddhists from
all traditions will be represented.
The body will, among other things, act as a catalyst in
helping preserve and promote Buddhist heritage across the
world, particularly in India and Nepal -- the two most
important countries associated with the history of Gautam
The global body comes as a result of a resolution adopted
by the four-day Global Buddhist Congregation, that ended here
today in the presence of Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai
The four-day congregation saw heads and representatives
from Buddhist sanghas, national Buddhist federations,
institutions and organisations from 46 countries gather under
one roof to talk and discuss the pressing issues faced by the
world and the solutions Buddhism can offer.
It was perhaps the first time that representatives from
all Buddhist traditions had gathered together on a common
The participating delegates felt the need to develop "a
common platform that will project a united voice and develop a
common response based on the collective wisdom of all Buddhist
traditions," read the preamble of the resolution adopted
yesterday by the congregation.
The body will also give priority to reviving, developing
and training Buddhist communities and sangha in India.
The announcement of the decision to establish the body
came on the last day of the four-day meet.
"I am glad that the effort that began a year ago has
borne fruit ... and we have made a historic decision to form
an umbrella body of Buddhism," said Lama Lobzang, President of
Asoka Mission, that organised the international conference.
The body, he said, will hold the responsibility of
projecting a united Buddhist response, to the "unprecedented
challenges faced by human civilisation".
The International Buddhist Confederation (IBC), the
resolution said, will operate under the "overarching themes
of collective wisdom, united voice and universal
responsibility" and it will complement, not compete with, the
work of existing Buddhist organisations.
A representative working committee has been formed to
prepare a draft constitution of the body, and the first
General Conference in order to ratify it.
The gathering also recognised the need to preserve and
conserve sacred sites and holy relics, particularly those
historically linked to the life of Buddha, such as Bodhgaya,
Sarnath and Kushinagar in India and Lumbini in Nepal.
Buddha, as Prince Siddhartha, was born in Lumbini and
attained enlightenment in Bodhgaya, and later travelled
spreading his message.
The body will also provide a common resource of Buddhist
knowledge for reference and research.
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