Sep 29-30, 2017: Two-day International Conference on 'Reflections of Buddhism in Southeast Culture and Its Revival & IBEI-YAC Global Peace Award 2017' was organized under the banner of International Buddha Education Institute (IBEI) and Youth Action Committee (YAC) of Uttarakhand at Hotel Gautami Heights, Kashipur, Uttarakhand, where hundreds of Buddhist monks, devotees, intellectuals, social activists, artists, poets, professors, politicians, students and parents from 17 countries of the world (USA, UK, Japan, China, Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Myanmar, etc) participated with full attention and enthusiasm. After the national anthem and Buddha Puja by monks from various monasteries of the world, Dr (Baba) Sanjeev Akankshi and Dr Abnish Singh Chauhan, anchors of the event, presented a brief history of the socio-cultural, philanthropic and educational journey of IBEI and YAC from its beginning to the present times.
Mr H P Kain, retired Chief Income Tax Commissioner & Vice Chairman of IBEI, welcomed the august gathering, encouraged the participants and guests, and emphatically articulated the need and significance of the spiritual teachings of Mahatma Buddha in the present society of the world. Chief-Guest Dr K K Paul, hon’ble Governor of Uttarakhand, in his key-note address, not only greeted the visitors to the conference, but also brilliantly communicated the virtues of love, compassion, charity, peace and harmony as reflected by Lord Buddha. Acknowledging the fact that he was immensely inspired by Lord Buddha, he emphasized the relevance of socio-spiritual practices of Buddhism. Lord Ashvaghosh Mahathera, Chairman of IBEI & Member of Minority Commission, Govt. of Uttarakhand, accentuated that the teachings of Mahatma Buddha can not only eradicate terrorism, corruption and other socio-economic problems of society, but also provide inner peace for making life pleasant and blissful. Moreover, Dr Madhu Chaturvedi recited a Buddhist poem in order to recall the glory of the enlightened Master.
In the first session, Global Peace Awards were given to five dignitaries of the world by His Excellency Dr K K Paul, Governor of Uttarakhand. The first award- ‘Symbol of Peace’ was conferred to His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama (in absentia). The award was received by venerable Geshe Dorji Damdul, Director, Tibet House, Cultural Center of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, New Delhi. Three ‘Global Peace Ambassador Awards’ were offered to Dr K Dora Malini Dias (Sri Lanka) for the preservation and development of Buddhist art and culture, venerable Gyanratna Mahathera (Bangladesh) for the propagation of Buddhism in Bangladesh, Thailand and Japan and venerable Bikshu Bodhijana (Nepal) for his meditation activities and teaching of Pali language in Nepal. The fifth award- ‘Global Outstanding Peace Activist Award’ was given to Ms Ratna Yashvante (Pune, India) for her philanthropic works. Thereafter, ‘Global Peace Leader Awards’ and ‘Peace Volunteer Awards’ were offered to more than two dozen personalities of the world. Besides, Baba Sanjeev Akanshi (Moradabad), Dr Abnish Singh Chauhan (SRMU, Delhi-NCR) and Abhinav Chauhan (Moradabad) were also felicitated with IBEI awards by Lord Ashvaghosh Mahathera and other dignitaries on the stage during this fantastic ceremony.
After lunch, Technical Session was started with the speakers from across the globe. Dr K Malini Dora Dias (Sri Lanka), Ven. J Dorji Damdul (New Delhi), Prof (Dr) Lalit Shyam (Assam), Dr W D Tissera (Sri Lanka), Dr Velusamy (Tamilnadu), Dr Anamika Chaudhary (Rajsthan), Mr Manoranjan Wijebhan (Sri Lanka), Sutthisa Satsadee (Thailand), Wai Pone Iq (Myanmar), Prof (Dr) Shekhar Chandra Joshi (Nainital), Mr Milind Ingole (Mumbai), Mr Siddharth Bansode (Aurangabad) and some other speakers highlighted the doctrines of Lord Buddha through the ages. The session was chaired by Ven. Gyanratna Mahathera (Bangladesh), Ven. Bodhijana (Nepal) and Lord Ashvaghosh Mahathera (India). In his presidential address, Ven. Gyanratna Mahathera (Bangladesh), dignifiedly exhorted that today is a memorable day as this conference is meant for higher education and cutting-edge research on the life and philosophy of Mahatma Buddha, and aimed at spreading His pious words to the masses. The first day function ended with a vote of thanks by Mr A H Otani, Secretary, YAC & IBEI.
The second day of the conference started with the gathering of visitors outside the hotel in order to visit the historical Buddha monasteries and meditation centers situated at Bahadurpur, Jaspur and Kashipur. The visitors enjoyed the journey and came back to the hotel at 3 o’clock on the same day. Thereafter, cultural programs were organized by IBEI’s artists, hailing from Patrani village, during the closing ceremony. The conference ended with a vote of thanks by Mr Chandan Ingole, Dy Secretary, YAC, Uttarakhand, followed by the national anthem.