– The Embassy of India in Phnom Penh in collaboration with Preah Sihanoukraja Buddhist University organised a Regional Buddhist Conference (RBC) in Cambodia on the subject “Buddhism in Literature in South East Asia” in virtual mode on Oct. 25.

The conference was presided over by H.E. Samdech Preah Maha Ariyavamsa Dr. Khy Sovanratana, Acting Rector of Preah Sihanoukraja Buddhist University (SBU) and Ven. Dr. Dhammapiya, Secretary General of International Buddhist Confederation (IBC).

The conference was live streamed on the social media and saw participation by eminent scholars/academicians from various regional Buddhist institutes from Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, etc.

According to the embassy, the event focused on sharing the knowledge, experiences and influences on Buddhism in literatures of countries in South-East Asia. It also examined the related languages of Pali and Sanskrit literature in the literature of these countries.

Some of the aspects on Buddhism covered during the conference included (i) Dhammapadatthakatha: Conceptual Influence on Buddhist Way of Life and Peace in South East Asia; (ii) Main Sources of Getting Rebirth for the Beings Regarding the Thai Literature: Traibhumikatha; (iii) Buddhist Contribution in Khmer Literature; (iv) Influence of Buddhism on Lao culture; (v) A Critical Study of Cambodian Pchum Ben Buddhist Festival with special reference to Tirokkudda Kanda Sutta; (vi) Contribution of Pali Literature in Cambodia; (vii) Pali Texts Translation Program by Dhammavihari Buddhist Studies, the source pointed out.

Addressing the conference, H.E. Dr. Devyani Khobragade, Ambassador of India, while paying homage to the Triple Gem- Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha, expressed her gratitude to Dr. Khy Sovanaratana, Acting Reactor, Dr. Yong Seng Yeath, Vice Rector and Ven. Sam Art Oeun of Preah Sihanoukraja University and all the Venerable Masters, Professors, Speakers, monks and participants in the International Conference on behalf of the International Buddhist Confederation (IBC) based in India, Government of India, Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR).

Expressing pleasure of presiding over the concluding ceremony of the conference, H.E. Ambassador thanked speakers for scope and the depth of the presentations made not only showcasing the geographic expanse of the Buddhist influence emanating from India all over the South East Asia but the syngestic exchange of the Buddhist values and traditions through the existing culture of the region. Highlighting cultural and historical bonds between India and South East Asian countries including Cambodia, she noted India in South Asia and Cambodia in Southeast are in many ways connected to each other with common faith of Buddhism being the strongest bridge. She hoped for such endeavours in future possibly in an offline format, once the COVID situation improves.

H.E. Dr. Devyani Khobragade appreciated the deliberations on how the Buddhist literature and scriptures from various countries have influenced the living traditions of Buddhism in Southeast Asia. She appreciated the upholding of traditions, philosophy, values and ideals of Buddhism and urged the attending speakers to dedicate the merits of the RBC to the people of India and South East Asia.

This followed Ven. Dr. Khy Sovanratana expressing satisfaction over successful conclusion of the conference and made special reference of Indian Ambassador and officials from SBU of making this happen. He also expressed his gratitude towards eminent scholars/academicians from various South East Asian countries for enlightening about the rich philosophy and values of Buddhism and hoped for more such productive interactions in future as Cambodia will be the Chair of ASEAN in 2022 and host the Sea Games in 2023.

Source: Agency Kampuchea Press

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