Sri Lankan and Indian Buddhists Strengthen Cultural Bonds
Buddhist monks from Sri Lanka visited Indian Buddhists in New Delhi in a meeting to strengthen the cultural understanding between the two groups.
Last month, 50 monks from India and Sri Lanka participated in a 2 day dialogue in New Delhi. The event was arranged by the International Buddhist Confederation, which is New Delhi based. The discussion covered a wide range of topics on the daily and spiritual lives of ordained Buddhist monks referred to as “Bhikkhu”. Using their different backgrounds as a base to launch into discussion, the groups talked about traditions and rituals that they do and don’t share. The main goal behind the event was to open communication between India and Sri Lanka through Buddhism.
The groups of Buddhist monks talked about everything from the amount of standard offenses in the code of conduct to the Bhikku lifestyle. They discussed bodies of literature that could be used as references for Buddhism as well as regular and traditional activities in their respective communities. The two countries have conceded that they wish to have a mutual understanding, respect, and close friendship between one another.
The abbot of the Garden Shartse Monastery, Venerable Gasha Khen Rinpoche Jangchup Choeden, said that “it is really important that India is the most important nation to the Sri Lanka and Sri Lanka is also a very important neighbor of India and if we have this kind of engagement that will definitely help us greatly to bring two different nations much closer and have a better respect based on mutual understanding.”
Venerable Banagala Upathissa Thero, the president of the Mahabodhi Society Sri Lanka, said, “We need to have closer relations with different countries so Buddhism is the main chain to have that relation with India because this is the single greatest gift that India has given to the world.”
On the final day of the event, the Dalai Lama met with the Sri Lankan delegation to further strengthen the relationship between the Buddhist organizations. He told the Sri Lankan monks, “I am convinced we can learn from each other, and this has been a good beginning.”