New Delhi: India will highlight the common Buddhist heritage at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization heads of government virtual meeting.
The meeting will take place on November 30 and India is the host of the meet. New Delhi, as protocol, invited all the member states of SCO–Pakistan, China, Russia, and the four central Asian countries Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.
When it comes to SCO countries, from China to Kyrgyzstan to several parts of Russia has a strong Buddhist legacy, cultural and religious impact. Kyrgyzstan has several of its Buddhist cultural heritages being renovated by Japan.
Russia’s Kalmykia has a huge population following Buddhism and regard Dalai Lama as their spiritual leader. Buddhism reached China from India in the first century CE. Visit by Chinese Buddhist monk Xuanzang to India in AD 630s has been much talked about.
When it comes to Buddhism, India has been taking a number of steps internationally to signify the shared cultural heritage. India will soon host a major conference on Buddhist studies starting next year that will see the participation of Buddhist scholars from across the world.
Gautama Buddha founder of Buddhism achieved enlightenment in India’s Bodh Gaya. The place is visited by thousands of pilgrims from across the world every year.
During the India-Sri Lanka virtual summit, India announced a $15million grant to Sri Lanka to deepening people-to-people linkages between the two countries in the sphere of Buddhism. The grant will be used for the construction and renovation of Buddhist cultural sites in the Indian ocean country, archaeological cooperation, the reciprocal study of Lord Buddha’s relics, strengthening of Buddhist scholarship, and supporting the clergy.
With ASEAN, India shares cultural heritage especially Buddhism, and sees an increase in tourists from the grouping. Kushinagar’s Airport has been designated as an international airport. Uttar Pradesh’s Kushinagar is the place where it is believed that Buddha attained Parinirvana or death after achieving Nirvana.