Bhutan is host to the International Conference on “ Tradition and Innovation in Vajrayna Buddhism: A Mandala of 21st Century Perspectives” at Royal Institute of Tourism and Hospitality, Motithang in Thimphu.
The conference is being organised by Central Monastic Body and Centre for Bhutan Studies. The three days conference is from 1st July to 3rd July with participants from around 37 countries.
The Prime Minister welcome the participants stating that it is a special year for Bhutan firstly, because it is Guru Rinpoche’s birth anniversary, secondly the year marks the 400th anniversary year of the arrival of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel and thirdly, it is special year because of the birth of HRH the Gyalsey Jigme Namgyel Wangchuck to His Majesty the King and Her Majety the Queen of Bhutan.
The PM said, “We hope that such exchangeswill become a periodic event, that will both draw on and enrich the experience of scholars and practitioners from across the world as the Vajrayna Buddhist tradition continues to grow and expand globally.”
Lyonchhen said Buddha advised to take nothing on faith, but to investigate all things with intelligence and discernment. This is also the essence of the scientific worldview.
“What will be presented during the course of the conference may challenge some of your cherished assumptions, but expanding your minds and imaginations and taking all these diverse perspectives and points of view into account is what the conference is all about,” the PM said.
The PM said that Bhutan offers an ideal context for this discussion, as it is the last remaining Himalayan Buddhist Kingdom where the Vajrayna teachings have continued unbroken since the 8th century.
He said that the conference is not only about what, “We Bhutanese can share with all of you who have come from across the world to experience Vajrayna Buddhism in its living context. We ourselves will benefit greatly by learning more about the forms that Vajrayana Buddhism has adopted in Mongolia, India, Nepal, Myannmar, Russia, Australia, Brazil, Japan, China, Europe, and the United States.”