Asian Buddhist Peace Conference Celebrates 50th Anniversary in Mongolia – Buddhistdoor Global
The 11th General Assembly of the Asian Buddhist Peace Conference (ABCP) was held in the Mongolian capital Ulaanbaatar from June 21-23, with delegates from Mongolia, as well as Cambodia, India, Nepal, Russia, South Korea, Sri Lanka and Vietnam, with a Tibetan delegation led by Venerable Thupten Ngodup, the Nechung Kuten, with representatives from all major Buddhist traditions.
The conference, titled “Buddhist Heritage and Values in the 21st Century”, marked the 50th anniversary of the ABCP, first convened under the aspiration of Asian countries to preserve their cultural heritage by disseminating the Buddha’s teachings and promoting the wisdom and compassion to ensure peace.
The event was hosted by Mongolia’s largest monastery, Gandan Tegchenling, founded in 1809 by the Gelug school of Vajrayana Buddhism, and the institutional and cultural center of Mongolian Buddhism. The monastery’s abbot, His Eminence the Khamba Lama Gabju Choijamts Demberel, is the country’s highest-ranking Buddhist leader. He is also president of the Asian Buddhist Peace Conference and head of the Center for Mongolian Buddhists.
Among the leaders who participated in the conference were the most senior Buddhist of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Buryatia, the 24th Pandito Khambo Lama Damba Badmayevich Ayusheev; the Grand Lama of the Kalmyk people, Telo Tulku Rinpoche, who is also the Dalai Lama’s honorary representative for Russia, Mongolia and members of the Commonwealth of Independent States; and the Grand Lama of the Tuvan people, Lopsan Chamzy.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama delivered a video message for the congregation, which was introduced during the opening ceremony by Telo Tulku Rinpoche. His Holiness noted that the Sakya tradition of Tibetan Buddhism was first known in Mongolia during the time of Drogon Chogyal Phagpa (the fifth head of the Sakya school). Then, following the Omniscient Sonam Gyatso (the third Dalai Lama), the tradition of Je Tsongkhapa spread throughout the country.
The Dalai Lama pointed out that over the following centuries a large number of Mongolian scholars and accomplished masters had emerged, noting that during his own lifetime many scholars and geshes in the three monastic universities (Drepung, Gaden and Sera) have made outstanding contributions to the Buddhadharma. His Holiness expressed his gratitude for holding the ABCP assembly in Mongolia and urged Mongolians to study Buddhist philosophy, as even modern Western scientists pay attention to Buddhist philosophy.
Among the distinguished guests was the President of Mongolia, Khaltmaagiin Battulga. Speaking at the opening ceremony, he said, “Mongolia has always supported the Asian Buddhist Peace Conference, and it has been seen as a valuable contribution by Mongolians not only to ensuring world peace but also to maintaining its values, which are still valid today. . Guided by the teachings of the compassionate Buddha, during the difficult times of the Cold War, the Asian Buddhist Peace Conference made its voice heard not only in Asia but throughout the world. Moreover, it presented new opportunities for long-term cultural, educational and economic cooperation where human rights, freedom and unity are respected. Consequently, the conference was registered as an observer with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations in 1988 in recognition of its contribution to the welfare of humanity through its actions for peace. (Office of the President of Mongolia)
The closing ceremony included a dinner reception and cultural performances in Gandan Teckchenling’s Battsagan Hall.
The Asian Buddhist Peace Conference is a voluntary mass movement of Asian Buddhists reflecting their sincere aspirations to realize the ideals of peace, justice and human dignity. Its aim is to unite the efforts of Buddhists for the consolidation of universal peace, harmony and cooperation among the peoples of Asia.
The history of the organization dates back to 1968, when three prominent Buddhist monks, Ven. Khamba Lama Samagiin Gombojav (Mongolia), Ven. Khamba Lama Jambaldorj Gomboev (USSR) and Ven. Kushok Bakula Rinpoche (India) – met in Buryatia to discuss the state of Buddhism in the region and to explore the possibility of establishing a Buddhist organization. In July 1969, Ven. Sumanatissa and Ven. Wipulasara (Sri Lanka), Ven. Jinaratana (India) and Ven. Amritananda (Nepal) traveled to Ulaanbaatar at the invitation of Khamba Lama Gombojav. During their meeting, they agreed to establish an international Buddhist organization in the Mongolian capital.
On June 13, 1970, another meeting was held in Ulaanbaatar, setting a resolution to establish an international organization called the Asian Buddhist Committee for Promoting Peace. The first general assembly was held in the city and Ven. Gombojav was elected president. At the Third General Assembly in New Delhi in 1974, the current name of the organization was adopted, and in the same year His Holiness the Dalai Lama attended the forum and became a member of the ABCP.
The ABCP, one of the few religious organizations registered with the United Nations, has since convened 11 general assemblies in Mongolia, Sri Lanka, India, Japan and Laos.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama delivers a special message to the 11th General Assembly of the Asian Buddhist Peace Conference (Central Tibetan Administration)
11th Asian Buddhist Peace Conference concludes with strongest representation of Tibetan Buddhist tradition (Central Tibetan Administration)
Remarks by President Khaltmaagiin Battulga to the 11th General Assembly of the Asian Buddhist Peace Conferencee (Office of the President of Mongolia)