On the 12th of September, Bhante Buddharakkhita attended the 8th World Buddhist Summit (WBS) held in Tokyo, Japan. The summit is the supreme Buddhist conference representing over 370 million Buddhists in the world. It is organized with the cooperation of the United Nations as well as supreme Buddhist leaders around the globe. The 8th WBS was a 2-day global gathering of spiritual leaders, dignitaries, and enthusiasts from various corners of the world. Among the distinguished participants were delegates from the Kingdom of Thailand, the Kingdom of Bhutan, the Kingdom of Cambodia, representatives of the United Nations, and diplomatic envoys representing their respective countries. This international gathering provided an opportunity for the exchange of ideas and culture and fostered a sense of spiritual connection among the participants.
One of the key highlights of the summit was the official inauguration of Nalanda University, a prestigious institution of Buddhist learning. The establishment of this university, renowned for its ancient roots in India, underscores the enduring relevance of Buddhist principles in the contemporary world. It signifies wisdom and enlightenment, offering space for scholars and seekers to inquire into the profound and timeless teachings of the Buddha.
In addition, the 8th Summit installed a new president who will lead the global Buddhist community, encompassing all Buddhist traditions, including the Mahayana, Theravada, and Vajrayana (MTV). The new president is Most Venerable Dr. Shinkai Kori, Chief High Priest of the Nenbutsushu Buddhist Sect of Japan. The role of the President is fundamental in fostering cooperation, dialogue, and collaboration among Buddhist communities, promoting peace, compassion, and understanding.
Bhante was appointed as one of the Vice Presidents of the World Buddhist Summit, representing the African continent. This recognition not only celebrates his dedication and tireless efforts but also sheds light on the growing influence of Buddhism in Africa. Bhante’s work at the Uganda Buddhist Center has been instrumental in spreading the teachings of Buddha, promoting mindfulness, and creating a harmonious community. UBC is now a major initiative providing a stable source of Buddhism in Africa. During the summit, a video presentation showcasing Buddhist activities and programs at the Uganda Buddhist Center depicted the vibrant Buddhist community in Uganda, highlighting its commitment to humanitarian initiatives, meditation practices, and the promotion of inner peace.
As we reflect upon this momentous event, we are reminded of the unifying power of spirituality, which bridges cultural divides and nurtures a world of peace and compassion.
May the teachings of Buddhism continue to illuminate our shared path toward a more peaceful and harmonious future!