South Asian Conference on Guru Padmasambhava
The Centre for Bhutan Studies, Thimphu and Centre for Escalation of Peace, Delhi conducted a joint event on the 14th and 15th of June 2016 in Paro, Bhutan to commemorate the Birth Anniversary of Guru Padmasambhava, also known as Guru Rinpoche, an Indian Buddhist master. The 15th of June is a very auspicious occasion for the Vajrayana Buddhist world and is of particular importance to various regions in India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Bhutan and Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) who have been celebrating Guru as the ‘Second Buddha’ since the 8th century.
In every 60-year cycle and lunar calendar, there is an extraordinary conjunction of auspicious horoscopic year and month; Guru was born in the monkey month in the monkey year. That is why this year is particularly significant. The birth anniversary of Guru falls on 14th June by Tibetan lunar calendar and on 15th June by Bhutanese lunar calendar
This was the first time that such an event was held on a regional basis that added to the various efforts made to accentuate the inherent similarities in terms of arts, culture and spiritual consciousness of the region. It also enables us to come together to recognise and recapitulate the shared cultural processes centred on Guru.
A distinguished set of spiritual leaders and scholars who exemplify the vitality and valence of Guru in their respective regions attended the conference. The general aim of the event was to promote a wider awareness in the common heritage of Guru who has been a strong aspect of cultural unity from the Hindu Kush to the Eastern Himalayas. In order to enhance this strand of unity, the event was covered by influential media from India, Nepal, Bhutan and other countries.
- To promote public awareness of the common heritage of Guru in Southeast Asia and abroad through extensive media coverage
- To promote Guru’s common philosophy and culture in the Southeast Asian communities with special reference to peace and harmony
- To renew the strand of Southeast Asian unity from the Hindu Kush to the Eastern Himalayas brought by Guru
- To highlight, preserve and reinvigorate the positive ecological consequences of the Guru’s holy places throughout Hindu Kush-Himalayan region
- To strengthen scholasticism on the importance of Guru in Southeast Asia, especially in the Hindu Kush – Himalayan region
- To promote trajectories of pilgrims-oriented travels following Guru’s footsteps in Southeast Asia and beyond
- To celebrate the flowering of Guru’s cultural forms and expressions