This publication is a collection of papers presented at the four-day International conference on Mahayana Buddhism history and culture organized by Tibet House at India international centre of New Delhi in November 2005. The inspiration for this conference had come form his Holiness the Dali Lama keenness to promote a scientific and comprehensive study of the various aspects of Mahayana Buddhism including the history, art, literature and symbolism.
Mahayana Buddhism has thriven on logic and analysis profound exercise in Shamatha and Vipashyana and a relentless scientific security and study of the mind. It does not fight shy of the tests of contemporary scientific investigation and sees no reason why open-minded scientific inquiry should ignore the findings that the Mahayana tradition holds dear.
Eminent scholars and participants from sixteen countries gathered to explore synchronically possibilities in order to gain insights. His holiness the Dalai Lama has very kindly given the inaugural address and Ven. Bhikku pasadika. Hon Prof. Dr. Micheal Hahn Philips University Marburg Germany Prof. Jose Cabezon University of California Santa Barbara USA Prof. M. Darrol Bryant University of Waterloo Canada Prof. Linnart Mall University of Tartu Estonia Klimburg Salter university of Vienna Austria Dr. Chhaya Bhattacharya haesner, Museum of Indian Art in Berlin Germany Dr. Christian Luczanits University of Viema Austria Prof. Ramesh Chandra Tiwari chief editor of the Encyclopedia of Himalayan Studies Prof. Hari Shankar Prasad University of Delhi Dr. Wangchuk Dorjee Negi and Dr. Jampa Samten from Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies sarnath Dr. Mathew Varghese University of Madras and others were the speakers of the conference.
The conference was made possible with the financial support of the Department of culture and tourism. Government of India the Prince Claus Fund from the Netherlands as well as the sponsors Mrs. Elinore Detiger From Scotland Rev. gensi Ito and Prof. Shunzo Onoda from Japan.
The whole material is voluntarily edited by Prof. M. Darrol Bryant from University of Waterloo, Canada and Mrs. Susan Bryant it is being published for the benefit of Future discussion.
We would like to thank all the speakers moderators and participants and particularly to Ms. Louurien Wijers and Ven Kabir Saxena for Facilitating the conference and to Prof. Dennis Hirota for contributing an article on Shinran. My thanks are also due to Tsering Wangyal for checking through the final manuscript carefully and compiling the materials together.
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