The Ocean of Buddhist Wisdom Vol. I, is an Anthology of the selected papers presented in English by the scholars in the First and Second Annual conferences of the Indian Society for Buddhist Studies at Nalanda and Jammu in Aug. 2001 and March 2003 respectively. The Society provides a common academic platform to the researchers and teachers working on various aspects of Buddhist Studies and hence the varieties of articles in the present volume. Efforts have been made to measure literary (Pali, Sanskrit, Chinese, Tibetan, Thai etc.) historical (including general history, art, architecture, archaeology etc.), philosophical, cultural, social and such other perspectives of multifaceted and multicoloured Buddhism in this volume.
About the Author
Prof. Satya Prakash Sharma, President, ISBS and Editor-in Chie is the Chairman, Dept. of Sanskrit, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh. It is because of his able and dynamic leadership as well as minute analytical, acumen and keen interest that the present volume has seen the light of day. An erudite scholar of Sanskrit and Pali as well as Indian philosophy and culture, Prof. Sharma and made a respectable place for himself in the world of scholarship.
Dr. Baidyanth Labh, Secretary, ISBS and Editor is indeed the real spirit behind the successful organization of various annual Conferences of the Society and publication of the present volume. Presently working as Reader in the Dept. of Buddhist Studies, University of Jammu, Jammu, Dr. Labh combines in him a blend of serious researcher, dedicated as well as a popular teacher and a visionary in the arena of Buddhist studies.
Dr. Vijay Kr. Singh joint Secretary, ISBS and Co-Editor is the Chairman, Dept. of Chinese and Tibetan, Panjab University Chandigarh. This energetic young scholar has played an exemplary role in popularizing Buddhist Studies in general and Tibetan Buddhism in particular. It is mainly because of his innovative ideas and efforts that the Indian Society for Buddhist Studies has crossed the boundaries of Indian and is attracting international. Buddhist Scholarship towards it, resulting in gradually increasing number.
Prof. Anita Billawaria, Treasurer, ISBS and Co-Editor is the Director Center for the History and Culture of Jammu and Ladakh Regions, University of Jammu, Jammu manages the financial responsibilities of ISBS. She has contributed significantly in editing the volume. She has a deep understanding of the history and culture of ancient India specially that of Jammu and Ladakh regions and his been writing profusely on the artistic aspects of this region.
It is a matter of great pleasure for all of us that despite acing many hurdles-natural as well as created, the Indian society or Buddhist Studies (ISBS) is marching towards its goal steadily. Our years have elapsed since we had met at Nalanda (precisely August 11-12-2001) and had pledged to take the ISBS further by providing a common academic platform and bringing the scholars, researchers and admirers of Buddhist Studies working on its various aspects and at various institutions to share their researches and views on the subject. It is indeed heartening to note that during this short period of infancy, about 300 scholars have showed their committed support by joining the ISBS as Founder Donating -cum-Life Members and Annual Members. This number is ever increasing and inspiring.
The members have been meeting every year in encouraging number in our Annual Conferences held at Nalanda (Aug. 2002), Jammu (March 2003), Aligarh (March 2004) and Jaipur (October 2004). The fifth Annual Conference is the next link in the same chain. It is being hosted by Prof. Bhikshu Satyapala, Head, Dept. of Buddhist Studies, Delhi University, Delhi-the first Indian University to formally start the teaching of Buddhist Studies way back in the second half of 1950s.
Our deliberations have ultimately started taking concrete shape and hence this Volume with the title-'The Ocean of Buddhist Wisdom, Volume-I'. Though we could not publish the proceedings earlier due to certain unavoidable reasons, we have succeeded partly, as the present volume covers the papers of the Nalanda and Jammu sessions only. Our efforts will be to become updated and be regular in future; which may however, take some more time. The present volume contains papers presented in English at the first and second conferences. It has been observed that some papers lack serious investigation into and serious analysis of the problem. Therefore, all paper could not be accommodated in the volume and some of them have been deleted from inclusion.
It has been decided by the Editorial Board to publish English and Hindi (which may include papers presented in Pali as well as Sanskrit) versions separately under the titles 'The Ocean of Buddhist Wisdom' (Vols. 1, 2, 3, 4..) in Hindi.
We appeal our esteemed delegated and members to lend more attention and seriousness while writing their papers and make them more research oriented which could reflect their originality and depth of understanding of the subject taken up.
We express our hearty gratitude to Prof. Sanghasen Singh and Dr. Bimalendra Kumar for their untiring efforts in raising the superstructure of the ISBS.
Our indebtedness is due to Prof. A. K. Narain who very kindly had consented to be the first General President of the ISBS at its Inaugural conference at Nalanda (Aug. 2001); ana had given a novel and revealing definition of 'Buddhist Studies'. It is an eye-opener for those who intend and try to confine this vast subject unnecessarily and enjoy fighting in the name of Pali and Buddhist Studies.
Although it does not proper to thank the members of Editorial Board, I cannot resist from gratefully mentioning the visionary thinking and management of Prof. S. P. Sharma, our President, and the untiring efforts of Dr. V. K. Singh, our Jt. Secretary in preparing the first draft of the volume as well as generosity of Prof. Anita Billawaria, our Treasurer which became instrumental in publishing this volume.
We extend our sincere thanks to all the contributors of this volume for their valuable articles. We are thankful even to those member scholars who participated in the deliberations of the Conferences.
At the end, we express our and heartfelt thanks to Shri Subhash Jain, Shri Deepak Jain and the whole team of their New Bharatiya Book Corporation for taking pains in bringing out this volume.
Despite careful and minute proof reading as well as editing, some errors still remain in the volume, for which we regret and assure that there will be continuous efforts for improvement in our next volumes.
Hope the volume will serve the cause of students, researchers as well as teachers of Buddhist Studies in particular and those interested in it in particular.
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