Ulan-Ude, Republic of Buryatia

Traditional Oriental medicine discussion panel will be held at international Buddhist forum in Buryatia

The news was announced by Irina Dorzhieva, Deputy Chief of the Chief Executive and Government Administration in the Republic of Buryatia, at Russia Today international media group press center. The press conference was dedicated to the II International Buddhist Forum "Traditional Buddhism and Modern Challenges", which will be held in Buryatia on August 12-14, 2024.

The main topics for the discussion panels have already been outlined: "Buddhist education", "Buddhist concept of consciousness and its significance in modern practices", "Traditional Oriental medicine", "Buddhism and ecology", "International pilgrimage and tourism related to public diplomacy and modern economy", "Buddhism and traditional values".

– The first Buddhist forum showed that people in Buddhist countries are greatly interested in discussing religious issues and challenges of our time with Russia. The forum was successful because Buryatia is a center of Oriental studies and Buddhism: it is home to the 100-year-old Institute of Mongolian Studies, Buddhology and Tibetology, the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Buryatia has rich Buddhist funds and archives, museum relics, the center of ancient manuscripts, samples of world Buddhist art, the world's only copy of Atlas of Tibetan Medicine dated to the XIX century, as well as the precious imperishable body of Hambo Lama Etigelov, whose phenomenon is still under discussion. We received a lot of positive feedback from international participants about the first forum, so it was decided to hold the second one. "The Russian platform of the Buddhist forum is as neutral as possible, all its participants feel comfortable here," Irina Dorzhieva, Deputy Chief of Information Policy, Public Relations and Public Projects Chief Executive and Government Administration in the Republic of Buryatia said.

The Government of Buryatia, while preparing for the forum, is working closely with all the participants of the first forum and the departments involved in organizing the event. The work on the forum's program is being continued.

‒ In Buryatia everyone saw that a unique structural segment of the interaction between secular authorities and religious society was well-presented at a very high level. The second international Buddhist Forum will show this development to a greater extent. At present, our foundation is consolidating its work on international platforms in order to attract international scientists, teachers and other specialists in order to find interaction points with foreign countries in the field of education. "Last year, following the results of the first forum, the consortium of universities was created, which plans to implement certain educational initiatives this year," Alexey Shemyakin, Executive Director of the Foundation for the Promotion of Buddhist Education and Research said.

Sergey Lepekhov, Chief Researcher at the Institute of Mongolian Studies, Buddhology and Tibetology of SB RAS, believes that the uniqueness of Buddhism lies in the fact that during the whole time of its history Buddhists have acquired the ability to absorb and preserve a wide variety of cultures, achievements in philosophy and science. Today these achievements are becoming more and more relevant.

– Buddhist psychology is still ahead of Western psychology in terms of its degree of elaboration and understanding of problems, as well as in the development of certain practices. The same fact is true for medicine: Tibetan medicine originated a long time ago and on the grounds completely different from European medicine. While Europeans are used to first dividing everything into details and analyzing some specific things, Tibetan medicine approaches the treatment of a person as a whole: not an individual disease is treated but the whole body is treated as a whole. It is necessary only to preserve these traditional foundations in modern reality," Sergey Lepekhov says.

He also believes that the establishment of deep diplomatic relations between China and India has great prospects.

– Chinese Buddhism has influenced Buddhism in the entire far eastern region: in Korea, Japan, Vietnam, and so on. If we consider that Buddhism originated in India, it turns out that these two countries have the opportunity for great diplomatic contacts to establish some principles of traditional coexistence and well-being. Russia is also a Buddhist country, since Buddhism is a practiced religion in several regions. So, we hope that the upcoming forum will be even more successful and will have even greater achievements.

The II International Buddhist Forum "Traditional Buddhism and Modern Challenges" will bring together outstanding scientists, thinkers, public figures, mentors from dozens of countries around the world. The first forum was held in Ulan-Ude and Ivolginsky Datsan in August last year. The participants came from 14 countries, there were about a thousand people in total. The organizers of the first forum were the Government of the Republic of Buryatia, the Foundation for the Promotion of Buddhist Education and Research and the Buddhist Traditional Sangha of Russia with the support of the President, the Government and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Russia.