INDIA’S LARGEST BUDDHIST HERITAGE FESTIVAL TO BEGIN IN VIJAYAWADA ON FEB 3

Buddhist monks Praying (1)

INDIA’S LARGEST BUDDHIST HERITAGE FESTIVAL TO BEGIN IN VIJAYAWADA ON FEB 3

The event, titled Global Shanti, will attempt to create a world record by organizing the largest online chanting session on world peace

VIJAYAWADA : The whole world will reverberate with the largest ever online chant for world peace on the evening of February 4, 2018, as part of first-of-its-kind festival of Buddhist heritage being held in Vijayawada by the Andhra Pradesh Tourism Authority, Govt. of Andhra Pradesh.

Spread across three days from February 3-5, 2018, “Global Shanti – Amaravati Buddhist Heritage Festival” will revolve around the universal message of peace and brotherhood. It will bring out the essence of Buddhism through a blend of chanting, meditation, exhibition and food, along with spiritual discourses by scholars and cultural performances by world-renowned artists.

Over 1,000 monks and artists will participate in the festival and a greater number of participants from different countries will join the global online chant for world peace.The event will bring together the world community to simultaneously chant at a common time from their respective locations by digitally connecting with the event. Those wishing to participate can log in to https://globalshanti.in/ for live stream at 6.30pm IST (1pm GMT) on February 4, 2018.

The chant will be led from the festival site in Vijayawada by guests of honour from all three rafts of Buddhism – Theravada, Vajrayana and Mahayana – with a view to unite all faiths across the globe. For those new to chanting, instructions and the words to be chanted will be provided and anyone young or old, of any race or religion, will be able to participate.
Said Hon’ble Minister of Tourism, Govt. of Andhra Pradesh, Ms Bhuma Akhila Priya: “Andhra Pradesh is among the richest states culturally when it comes to Buddhism, with a multitude of heritage sites and followers. Through Global Shanti – Amaravati Buddhist Heritage Festival, we want to open the doors for the world to come and experience Buddhist culture. It not only a festival but a global movement towards the Buddhist tenets of peace and universal brotherhood.”

Participants at the festival include Ven. Bhikkuni Kusuma, a Buddhist nun who pioneered the re-establishment of the Theravada Female Buddhist Order in Sri Lanka;Siri Rama (Singapore), Co-founder, Director, Kanaka Sabha Performing Arts Center; Prajwal Ratna Vajracharya (USA), priest of one of the Vajrayana Buddhist lineages of Nepal and a ritual master both of the Charya Nritya dance tradition; Rajesh Dhabre (Mumbai), a leading composer of modern music dedicated to Lord Buddha; Maitreya Children’s Choir (Bodh Gaya) who will recite the Heart Sutras and The Lion and Yak Dance from the famous Tawang Monastery.
Padmashri Shovana Narayan, one of India’s most celebrated Kathak Gurus, will also be performing at the festival. Narayan’s ‘Shunyata’, first performed in Delhi with The Monks of Palpung Sherabling Monastic Seat, is a dance ballet essaying the philosophy of Lord Buddha.

A special exhibition is planned to showcase Buddhist heritage sites and the art of Andhra Pradesh. Heritage walks across the city and nearby sites will also be held during the course of the three-day event. This is in addition to a host of curated tours, which will be run across the state at a nominal fee.

Andhra Pradesh has 200+ important Buddhist sites dating back to the 3rd Century B.C. and is an important center for pilgrimage and study. The state is home to The Great Buddhist Stupa in Amaravati which is the largest in India. Close by is the Nagarjunakonda Island, an ancient center of Buddhist learning, which houses 2000-year old Relic Caskets and beautiful sculptural Buddhist Art.

More details about the festival can be found at https://globalshanti.in/

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