Newly elected secretary general of the International Buddhist Confederation Dr Dhammapiya addressing media in Agartala on Thursday. Photo : Pinaki Das

A Buddhist monk Dr Dhammapiya from Tripura’s Manubankul has been elected as the new secretary general of the International Buddhist Confederation (IBC), a global forum for the preservation and development of Buddhist heritage sites in India and abroad.

Dhammapiya, who was elected unopposed at the second general assembly of the IBC held in New Delhi, is the Founder and Chairman of the Dhamma Dipa International Buddhist Academy of novices and young monks.

More than 150 international participants, several distinguished monks of various Buddhist traditions and monasteries, scholars and other Buddhists met for two days to elect a new Secretary General and new members of the governing councils beside discussions on the methodology for spreading the tradition ideals and the message of Buddha and of Buddhism across the world.

Speaking to reporters here Buddhist monk Dr Dhammapiya on Thursday said that only education, peace and love can develop the world and not violence. He also criticised the incidents taking place at Myanmar.

International Buddhist Confederation is the biggest religious Buddhist confederation, based in Delhi. The architect of the International Buddhist Confederation is Lama Lobzang. This confederation is named as the first organization which unites Buddhists from the whole world.

Buddhist monk
Representational map of Tripura.

Actually the ethnic Chakma, Mog and Barua tribal communities of Tripura have been traditionally Buddhists. Mog (Burmese origin), Chakma, Barua and Uchai are the followers of Buddhism in Tripura. The total Buddhist population in Tripura is around 2,00,000 (0.2 million) of the total population 3.5 millions.

There are around 200 Buddhist monasteries and 250 Buddhist monks in the state. Almost all the monasteries are small, made of bamboo and straw. The Buddhists in Tripura are financially very weak and most of them live in villages. Almost all the Buddhists in Tripura are the followers of Theravada Buddhism. Their cultural background and customs resemble with that of Burmese and Thai Buddhist tradition.

The Mog Buddhists have close affinity with Burmese Buddhism in all socio-cultural and religious aspects. Though they live in Tripura, almost all Dhamma books (Tipiíaka, Aííhakathâ, Burmese [Myanmar] Translationss etc.) are brought from Myanmar and Dharma teaching is done in Burmese [Myanmar] script. The dialect that the Mog people speak is similar to that of Burmese [Myanmar] and Arakanese [Rakhine] language with little variation in pronunciation, but the script is the same (Burmese [Myanmar] script).

     The Chakma and Barua are also followers of Theravada Buddhism. Their language and cultural background find close affinity with that of Bengali. The three major Buddhist communities of Tripura, viz. Mog, Chakma and Barua, have close relation with each other and observe vassa, Buddha Purima, Kaíhina Cîvara Dâna etc. in uniformity.

 

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