Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Sirpur (International Buddhist Conclave and Cultural Festival)

Dr. Ambedkar said, Society, which have no history, history teaches that it's survival will not be longer. So, you have to create history. However, we have enriched history. We are Buddhist. It is the Buddhist Era, which had crowned this Bharat as 'Vishva Guru'.

In history, this Buddhist Land was not only known by its incredible knowledge but it was also known by it entrepreneur/trading centers. Sirpur was one of them
Sirpur, a historical Buddhist town dates back in the time of Lord Buddha on the bank of river Mahanadi in South Kosal, at present called Chhattisgarh region. As per historical and Texual evidences, Sirpur was a capital of then South Kosal. In 'Avadaanshatak' a Buddhist text, there is mention of stay of Lord Buddha in South Kosal when a condition of war is emerged between the king Presenjit of North Kosal and the king of South Kosal.

HieunTsang, a Chineese Pilgrim, had visited this place in 639 AD.He wrote details about this place during his visit. He also mentioned that Asoka had built a Stupa and other buildings in the capital of South Kosala. According to him, Nagarjuna, a famous Buddhist monk and philosopher was living in a vihara near the capital city Sirpur of South Kosala somewhere between first and second century.

The Arang stone of Panduwansi king Bhavdeva Ranakesari mentioned that he had constructed an Abode of Buddha which was earlier erected by king Suryaghosa in memory of his dead son. This inscription clearly records that Bhavadeva Ranakesari was himself a follower of Lord Buddha.

The excavation at Sirpur, an ancient capital city of South Kosala revealed about 10 Viharas, Sculptures, 79 Bronze idols and other antiquities.  A study of Buddhist remains  reveals that Buddhist establishment was flourished in this area up to 13 century AD.The excavation also revealed 22 shiva Temples, 4 Vishnu Temple, 3 Jain Viharas, 6th century an Ayurvedic Snaan Kund(treatment cent re), underground granary market at the monastery, puts Sirpur in the list of the richest archaeological sites. The Gandeshwar MahadevTemple, Laxman Temple and Ram Temple are other important sites of Sirpur.

Brick construction and underground rooms stand testimony to a mystical era.The six feet tall statue of Buddha torching the earth is an example of unmatched design and architectural brilliance. The Anandprabhu Kuti Vihar, the Swastika Vihar....revealed Buddha statue and metal idols relating to Buddhist era.

Sirpur is still laying unexcavated and unexplored and it requires extensive academic documentation to bring it on the fore-front along with other Buddhist heritage sites included in the list of UNSCO World Heritage Sites as well as proposed Buddhist Circuit in India.

His holiness Dalai Lama, the Tibetan Buddhsit Guru has visited this place in March 2013. He again came in Jan. 2014  and visited the 'Chand Dai Caves' on the hill of Sighadhurva having 15 caves located around 17 km from Sirpur.
Thanks to the Buddhists and Ambedkarites friends of Chhatisgarh region who woke-up and take up the call of their guide Dr.Babasaheb Ambedkar having organised a International Buddhist Conclave and Cultural Festival (23 to 25 Dec. 2017) at this place to bring it on the fore-front of Buddhist world.

On this occassion, Seminars, Presentations by eminent International Scholars, Dhamma Desana by Ven. Bhikkhu Sangha, Dhamm-discussion and other many cultural activities were held there.

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