Global Buddhist Peace Festival kicks off Saturday
Vijayawada: The largest online global chant for world peace is all set to take place here as part of a peace festival that kicks off on Saturday. The chant is a part of first-of-its-kind festival of Buddhist Heritage, titled "Global Shanti: Amaravati Buddhist Heritage Festival" and will kick off on Saturday.
Hosted by Andhra Pradesh Tourism Authority, the festival will reach its culmination on Feb 5. Over 1,000 monks and artists from different countries will participate in the festival and a greater number of participants are expected to join for the global chant that will take place on Sunday.
Led from the festival site by esteemed guests of honour from all three rafts of Buddhism, Theravada, Vajrayana and Mahayana, the chant will unite Monks, Bhikkhunis, lay Buddhists and people of all faiths across the globe. The festival will attempt a World Record by bringing together the world community to simultaneously chant at a common time from their respective locations by digitally connecting with the event.
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. To establish that people from all different cultures, religions and age are connected to each other when they chant, a short video has been created which shows that whatever people's personal reasons for chanting are, they are united in the practice of chanting for world peace.
"We're happy to host a first-of-its-kind Buddhist festival that will bring together monks, patrons and artists from different parts of the world right here in Andhra Pradesh. Global Shanti is not only a festival but a global movement towards the Buddhist tenets of peace and universal brotherhood," said Mukesh Kumar Meena, Secretary to Government, Tourism & Culture, Government of Andhra Pradesh.
Revolving around the universal message of peace, the ‘Global Shanti' - Amaravati Buddhist Heritage Festival will bring out the essence of Buddhism through a unique blend of chanting, meditation, exhibition, food, heritage walks, performances and philosophical talks by popular scholars and practitioners.
Padmashri Shovana Narayan, one of India's most celebrated Kathak Gurus, will also be performing at the festival. Besides 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 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.