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Centre for Buddhist Studies

Bhasha-Bhavana, Visva-Bharati

 

Santiniketan
 
A Brief history on the development of the Bhavana /Sadana/Vibhaga concerned by the Department
 
            Rabindranath Tagore favoured to open educational departments for learning and researches on various aspects of Buddhism through languages like Sanskrit, Pali, Chinese and Tibetan. The invitation of Sylvain Levi (1863-1935) in 1921 to Santiniketan may be termed as the starting of scientific research on Buddhist Studies at Visva-Bharati. Rabindranath Tagore himself was a student in the classes of Professor Levi in the early twenties along with M.V. Shastri and P.C. Bagchi (1898-1856). The research contributions of P.C. Bagchi and M.V. Shastri to Buddhist Studies through the medium of Chinese, Tibetan and Japanese at Visva-Bharati became of extreme importance for later scholar generations.
            In 1925 the Italian Government under Mussolini sent Giuseppe Tucci (1895-1984), an Italian scholar of oriental cultures, specializing in Tibet and History of Buddhism to Santiniketan, where he taught Italian and Chinese languages and also studied Buddhism, Tibetan and Bengali. He remained in India till 1931.
            With the establishment of Cheena Bhavana by Rabindranath Tagore and Prof. Tan Yun-Shan in 1937 to promote peace and harmony and building up of the ‘Great Unity’ of the world, and the opening of Certificate and Diploma courses in Indo-Tibetan and Japanese under P.C. Bagchi in 1954, Buddhist Studies continued in study and research in separate Department of Visva-Bharati. Great contributors to Buddhist Studies in the last decades were by venerable mChi.Med Rig. ’Dzin Lama (1954-1985), Lama Chimpa (1928-2011) and S.K. Pathak (born 1924).
            The Centre for Buddhist Studies at Visva-Bharati was established under the UGC Scheme of Social Epoch Making Thinkers in 2005 by the then Head of the Department of Indo-Tibetan Studies, Dr. Narendra Dash. Due to his unexpected and sad demise in the same year, the Centre was only launched in July 2007 with Prof. Dr. Andrea Loseries, the new Head of the Department of Into-Tibetan Studies, as Director.
            It is an interdisciplinary and interdepartmental forum. The activities of the Centre are : International Seminars and Workshops, Special Lectures, Class Lectures, Film shows, exhibitions and research programs and publications (Buddhist World Pres, New Delhi).
 

Centre does not enroll any student. It has no teachers too. It only generates awareness among young students of Visva-Bharati through seminars and workshops etc and through its research publications.


 

The awareness generation activities by the Centre are as follows.

1.    25.01.2016: National Seminar: ‘Buddhism and Dharmasastra Tradition of India’.

2.    27-28 March, 2016: International Seminar: ‘Life and Lore of Buddha in the Literature of Asvaghosa’.

3.    29-31 March, 2016: Talks Series: ‘Yoga: Buddhist and Other ancient Indian Systems’.

4.    19-21 June, 2016: International Seminar: ‘Yoga: Buddhist and Other Ancient Indian Systems’.

5.    18-19 February, 2018: International Seminar: ‘Buddhist Influence on Sanskrit’.

6.    02-09 December, 2018: International Workshop: ‘Buddhism and Humanity’.

7.    08-09 December, 2019: International Seminar. ‘Buddhism and Non-Violence’.

8.    10th December, 2019: International Poetry Festival on Buddha.

 

Faculty Member: Professor Arun Ranjan Mishra