Saturday, September 20, 2014

Celebrating Buddhism at Namgyal Institute of Tibetology

The three-day Boudh Mahotsav/ Buddhist Festival at Namgyal Institute of Tibetology which started on 16 September concluded on Thursday. Minister for Tourism & Civil Aviation Department, Ugen T Gyatso was the chief guest at the valedictory function here at the NIT. The function was also attended by Secretary, Tourism and Civil Aviation Department.
The festival was a learning experience and a success that managed to attract quite a large number of tourists and locals on most days. Visitors were very appreciative of the various exhibits which introduced them to tangible aspects of Buddhism according to NIT officials.
As a tourist from Chennai, Badal Devi said, “I particularly loved the sand mandala. It's superb! I enjoyed the festival as a whole and don't feel like going back home”.
The Buddhist chams/ dances as well as the folk dances by troupes from various Zonal Cultural Centres of India added much flair and vivid pageantry to the proceedings. The dance repertoire was bulked up on the second and third days with the inclusion of Lepcha, Bhutia, Nepali and Tibetan dances by local clubs.
Minister, Cultural Affairs & Heritage Department was the chief guest at the inaugural function where he released the festival brochure. The Governor of Sikkim, Sriniwas Patil who is also the President of the NIT attended the second day of the festival.
NIT has especially thanked the Sowa Rigpa doctors led by Professor (Dr) Lobsang Samten who provided great yeoman service by examining over 200 patients during the three-day festival and providing one month’s medicines free of cost.
Organised by NIT under the aegis of the Ministry of Culture, Government of India, the festival intended to showcase some of the tangible aspects of Buddhism and promote the values of peace, non-violence, compassion and loving kindness practiced by the Buddha.

The Torma offerings or butter sculpture crafted by monks of Karma Thupten Tashi Choeling Monastery, North Sikkim.
Kunrig or Vairocana sand mandala depicting the celestial mansion of the Vairocana deity made by monks of Sa-Ngor Chotshog Centre, Rongyek, East Sikkim.
Medicinal plants used in Sowa Rigpa or Ancient Tibetan Science of Healing on display. 

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