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  3. Overseas Research: “Participating in the World Sanskrit Conference and a joint research project on multicultural harmonious co-existence with the Wat Phra Dhammakaya in Thailand”, 3rd Unit

Overseas Research: “Participating in the World Sanskrit Conference and a joint research project on multicultural harmonious co-existence with the Wat Phra Dhammakaya in Thailand”, 3rd Unit

Overseas Research: “Participating in the World Sanskrit Conference and a joint research project on multicultural harmonious co-existence with the Wat Phra Dhammakaya in Thailand”, 3rd Unit

                   

                   Three members of the IRCP Unit 3 traveled overseas from June 26–July 3, 2015, to participate in the World Sanskrit Conference and a joint research project on multicultural harmonious co-existence with the Wat Phra Dhammakaya in Thailand. Watanabe Shogo (IRCP Researcher), Miyamoto Hisayoshi (IRCP Visiting Researcher), and Horiuchi Toshio (IRCP Research Associate) made the trip.

                   The team proceeded to the Dhammakaya temple after the opening ceremony of the Sanskrit Conference the morning of June 28. There, they spoke with the two monks responsible for the Dhammakaya's Japan branch, Bhikkhu Thanavuddho and Bhikkhu Somkiat. The visitors learned that the Dhammakaya is in the process of producing a revised edition of the Pali Canon with the assistance of specialists in Theravada Buddhism that it plans to also make available for reading online. The three returned to the Sanskrit conference on the 29th to hear some of the presentations. The conference was a major one, with 10 daily panels featuring some 16 speakers per panel on average. Researcher Watanabe gave a presentation on 30th titled "Some Questions Concerning the Title of the Prajñāpāramitā-hṛdaya-[sūtra]." In it, based on an analysis of many manuscripts of the Prajñāpāramitā-hṛdaya-sūtra("the Heart sutra") he discussed the tradition of that text having been regarded as a dhāraṇī and explained the significance of it being broadly classified as such, due to its title, which means, "the Heart consisting of 25 gāthās" Research Assosiate Horiuchi gave a presentation on July 1 using examples to argue for the importance of "palm-leaf manuscripts" when working on revising the Laṅkāvatārasūtra.

                   The team learned from their research trip about the realities and possibilities of the role that Sanskrit has to play in multicultural co-existence. Sanskrit has proved itself to be a living language rather than a dead one, and is being used as a tool for exchanges among different peoples and culture that transcends borders.

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