The Institute of Oriental Philosophy

On September 21, 2016, “The Lotus Sutra--A Message of Peace and Harmonious Coexistence” exhibition was launched in South Korea. To date, it has shown in 13 countries. Some 2,500 delegates including South Korean academics, media representatives and leaders in politics, finance and education attended the opening ceremony held at Korea SGI (Soka Gakkai International) Ikeda Hall in Seoul.

The exhibition was co-organized by the Institute of Oriental Philosophy, Korea JoongAng Daily, and Korea SGI and supported by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Seoul City, the International Academy of Indian Culture, and the Dunhuang Academy, the Institute of Philosophy of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IOM RAS).

At the opening ceremony, Dr. Lokesh Chandra, Director of International Academy of Indian Culture, Dr. Lee Soo-sung, former Prime Minister of South Korea, Dr. Park Jae-kyu, the president of Kyungnam University in Masan, and other distinguished delegates participated in the ribbon-cutting. During the ceremony, Mr. Lee Soo-sung gave a welcome address and Prof. Lokesh Chandra delivered a commemorative lecture. The ceremony was reported by Korean Broadcasting System (KBS) and other major Korean media, including Korea JoongAng Daily, Maeil Business Newspaper and Cheonji Ilbo.

On display were some 200 items, the largest number of exhibits ever gathered for a Lotus Sutra exhibition, including deplicates of National Treasure, Transcription of Saddharmapundarika Sutra (The Lotus Sutra) in Silver on Indigo Paper, Volume 7, Saddharmapundarika Sutra (The Lotus Sutra) Volumes 5-7 from the National Museum of Korea and the national treasure, and Transcription of Saddharmapundarika Sutra (The Lotus Sutra) in Ink on White Paper from the Horim Museum.

Through the new panels and pictures of UNESCO World Heritages, Bulguksa temple and Haeinsa temple, the exhibition introduced the history of the dissemination of Buddhist teachings on the Korean Peninsula. Bulguksa is said to encompass seven national treasures, including the Seokgatap (Sakyamuni Pagoda), the Dabotap (Many Treasure Pagoda) and the Haeinsa, most notable as the home of the Tripitaka Koreana, the whole of the Buddhist Scriptures carved into over 80,000 wooden printing blocks.

The exhibition also featured duplicates of the Lotus Sutra manuscripts from IOM RAS, including the Sanskrit Lotus Sutra Manuscript, known as the Petrovsky manuscript, Gilgit Lotus Sutra Manuscripts from the National Archives of India and the Gandhari manuscript of the Dhamapada from the 1st and 2nd centuries.

Calligraphies of renowned contemporary sinologist Professor Jao Tsung-I’s如蓮華在水 [Like a lotus flower floating on the water] and慧光照無量寿命無数 [The power of my wisdom that its sagacious beams shine without measure. This life span of countless kalpas] were also on display.

Up to October 24, the exhibition attracted over 40,000 people from Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore and many other Western countries.

Organizers:The Institute of Oriental Philosophy (IOP) JoongAng Daily, and Korea Soka Gakkai International
Supporter: Seoul City, the International Academy of Indian Culture, The Dunhuang Academy, The Institute of Philosophy of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism
Venue: Ikeda Memorial Hall in Seoul
Date: September 21 - December 21,  2016

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