Lotus Sutra Exhibition Held in Catalonia, Spain
From April 28 to May 16, 2009, "The Lotus Sutra--A Message of Peace and Harmonious Coexistence" exhibition was on display at the Lleida Public Library in Lleida, Catalonia, Spain. Some 5,000 citizens visited the exhibition, which was cosponsored by the University of Lleida (UdL: Universitat de Lleida), UNESCO Association of Lleida, the Institute of Oriental Philosophy (IOP) and the Institute of Oriental Manuscripts of the Russian Academy of Sciences, and supported by SGI-Spain.
The exhibition, held for the first time in Spain, was the opening event for the fourth Catalan Parliament of Religions scheduled for June 2009, a preparatory gathering ahead of the Parliament of the World's Religions to be held in Melbourne, Australia, in December 2009.
The exhibition displayed facsimiles and romanized texts of Lotus Sutra manuscripts published by Soka Gakkai, including the recently-published Sanskrit Lotus Sutra Manuscript from the British Library (Or. 2204), as well as 52 photographic panels and displays of items such as relics, documents, parables, manuscripts and different editions of the Lotus Sutra.
In a message for the opening, SGI President Daisaku Ikeda cited three characteristics of the Lotus Sutra that link the civilizations of East and West: (1) the idea of the interconnectedness of all life, (2) the quest for the eternal and (3) action to create peace. He also spoke about the resonance between the Lotus Sutra and the rich spirit of the Spanish people and his hope for the creation of a culture of peace.
Ferran Rella i Foro, in charge of cultural affairs in Lleida for the Autonomous Government of Catalonia, stated that the exhibition would be an opportunity for Lleida citizens to gain great inspiration for fulfilling their innate potential.
In commemoration of the exhibition, a symposium on "Dialogue between East and West" was held on April 29 at the UdL auditorium.
[Adapted from an article in the May 22, 2009 issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan]