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Buddhism

Back to listNov 27, 2011

Lotus Sutra Exhibition Shown in London

Dr. KawadaDr. Kawada speaking at the exhibition’s opening ceremony

From November 23-27, an exhibition titled "Lotus Sutra--A Message of Peace and Harmonious Co-existence" was shown at SGI-UK's London Ikeda Peace Centre. The event was the result of cooperation between the Institute of Oriental Philosophy (IOP) and SGI-UK.

Against the historical backdrop of the transmission of Buddhism from India to Asia, the exhibition focuses on the continuing appeal of the Lotus Sutra's essential message of peace and coexistence, and how it has been widely embraced by diverse ethnic groups.

Images on the panels include the Dunhuang cave paintings in China which depict parables from the Lotus Sutra, such as the story of the Dragon King's daughter who, despite being a young girl in a dragon form, was able to achieve enlightenment "in an instant" through practicing the Lotus Sutra.

In conjunction with the exhibition, an academic symposium was held at the center on November 23. Dr. Yoichi Kawada, director of the IOP in Japan, presented a paper titled "Contemporary Civilization and the Lotus Sutra." Professor Hiroshi Kanno from Soka University of Japan spoke on "Saddharma and the One Buddha Vehicle in the Lotus Sutra," and Professor Max Deeg of Cardiff University commented on the way the Lotus Sutra has been perceived in the West. Lastly, Dr. Halle O'Neal, from the University of Kansas, spoke about mandalas depicting the "Jewelled Stupa" or the treasure tower in the Lotus Sutra.

This showing of the exhibition was supported by the Institute of Oriental Manuscripts of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the British Library's International Dunhuang Project, and the Royal Asiatic Society. The Lotus Sutra exhibition was originally created by the IOP and has been shown in many countries, including Brazil, India and Nepal. It will be on display at SGI-UK's Taplow Court center from December 17.

[Adapted from an article in the December 12, 2011, issue of the SGI-UK Online News Bulletin, SGI-UK; photo courtesy of Seikyo Shimbun]