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The 3rd ATBU International Conference on
“Buddhist Education, Life Education”
For the Celebrations on the Auspicious Occasion of
His Majesty the King’s 7th Cycle Birthday Anniversary
5th December 2011
Organized by Mahamakut Buddhist University
In cooperation with
Association of Theravada Buddhist Universities
At Mahamakut Buddhist University, Salaya, Nakhon Pathom
20-22 November BE 2554/CE 2011
1. Conference Details
The Fifth of December is the Royal Birthday of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand. This year’s Royal Birthday is special as it is the 7th Cycle Birthday Anniversary or the 84th Birthday Anniversary. The whole Thai nation celebrates the occasion with various activities jubilantly throughout the year. As a part of ‘the Celebrations on the Auspicious Occasion of His Majesty the King’s 7th Cycle Birthday Anniversary 5th December 2011,’ the Mahamakut Buddhist University (MBU), the first State Buddhist University of Thailand in cooperation with the Association of Theravada Buddhist Universities (ATBU) is honouring the occasion with organizing the two-day event Buddhist international conference on ‘Buddhist Education, Life Education’ at Mahamakut Buddhist University Main Campus, Salaya, Nakhon Pathom, Thailand during 20-22 November B.E. 2554/C.E. 2011.
Ideally, education is the principal tool of human growth, essential for transforming the unlettered child into a mature and responsible adult. Yet everywhere today, both in the developed world and the developing world, we can see that formal education has become so routinized rather than an adventure in learning. The word “education” literally means “to bring forth,” which indicates that the true task of this process is to draw forth from the mind its innate potential for understanding. The urge to learn, to know and comprehend is a basic human trait, as intrinsic to our minds as hunger and thirst are to our bodies.
The industrial growth model of society demands that the educational system prepare students to become productive citizens in an economic order governed by the drive to maximize profits. Such a conception of the aim of education is quite different from that consistent with Buddhist principles. Practical efficiency certainly has its place in Buddhist education, for Buddhism propounds a middle path which recognizes that our loftiest spiritual aspirations depend on a healthy body and a materially secure society. But for Buddhism the practical side of education must be integrated; with other requirements designed to bring the potentialities of human nature to maturity in the way envisioned by the Buddha. Above all, an educational policy guided by Buddhist principles must aim to instill values as much as to impart information. It must be directed, not merely toward developing social and commercial skills, but toward nurturing in the students the seeds of spiritual nobility.
The heart of Buddhist teaching is the education which can be summarized under Buddhist 3Rs or threefold education viz. sila (Regulating), Samadhi (Reflecting), and Panna (Reasoning). This Buddhist education teaches us how to manoeuvre our lives to be peace, prosper and happy in addition to the highly competitive knowledge for today’s economic driven society.
The paññā or wisdom is the crown and pinnacle of the entire system of Buddhist education, and all the preliminary steps in a Buddhist educational system should be geared toward the flowering of this supreme virtue. It is with this step that education reaches completion, that it becomes illumination in the truest and deepest sense, as exclaimed by the Buddha on the night of his Awakening: “There arose in me vision, knowledge, wisdom, understanding, and light.”
For the Celebrations on the Auspicious Occasion of His Majesty the King’s 7th Cycle Birthday Anniversary 5th December 2011 and the 3rd ATBU International Conference the MBU deemed that an international conference on ‘Buddhist Education, Life Education’ should be organized in order to discuss the problems that Theravāda Buddhist colleges and universities have been facing in providing Buddhist education and the solutions to its successful life education.
Under the main theme of the ‘Buddhist Education, Life Education’ there are four panels for new scholars and researchers to present their papers viz. (1) Buddhism and Education, (2) Buddhism and Science, (3) The Pali-tipitaka studies then and now (program will be uniquely in Pali medium) and (4) Buddhism and Education (Thai medium).
1. To join in the Celebrations on the Auspicious Occasion of His Majesty the King’s 7th Cycle Birthday Anniversary 5th December 2011.
2. To be venue for the 3rd ATBU International Conference 2011
3. To promote research in the fields of Buddhist Education by fellows and associate fellows of the MBU and ATBU.
4. To implement the policies of the MBU and ATBU regarding to the exchange of knowledge and information with learned institutions.
5. To broaden academic network of the MBU and ATBU to many different countries so as to gain a worldwide recognition.
6. To exchange ideas and experiences among fellows of both within and outside members of ATBU.
The conference will be held in the Sujib Punnyanubhap Conference Hall located in the middle of the Mahamakut Buddhist University Main Campus, Salaya, Nakhon Pathom. It is located 30 minutes’ drive from downtown Bangkok. The Mahamakut Buddhist University Main Campus map, which can be downloaded from www.atbu.mbu.ac.th