The Hindu-Buddhist Joint Delegation from India comprising Bhadant Gyanjagat Mahathero, Swami Vidyanand, Dr Sandip Raj Mahind and Balkrishan Naik visited Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Sri Lanka from March 7 to May 17. It was the second phase of the tour conducted in order to enhance coordination between the various traditions of the world specially the Buddhist and Hindu traditions. The tour was organised by Vishwa Bauddha Sanskritik Pratisthan, Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Gyan Prabodihini and Arogya Niketan. Bhadant Gyanjagat Mahathero led the delegation.
The first phase of the tour was conducted from May 7 to June 9, 2005 to Myanmar, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal. During second phase of the tour, the Indian scholars met various leading religious, social and literary personalities of those countries and tried to know their traditions and also to find out the points on which all these traditions could come closer. The delegation also visited various historical, cultural and ancient places of those countries.
The delegation reached Bangkok (Thailand) on March 8 and received a warm welcome from Shri Chaintamani Tripathi, Sanghachalak of Thailand, at the airport. Thailand is a Buddhist nation and everywhere the Buddhist culture prevails. The delegation met Buddhacharan Maharaj at Chengmai, Phra thep Siddhajarn (Tong Sirimangalo) of Wat Pradhatu Sri Chom Tong Voravihara, Sukhantsheel Maharaj and Songroom Maharaj at Wat U Mong, Dr Boon Choy and P.S. Pamuangmoon of Buddhist University and dozens of leading scholars of the country.
The delegation reached Laos on March 21. Laos is a communist-ruled country but the influence of Buddhism is seen everywhere. The delegation met Tsewang Topden, Indian Ambassador, Phong Samaleuk, director Buddhist University of Wat Ongtue, Veth Masenay, president of Wat Sisaket and director of Sangha College, Achan Phra Xaly Khantasilo, etc. The delegation reached Vietnam on March 26. It has been part of Champa empire during the 10th century. The ruins of Hindu temples can be seen even today here. The delegation visited Thin Mu pagoda, Chau Tu Dam pagoda and Tu Hein temple at Hue city. Later it met Pham Tu, director of temple literature and Confucius University at Hanoi. Thich Tanh Na, chief of Quoc Pagoda took the delegation to the bodhivriksha, which was planted by Dr Rajendra Prasad. Thick Thanh Tu, president of Vietnam Buddhist Sangh extended warm welcome to the delegation.
In Cambodia the delegation reached on April 5. The people of the country are worried over the growing influence of Christianity and communism there. In Nampen, there are over 300 churches and only 90 temples. The delegation reached Singapore on April 10 and met Shri Sanjay, Karyavah of Singapore, Shri Bhante Piyanand Maharaj, a sannyasi of Sri Lanka Ramaya Vihar, Shri Dhamika Maharaj of Singapore Buddhist Mission, Shri Bhojwani, a veteran swayamsevak, Shri Terence Lee Swee Khim of Loyang Tau Pek Kong, Shri Pu Hong, executive director of Metta Welfare Association, Shri Indsara Tehro of Mangla Vihar, Sardar Amandeep Singh of Singapore Sikh Sangat, etc.
The delegation reached Malaysia on April 14 and participated in the Baisakhi celebration in Kualalampur. Here also the delegation met dozens of scholars. In Indonesia, where the delegation reached on April 20, the tour has been very inspiring. The delegation reached Sri Lanka on April 29 where it received active help from Shri Jayant Vikram Singhe of the All Ceylon Buddhist Congress, Shri Gamini Gunvardhane, Dr Hema Gunatilake, etc.