The Dharma teachings of India originated thousands of years ago, under very different social and cultural conditions than those that prevail today, yet amid the turmoil of our age, these teachings have a strikingly urgent message.
At once they connect us with the deepest spiritual sources of our being, leading to inner wisdom and peace, yet also promote what is sorely lacking in these turbulent times: a culture of tolerance, mutual respect, compassion, and ecological sensitivity.
Hence it is timely that representatives of these great traditions meet here in the US, not far from New York City, the epicenter of the modern world, to explore how these teachings born in ancient India can address the momentous social, ecological, and above all human crises we face today. I share my blessings for the success of this conference and hope it can send forth brilliant rays of light over the entire world.
Since this conference also marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Hindu Students Council, I congratulate the Council on reaching this major milestone and bless it to continue in serving the Dharma and offering the world access to the Dharmic traditions of India.
Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi
Chair, Buddhist Global Relief
President, Buddhist Association of the United States