An international conference was held in northern Quang Ninh province on December 6 to look into the cultural and philosophical uniqueness of King-Monk Tran Nhan Tong and the Truc Lam Buddhist sect which he himself founded.
The event, held by the Vietnam National University – Hanoi, the Quang Ninh People’s Committee and the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha (SBV), was an activity to mark the 760th birth and 710th death anniversaries of Tran Nhan Tong (1258-1308) – the third king of the Tran dynasty.
Tran Nhan Tong, born Tran Kham, ascended to the throne when he was 21. He was famed for defeating Yuan-Mongol invaders twice as well as developing the national economy and culture during his 15-year reign.
The king abdicated when he was 35 and spent the rest of his life on Yen Tu Mountain, located in where is now Quang Ninh province, to practice and propagate Buddhism. He founded the Zen Buddhist sect of Truc Lam here.
At the conference, Most Venerable Thich Thien Nhon, head of the SBV’s Executive Council, said the Truc Lam Buddhist sect – the first indigenous to Vietnam – has become a unique spiritual symbol of the country.
King Tran Nhan Tong made great ideological and cultural contributions to national development, he noted.
The event attracted nearly 150 reports from many Vietnamese and foreign researchers who analysed the uniqueness of the King-Monk’s ideology and the Truc Lam Buddhist sect.
Other relevant issues were also discussed. Notably, Dr. Kim Seong-beom from the Republic of Korea’s Dongshin University delivered a speech on the confluence of the Korean and Vietnamese Buddhism. Dr. Evgeny Vlasov from Russia’s Far Eastern Federal University looked into the development of Buddhism in his country.
Aside from this conference, participants will also attend a grand ceremony marking 710 years since Tran Nhan Tong’s Nirvana attainment. The celebration will be held at Truc Lam Palace, part of the Yen Tu landscape relic site in Uong Bi city of Quang Ninh, on December 7.