|Key figure: Most Venerable Thich Thien Nhon and the Indian consul general in HCM City, Deepak Mittal (R), and the at the opening of an exhibition on the Buddha as part of the Festival of India. —VNS Photo Van Dat
HCM CITY (VNS)— An exhibition of 50 artefacts and photographs illustrating the life of the Buddha from birth to attaining Nirvana opened at the HCM City Museum of Fine Arts yesterday as part of the Festival of India.
Dharma Darshan narrates the teachings of and important events in the Buddha's life through masterpieces of Indian art and artefacts from across India.
The spread of Buddhism through the Indian subcontinent is evident from the remains of Buddhist art and architecture found in sacred places like Lumbini, Bodh Gaya, Sarnath, Sanchi, Piprahwa, Ajanta, Nalanda, and others.
According to legend, Prince Siddhartha Gautama, who later became the Buddha, was born in Lumbini (modern Nepal) in the 6th century BCE under a sweet-scented sala tree on a full moon day in May. The baby took seven steps and lotus flowers burst from under the ground to cushion his feet.
Deepak Mittal, the Indian consul in HCM City, who spoke at the event's opening ceremony, said the event was aimed at strengthening ties between the two countries, creating opportunities to co-operate in the field of art and preservation of their cultural heritage.
The Most Venerable Thich Thien Nhon, Standing Vice President and General Secretary of the Viet Nam Buddhist Sangha, said the exhibition illustrates the friendship between the two countries and their cultural links through Buddhism.
India and Viet Nam are proud and honoured to be respectively the cradle of Buddhism and a place where Buddhism is the main religion.
The exhibition will be the first of a series of cultural events to be held in the upcoming days in the city. The museum is at 97 Pho Duc Chinh Street. The exhibition goes on until March 14.— VNS