Conservation matters to China. It should be a core Chinese Buddhist concern

If one seeks to understand better the general direction of Buddhist priorities in China, clues can be found in the National Cultural Heritage Administration’s (NCHA) blueprint of preserving China’s ancient grottoes in early December last year. During the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021–25), the NCHA released its own plan that would, by 2025, result in an […]

A Circle of Buddhist Democracies: India’s Buddhist Strategy for Asia

In May’s Indian elections, PM Narendra Modi’s BJP fared considerably well, indirectly securing a mandate for its Buddhist diplomacy. This “quiet” exercise of power began several years ago in September 2015, with the Vivekananda International Foundation’s (VIF) first Samvad conference. For this event we were taken to the diplomatic enclave of Chanakyapuri in New Delhi, […]

Postcard from Raymond: Preservation at its Finest (Cave 26, Ajanta)

Of all the caves at the Ajanta complex, I found Cave 26 to be the most intricate, with the unmistakable sense of, “yes, this is it.” We were looking at the literal, physical transition between the earliest days of itinerant wanderers (sramanas) and the days of settled monastic institutions. Unlike the other caves that I felt […]