On Thursday 2 June, Nalanda founder Bro. Tan was guest at a public lecture by Indian-American historian Professor Tansen Sen at Universiti Malaya (UM), Kuala Lumpur. The special talk on “The Spread of Buddhism to Maritime Southeast Asia” was hosted by University of Malaya Sri Lankan Endowment Fund, and jointly organised by the UM Departments of History and Indian Studies.
Dr. Tansen Sen is Professor of History at Baruch College, the City University of New York. He is the author of ‘Buddhism, Diplomacy, and Trade: The Realignment of Sino-Indian Relations, 600 – 1400’ and several other historical texts.
Prof. Tansen’s lecture focused on the spread of Buddhism to Maritime Southeast Asia by traders and monks traveling between India and China. Buddhism spread throughout Southeast Asia in 3 major phases from the 5th century CE to the 19th century. Here was the confluence of the Sino, Indian, and Malay worlds, thus giving rise to unique cultural forms and religious practices.
Bro. Tan encouraged Prof. Tansen to research on the Bujang Valley in Kedah and its very ancient connections with Indian Buddhism. Prof. Tansen expressed great interests in this subject and promised to return to Malaysia for more detailed understanding of the scope and necessary preparations. Sadhu!