Ven.Dr. Deniyaye Pannaloka Buddharakkhita works as a Senior Lecturer of Pali and Buddhist Studies at the University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka. As a scholar of Buddhist Studies, he attained his Masters and Research degrees from the Kelaniya University.
Always eager to learn, he also has an advanced certificate in Japanese Language, Kyushu University, Japan.
Venerable Phrakru Pariyutbhodivithes (Phramaha Dr. "Komsorn Kuttadhammo") is an academic honorific in the Thai Buddhist educational system. He holds a secular Ph.D. He is currently Chief abbot of Wat Thai Chetawan Mahavihara in Uttar Pradesh.
Shantum Seth is an ordained teacher (Dharmacharya) in the Chan Buddhist lineage and has been leading pilgrimages ‘In the Footsteps of the Buddha’ and other multi-faith and transformative journeys since 1988 in South Asia. He is actively involved in social, environmental and educational programmes in India, including work on teacher training through Cultivating Mindfulness in Education and setting up a meditation centre, being pioneered by the non-profit trust, Ahimsa.
He is a senior advisor to the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation to help promote Buddhist tourism in India and is on the advisory board to the Minister of Culture, Government of India. He worked in the corporate sector and later in social advocacy and development, fifteen years of which were with the United Nations Development Programme. He has contributed to a number of books including, ‘Walking with the Buddha’, ‘Planting Seeds… Sharing Mindfulness with Children’, and ‘Volunteers against Conflict’. He has also been a consultant for the BBC, Discovery and PBS Channels, for the films with Buddhist themes.
Festival Advisor, Shantum will share The Budha Path through teachings and practices of mindfulness.
Sujeev Shakya, who dabbles between the identity of a consultant, entrepreneur, writer and coach, grew up in the Thervada Buddhist tradition and is now discovering that many of the fundamental values and principles which he has embraced are rooted in the Buddhist way of life. He is a Certified Coach from Columbia University (USA) and researched on parallels between western coaching practices and Buddhist practices. He also writes and speaks extensively on business, development, management and leadership.
He will speak and interact with a contemporary perspective on everyday challenges of life, linking these to various issues that we encounter frequently in management, economy and business.
Vikram Lall is an architect, author and a scholar of aesthetics & culture. He has lectured on architectural history, design theory and cultural studies at institutions in the UK, Europe, Southeast Asia and India.
Through his interdisciplinary engagement with cultural studies, he also works for the conservation of both tangible and intangible heritage and has curated programs on Indian cultural traditions across the world.
As a practicing architect, he has designed several diverse and landmark buildings and projects, such as the Akshardham temple in Delhi and the Buddha Smriti Park in Patna.
His research on architectural history and theory of Buddhism has been published as -Architecture of the Buddhist World- presenting a pathbreaking perspective into Buddhist heritage across several cultural landscapes.
He will talk on the historical and cultural contiguity of BIMSTEC countries as revealed through the architecture associated with Buddhist practice and philosophy.