Jaipur Literature Festival (jaipurliteraturefestival.org) Jan 24-28, 2013

Sessions involving the Dalai Lama, Pico Iyer, Victor Chan and other writers in the Buddhist tradition

1. Kinships of Faiths: Finding the Middle Way

The Dalai Lama in conversation with Pico Iyer

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, world-renowned spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism, honours the DSC Jaipur Literature Festival with his presence. Winner of the 1989 Nobel Peace Prize, he will engage in an insightful and intimate conversation with writer Pico Iyer.

2. Journeys of the Mind [Readings]

Victor Chan and Kunzang Choden, introduced by Swati Chopra

Victor Chan, co-author of The Wisdom of Compassion with the Dalai Lama, shares behind the scenes stories of compassion and provides insights on meditative practice and the importance of humour, optimism and forgiveness.

Kunzang Choden, internationally renowned Bhutanese writer, reads from her books and brings alive the sights and sounds of her mountainous homeland.

3. If You Meet the Buddha on the Road

Karma Ura, Siddiq Wahid, Victor Chan and Ranjini Obeyesekere in conversation with Nayanjot Lahiri

Karma Ura, Siddiq Wahid, Victor Chan and Ranjini Obeyesekere in conversation with Nayanjot Lahiri will bring their varied experiences and encounters with Buddhism to this insightful exploration of the many paths of the Buddha’s dharma.

4. Women on the Path

Ranjini Obeyesekere, Kunzang Choden and Ani Choying in conversation with Swati Chopra

The female sangha is an ancient tradition in Buddhism. Yet, women’s spirituality within Buddhist theology is marked by deeply ambivalent and sometimes misogynisticattitudes that are being questioned and challenged by new interpretations and understanding. Ranjini Obeyesekere, Kunzang Choden, Ani Choying and Swati Chopra discuss the issues that face women on the spiritual path.

5. The Buddha in Literature

Chandrahas Choudhury, Nadeem Aslam and Ranjini Obeyesekere, introduced by Namita Gokhale

Author and critic Chandrahas Choudhury leads us through an impressionistic medley of writings interpreting the Buddha in literature, with readings by Nadeem Aslam and Ranjini Obeyesekere.

6. The Aesthetics of Impermanence

Benoy Behl introduced by Sujata Chatterji

Photographer, filmmaker and cultural historian Benoy Behl explores the ethical and aesthetic underpinnings of Buddhist art and spiritual practice. In an illustrated talk that spans millennia, he examines Buddhist creative legacy as a celebration of flux and an interrogation of the ephemeral. Introduced by Sujata Chatterji.

7. Jataka Readings

Gagan Gill and Ranjini Obeyesekere, introduced by R. Sivapriya

Acclaimed Hindi poet Gagan Gill speaks of her experiences of carrying 'a buddhist heart in the world' and reads from poems invoking mystical and mundane encounters including some from her collection of poetry, 'Andhere Mein Buddha' (Buddha in the Darkness). Ranjini Obeyesekere reads and discusses her books and the Buddhist themes that illuminate them. The session will be introduced by R. Sivapriya.