The Vietnam Buddhist Sangha’s Executive Board in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho held a ceremony to commemorate the 706th anniversary of the attainment of Nirvana of King-Monk Tran Nhan Tong, the founder of Vietnam Zen Buddhism, on December 22.

The event took place at Truc Lam Phuong Nam Zen Monastery in Phong Dien district.

Tran Nhan Tong (1258-1308), the third king of the Tran dynasty, ascended the throne when he was just 21. He is famed for defeating Mongol invaders twice during his 15-year reign.

The King abdicated the throne when he was 35 and spent the rest of his life on Yen Tu Mountain practising and propagating Buddhism. He founded the Truc Lam School of Zen and worked to unify different Vietnamese Buddhism sects into Vietnamese Zen Buddhism.

The Vietnam Buddhist Sangha Central Committee has long observed the day King Tran Nhan Tong attained Nirvana (the first day of the 11th lunar month) as the national anniversary of Vietnamese Buddhism.

The committee has also coordinated with ministries and branches to compile a dossier to be submitted to UNESCO for its recognition of the Monk-King as a World Cultural Celebrity and the historical and cultural site of the Tran dynasty in Dong Trieu district and the sacred Buddhist historical site of Yen Tu as part of the World Cultural Heritage.-VNA