Mangalore University intends to open more research and study chairs on its campus. A study chair on 12th century social reformer Ambigara Chowdiah will be opened shortly, its Vice-Chancellor T. C. Shivashankara Murthy said on Wednesday.

He was addressing a gathering at a function organised to inaugurate the centre for studies on the Buddha.

Prof. Murthy said the university intended to open a centre for studies on Swami Vivekananda.

Manorachitha Bantheji, a Buddhist monk and historian from Mysore, who inaugurated the centre on the Buddha, said peace was the essence of Buddhism. “Peace stood for neither hatred nor attachment,” he said.

Buddhism dictated democratic heritage and preached peace, Mr. Bantheji said. He said that mind was centric to Buddhism. It dealt with purification of mind. The Buddha meant enlightenment.

The Pancha Sheela principles preached by the Buddha included non-violence; non-stealing; abstinence from adultery; and abstinence from intoxicating food and drinks.

Mr. Bantheji said that there were about 300 religions in the world. While many religions dealt with “aatma” (soul) and “paramatma” (super soul), Buddhism dealt with transformation of society through purification of mind.

Senior writer Amruth Someshwar alleged that in the past concerted efforts had been made to curtail the growth of Buddhist thoughts in the country. There was a conspiracy to root out Buddhism. \

Hence Buddhist literature could not grow.

Director of the centre P.L. Dharma said that it would collect writings on the Buddha. It would enlighten students of high schools and pre-universities on the thoughts of the Buddha. In addition, it would organise competitions for college students to keep the thoughts of the Buddha alive.

Registrar (administration) K. Chinnappa Gowda spoke.