VNU President Nguyen Kim Son stated that that conference took place at a time when more and more people throughout Vietnam are practising the philosophies of Tran Nhan Tong and the Truc Lam Zen sect in order to deal with worldly matters. According to Most Venerable Thich Thien Nhon, the Truc Lam Zen sect has become a unique national spiritual symbol as the first Buddhist order in Vietnam. The school reached its climax under the three Patriarchs of Tran Nhan Tong, Phap Loa and Huyen Quang. At the conference researchers underlined Emperor Tran Nhan Tong’s significant cultural and philosophical contributions to the development of Vietnamese Buddhism and hailed him as a truly awakened Buddhist monk with a strong influence on later generations. Tran Nhan Tong (1258-1308) was the third emperor of the Tran Dynasty who ruled Vietnam from 1278-1293 and led the Vietnamese army and people to repulse two Mongol invasions. After the war, he renounced the throne and went into ascetic life in Yen Tu Mountain in present-day Quang Ninh province. The conference is jointly held by the Vietnam National University (VNU), the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha and the People’s Committee of Quang Ninh province on the 760th birth anniversary and 710th death anniversary of the Tran Dynasty’s emperor. It lasts until December 7 at the Truc Lam Buddhist Centre in Quang Ninh province.