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Founded: March 15 2002
Last updated: May 21, 2002
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2546th Buddha Jubilee Joyfully Celebrated in Bodhgaya
Bodhgaya, 26th May. In Bodhgaya the scene of the Buddha's austerities, today the occasion of the 2546th Buddha Jubilee was joyfully celebrated. On this occasion a dawn procession, puja and worship, sutra recitation etc. were all organised. Devotees bowed their heads in the central shrine of the Mahabodhi Temple and at the Vajrasana. National and International Buddhists came to Bodhgaya on this occasion.
There was an atmosphere of excitement from early in the day in Bodhgaya. This place of enlightenment was decorated with the Pancasheela Buddhist flag and the people of this place were going to the Mahabodhi temple to have darshana of the Buddha. Special puja and worship was also organised in the foreign monasteries. Under the joint auspices of the International Buddhist Council and the Temple Management Committee a dawn procession was taken out. In which along with Buddhist Lamas school children took part. The site of wisdom resounded with the tones of communal chanting of sutras.
After the puja in the Temple and in countless other spots Buddha prasad (sacred food offered to the Buddha) was distributed. Apart from the Temple Management Committee and the International Council other institutions also distributed Buddha prasad at various sites. Sanghadana [gifts to the Buddhist Sangha:-PGF] was made to around 500 monks in the grounds of the Mahabodhi society by the Temple Committee.
On the other hand the All India Monks Association took out a Dhamma yatra today on the occasion of Buddha Jubilee. In this about 2000 Ambedkarite New-Buddhists took part. The chairmanship of the yatra was performed by the national chairman of the Association the Venerable Arya Nagarjuna Surai Sasai. This procession wound its way through the major streets of Bodhgaya and ended up in the Mahabodhi Temple compound. The whole procession could be seen crying out 'Buddham Sharanam Gacchami' and 'Jai Bhim!'. Afterwards under the leadership of Shri Sasai the New Buddhists went near to the Vajrasana and the Central Shrine [garbhagriha] of the temple and performed puja and ceremonies.
Today on this sacred occasion the foundation stone was laid by the Magadh block Officer Hemcand Sirohi for a five Lakh cost ceremonial gateway to be erected near the offices of the temple management committee. It will be 16 foot tall and 55 foot wide. [sic] The gate will be erected under the supervision of Chandra and Associate. On this occasion Mr Hemcand distributed cloth to school children. In the three Government hospitals in Gaya cloth and fruit was distributed to the sick and the poor. In today's festivities the major participants present were the DM Brajesh Mehotra, committee secretary Kalicharan Singh Yadav, monk in-charge Bodhipal and other well respected figures.

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Texts and Translations © Peter G. Friedlander unless otherwise indicated.