Open Learning Buddhist Studies
Bodhgaya News
Founded: March 15 2002
Last updated: July 29, 2002
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Pilgrims Start Arriving In Gaya, Rituals Begins Today Gaya 21 September (Dainik Jagran). The Pitripaksa Fair has begun in Gaya the Sacred Site of the Eternal Dharma. Pilgrims have started arriving via the roads and railways. Tomorrow is Ashwin Pratipada and from the morning the rituals of Pindadana will begin at boht the Phalgu river and at Vishnupada temple.
The Fair was begun a day early by the administration. In this day all arrangement were put into place by the various departments and today the workers of all departments can be seen in their camps. In order to make firm security arrangements a task force led by City Police Superintendent Siddheshwar Mandal and the officers of the "Bow" Mobile Force patroled the Vedi, the altars for the offerings to the ancestors. Mr Mandal said that apart from all the extra police pickets mobile forces would continue to patrol the fair.
According to religious practices from tomorrow morning at all 43 active vedis the pindadan rituals will begin. These rituals will be performed by the Gayawal Priests.
[the report also contains details of details of arrangements for the Priests to carry identification cards to testify to their authenticity, that around six lakhs of pilgrims are expected to attend the fair, and complaints that despite protestations that the administration would clean up the city it is still totally filthy and that roads are covered in dirty water, that meat shops are still open and merely hanging cloth up in front of their displays rather than closing for the duration of the fair. Lalu Prasad toured the fair area and complained that over a half a dozen man holes were exposed without covers and people could easily fall down them and that despite adequate funding being made available to the administration to clean up the town they had not done it.]

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