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Last updated: February 1, 2003

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Over 5000 Buddhists from Sikkim attend Kalachakra ceremony
Gangtok, India, (PTI), Jan. 09: More than 5000 Buddhists from Sikkim have reached Bihar's Bodhgaya to attend the 'Kalachakra' ceremony to be conducted by spiritual leader the Dalai Lama from January 12.

Most of the Buddhists were from rural areas of Sikkim, a senior official of the state's Ecclesiastical department told PTI here today.

Sikkim, which hosted the Kalachakra ceremony in 1993, has over 200 monasteries and more than 25 per cent of the 5.4 lakh population are Buddhists.

For them, attending this sacred ritual in any part of India or abroad is considered a pilgrimage, the official said.

The main objective of the 'Kalachakra' ceremony is to teach non-violence, according to Buddhist sources.

For those taking part in it, the ritual represents a very special form of blessing designed to promote peace and harmony in oneself and among mankind as a whole, they said.

The sermon of 'Kalachakra' or the Wheel of Time is among the rarest and most complicated rites of worship of the Mahayana sect of Buddhism.

It is believed to have been preached for the first time by Buddha Sakyamuni at the 'stupa' of Sri Dhanyakata near Amravali in Andhra Pradesh in the year of the Buddha's enlightenment, the sources said.

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