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Last updated: September 18, 2003

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Pindadan offered in the courtyard of Buddha the Ninth Avatar of Vishnu
Gaya, 16 September, (Dainik Jagran). According to Hindu beliefs Lord Buddha is known as the ninth Avatar of Vishnu. Due to this the offering of pindadan is going on in the courtyard of the international heritage site at Bodhgaya of the Mahabodhi temple. Thousands each day are making offerings inthe temple compound and at the Muchalinda tank.
The devottees who have come to Gaya for the Pitripaksha Mela offer pinda at the various pinda offering sites (pinda vedi) spread around the area. After which there is the practice of making offerings at each of the three sites at Bodhgaya. The three sites are Dharmaranya, Matangavapi and the Bodhi tree. This ritual has been going on since the beginning. In the 1990s under the banner of the Mahabodhi Temple Liberation Committee there was a demand for it to be banned in the Mahabodhi temple compound. But their demand was left in abeyance. The current secretary of the Mahabodhi Management Committee says that every day tens of thousands of devottees are making offerings in the temple compound and fifteen special workers had been retained to clean up after them. The committee was bearing in the mind the desires of the pilgrims to the temple.
The atmosphere in the compound is completely suffused by Dharma. In three directions around the temple on the open ground there are crowds of people making offerings. Offerings are being made to the accompaniment of the utterance of Vedic mantras. In the Muchalinda tank in the south tarpan offerings are being made. For the Hindu devottees arriving in Bodhgaya in large numbers the doors of the Buddhist monasteries are always open. Mangal Subbe who is associated with the Daikyoju temple said that normally the Buddhist monasteries close their doors at two pm but during the Pitripaksha mela they are open all the time.
According to the sacred texts Dharmaranya is situated on the Western shore of the Muhane river. In a thicket nearby near to Matangavapi the Muhane falls into the Mahanadi river. The making of offerings near the Bodhi tree is mentioned in the Vaya Puran. The Niranjana river separates teh Dharmaranya and Matangavapi sites from Bodhgaya. Both these sites are a short distance from Bodhgaya. In such a situation the devottees make offerings for all three sites in the Mahabodhi temple compound. The priests who perform the rites for them say that this practice can be done. Whilst some devottees have faith in actually visiting Dharmaranya and Matangavapi and making their offerings at them.

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[Tuesday, September 16, 2003 11:28:19 PM]

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