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2009 Stories - ten stories

Cloth giving ceremony (kathin civar dan samaroh) concluded at Forest Monastery and Meditation Centre
October 30 (Jagran Yahoo! India)
Bodhgaya. The two day cloth giving ceremony (kathin civar dan samaroh) was concluded on Friday at the Forest Monastery meditation centre and the International Meditation centre. At the forest meditation centre were given over to monks who had come from Tripura, Arunachal and Mizoram by male and female disciples seventeen robes made from raw cotton thread and to 51 monks from various monasteries robes were given along with items of daily use. From the centre Rajiv said that the male and female lay disciples spent the whole night preparing the robes and along with them a ceremonial parade was taken out in the morning. The parade included monks and nuns as well as devotees and they all worshipped at the World Heritage Mahabodhi temple. Following which the robes and gifts to the sangha were offered in the temple compound. The Buddhist monks thanked the lay male and female disciples whilst enlightening them about the Buddhist message. On this occasion Buddhist devotees were present in good numbers along with My Raja Tridev Ray who had come from Pakistan. The ceremony at the international meditation centre began early in the morning with Buddha puja. At the ceremony in the temple compound were present as chief guests, from Sri Lanka, the venerable Abbott of Udgama Shrimahanaya and D. V. Chandika Nayaka. Around two thousand monks were given robes at the centre. On this occasion Pakistan's former minister Raja Tridev Ray, Dr Prabhat Chandra Barua, Salil Bihari Barua and Ratan Chaudri were honoured by the centre. The Mahabodhi Society of India three day Coth Giving ceremony will be concluded on Saturday. Meanwhile, in the ceremony organised in the Laos PDR temple members of the family of Bhai Raja took part.


Officials and workers not fulfilling their duties: Commissioner
October 8, 2009 Gaya (Jagran - Yahoo! India). The newly appointed regional commisioner Dr Rana Avadesh believes that officials and workers are not fulfilling their duties. Due to which programs favourable to the lowest sections of society are not reaching those groups. Dr Avadesh was addressing the press at a meeting of the regional commission. District Commissioner Dr Avadesh started by discussing the the history of Magadh. He said that Magadh was the centre of Maurya governance. Gautam Buddha was the spiritual leader of South East Asia. He sat beneath the Bodhi tree and gained elightenment. He told several stories about kings and their territories. Due to the carrying of the past into the present there was collision between various groups in society. Dr Rana said his effort would be to fill in the gap that was a chasm between both sides. In this effort he was taking a team on Thursday to Bankebazar to make an 'on-the-spot' investigation of what was the outcome of the 27 government beneficial programmes [such as] the Indra Avas programme [public housing] and Anganbari [community health/education] programme. Was the community being benefitted or not by the programmes? He said the state goverment was spending 14 billion [14 arab =14 hundred million=$300 million US dollars, surely some mistake?] rupees a year on the Anganbari programme. But the results which were desired were not yet attained. The commissioner said that he believed that the money that came from above was not reaching down from the block to the village level. He said that 'now' [Jagran puts this in quotes] action would be taken against those officials who were interfering with the actions of the government. He asserted that he had come to do something for the 8.8 million inhabitants of the region. So that people would remember his time as commissioner.

Even Today Taradhih Excavation Site Neglected
Bodhgaya, Sep 24, 2009. (Jagaran - Yahoo! India). On the south west side of the world heritage site of the Mahabodhi temple is located the site of the Taradhih excavation, where during the course of excavations the sequential remains of seven periods were found from the new stone age to the Pala dynasty. But now this site is completely neglected. The excavation of this site was begun in 1981 under the direction of its then head officer D. Ajit Kumar Prasad. From the excavations which went on around ten years it was proved that that the Sri Lankan king Meghavarna built a Buddhist Monastery here in the fifth century which was like that at Nalanda and Vikramshila. Here monks initiated according to Mahayana Trantric teachings were housed. The evidence for this was gathered from the remains of burnt barley and rice and pots found. It was like Nalanda and Vikramshila destroyed during the Muslim era. The finds from the excavations are preserved in the museums in Bodhgaya and Patna whilst the remains of the monastery walls are still visible and on which small bushes are now growing. An informant says that whilst the excavations were going on Indian Archaeology director Dr Prasad developed a one crore rupee scheme to develop the site of Taradhih. The foundation stone for this was laid in 2000 by Ashok Kumar Singh the state minister for the deparment of art, culture, and youth. It was called the 'Gautam, forest archaeological compound'. To protect the excavations a wall was built around it at a cost of thirty lakh rupees. After this excavation work stopped. After this the the president of Sri Lanka, Premadasa, toured the site and stated that it was a cultural link between India and Sri Lanka and expressed the desire is should be developed into a tourist site. After his return to Sri Lanka he was murdered by a terrorist and the admistration of the district kept changing and the scheme stayed in limbo. Today despite the scheme being right next to the temple compound it is completely neglected.

Temple to avatara of Buddha to be built in Bodhgaya
August 26, 2009 (Dainik Jagran). Bodhgaya. A temple to the religious teacher L. Kantare, who is regarded in Japan as an avatara (incarnation) of Buddha, is to be built in Bodhgaya. For this on Tuesday a five member team from the ‘Happy Science’ named institute toured a rural area location and made an inspection. The team made the site inspection selection under the leadership of Sudama Kumar local leader of Happy Science. The team members also visited the Surya Bharati school in Bapunagar run with the help of the institution. They met face with the students and teachers there and became acquainted with the teaching techniques. Surya Bharati school director and co-institution (?) member Yuki Inoyue said that the leader of the team was Norihiro, and included in the team also were Tabaki Siyane, Takabobuki Mura, Koji Tsuneda, Tomoko Miyake. He said that the team members would show on Tuesday night in Mocharim village the film ‘The Rule of the Sun’. Which had been translated into Hindi. Along with this the July broadcast from the ‘Astha’ (Faith) channel by the founder of the institute and avatar of the Buddha Riyaho Okaba would be shown. Along with this 737 would become members in Mocharim village. The team members would leave for Delhi on Wednesday.

Expert Security Guards to be stationed at Mahabodhi temple
August 21, 2009 (Dainik Jagran)
Bodhgaya. Expert security guards are now to be stationed at the world heritage listed Mahabodhi temple. Tender for this has been invited by the Mahabodhi temple management committee. The committee PRO Jaglal Mishra said that at the moment 'AGR Security Pvt. Limited' of Patna had twelve security guards and a supervisor posted. Each month the committee spends 52 thousand rupees on this. He said there was a one year agreement with AGR security, which would be finished in August. He said in a quiet voice that there was a feeling that the currently deployed security personnel lacked expertise. Due to this several committee employees were also put on duty with them. However the newly invited tenders for the security of the Mahabodhi temple would be on the footing of such companies who had ultra-modern intense checking machines and security guards with at least three years of successful experience. Mr Mishra said that in accordance with the committee's decree there was now a complete ban on the use of mobile phones in the central chamber (garbha griha) of the temple. Pilgrims entering the central chamber have to turn off their phones, so that tourists involved in meditation practice in the inner chamber would not be disturbed. In regards to security metal barricades had also been erected around the Muchalinda pond so that the tourists might remain far from the water.

Freedom from drought possible through revitalising ancient traditions: Chairman
July 26 2009
Bodhgaya (Dainik Jagran). The State Farm Commission’s newly selected chairman, Upendranath Varma said that the state was completely prepared to deal with the current drought situation. He said that to deal with the drought the ancient tradition of Ahar and Payeen (traditional water irrigation ponds and canals) would be revitalised. The water from which would prove to be fairly useful for irrigation. But this tradition would need to be exploited which people were nowadays forgetting. Mr Varma was addressing the press in Bodhgaya on Friday. He said the drought situation was getting more dreadful. In general in the villages the rice crop had not been planted. Along with irrigation in rural areas the drinking water situation was becoming a problem. The condition of the animals was terrible. But the government believed it could deal with any situation. According to one scheme the government would provide water tankers to take water to every village. He said that farmers of the region should along with farming consider keeping bees, fish, and goats etc. Along with this due to global warming they should consider planting fast growing crops. For this bank loans would be made available by the commission. He said that action would be taken against those banks which would not provide such loans to farmers. On this occasion Temple Committee member Dr. Kumud Varma and other public figures were present.

Police and Paramilitary stage flag march
April 1 2009 (Jagran - Yahoo! India)
Gaya. In Gaya city and nearby areas on Tuesday the Police and Paramilitary forces staged a flag march. The aim was to make firm in the public a 'sentiment of security'. On the streets of Gaya were visible along with the police the SRPF (from the centre), The Indo-Tibetan border police and Central Industrial Security Troops, armed with ultra-modern weapons. The districts top chief of police Saurav Kumar said that the flag march had been staged at the order of the DM Sanjay Kumar Singh and police inspector M. R. Nayak. Along with the city areas on the Gaya Bodhgaya Road in the areas located in Kendui and Manpur in fair numbers the troops formed a focus of attention for the citizens. DSP Mr Kumar said that the flag march sent a message to anti-social elements. If they put obstacles in the way of a unbiased, free-from-fear and independent poll, then we were ready for action. Nobody would be allowed to take the law into their own hands.

Judicial Halt on Construction in Bodhgaya
Mar 15, 2009 (Jagran Yahoo! India)
Gaya, Patna High Court has put a halt on all types of building construction around the Mahabodhi temple. In this connection the district administration has notified the local administration and police. Along with this the District Magistrate Sanjay Kumar Singh has ordered the Police in charge to make certain that the order is applied to the letter.
Meanwhile, the Regional Commissioner, Dr Karra Parashu Ramayya said that in the High Court a woman of Bodhgaya has filed a suit. In which there is the allegation that several foreign monasteries are carrying out construction works without any permission. Despite after the declaration of the temple as a world heritage monument the area around the temple being divided into various zones and there being a prohibition on new developments.
On the other hand the said woman alleges that the administration has acted against minor building works. Commissioner Dr Ramayya said that Attorney General had notified that
until the final decision of the court there was a prohibition on all forms of building work.

Three worlds' Buddhist Federation's international Conference begins
Feb 25, 2009 (Jagran Yahoo! India).
Gaya. The sixth annual Conference began on Tuesday late in the evening in the Federation compound of the Three worlds' Buddhist Federation's international Council. In this around six hundred Dhammacharis from America, New Zeeland, Sri Lanka, Australia and India are taking part. Dhammachari Nagketu said that that this was the first time that the international conference of the Three Worlds' Buddhist Federation established by 'Ugyen' Sangharaksita was being held in the land of the Buddha, previously it had been held in England. In the conference there was discussion and exchange of views about the activities of Dhammacharis in various in various countries. The participants at the conference took part every day in special worship and devotion in the World Heritage Mahabodhi temple compound. He said that last night the participants had a vido 'visualization' (English word in the Hindi text) of a message from the founder 'Ugyen' Sangharaksita. In this emphasis was placed on spreading and propogating the Buddha Dharma . Along with this the Federation's centre running in the Buddha land was newly named 'Triple Jewel Centre'. The new name was inspired by the Buddha, Dharma and the Sangha. He said that on the first of March in the Federation compound an International Dharma Revolution camp would be held. In which apart from Dhammacharis also lay men and women followers of Buddhism would take part.
Note: this is a report about the FWBO, with the title applied of 'Urgyen' (written wrongly in the Hindi as ugyen), to its founder Sangharakshita. In India the title of the organisation is the trailokya 'three worlds' Buddhist Federation', In one Friends of the Western Buddhist Order web page a similar title for the Indian branch of the FWBO is the 'Buddhist Order of the Three Worlds', and in another page Sangharakshita himself translates Trailokya Bauddha Mahasangha as 'Buddhist sangha of the three worlds', ignoring the maha prefix on sangha. The Hindi newspaper article also gives it as trailokya bauddha mahasangha which would be understood by as a Hindi reader as 'Three worlds Buddhist Federation' or perhaps 'Buddhist Federation of the three worlds'.

Uproar by Buddhist Monks in Bodhgaya
Bodhgaya, 17 January 2009 (Hindustan Dainik). There has been an upoar amongst monks over the presentation at the Buddhist festival organised in Bodhgaya. During this for about twenty minutes there was a strange situation on the stage. The Buddhist art director was accused of discrimination. Later there was peace after there had been conciliation.
After MLA chairman Udit Narayan Chaudri addressed the assembled audience at the festival on Friday night the program began. At the same moment as the announcer requested that the folk artists come on stage and make their presentation the Buddhist monks assembled there began to make an uproar. The monks came on stage and said that on Thursday they had been told they would be given an opportunity to present a program but they had not been given a chance. Even today they were being put off.
Local 'Maitri Monk union' and Chandramani Buddha Monastery monks artists, including Bhante Vimalakriti, Bhante Sanghratna and W. Bhante said that they were being discriminated against and prevented from presenting their program. Whilst the tourist department said that they had been called yesterday but had failed to show up on time. Main Office DSP Rajbhaksh Singh, DPRO Shameem Akhtar and BDO Anil Kumar calmed matters down after discussions with the monks.

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