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Bodhi tree a source of nourishment for humanity:

Bodhi tree a source of nourishment for humanity: Former president of India Ramnath Kovind

GAYA: Former president of India Ramnath Kovind inaugurated the 10-day Tipitaka chanting ceremony under the sacred Bodhi tree on world heritage Mahabodhi Mahavihara campus on Friday by lighting the ceremonial lamp.

The event has been organised by the Light of Buddha Dharma Foundation International India (LBFII) in which more than 4000 Buddhist monks, nuns and other Buddhist devoteees from countries including Bangladesh, Cambodia, Laos PDR, Indonesia, INdia, Nepal, Myanmar, Thailand, Srilanka and Vietnam are participating.

Addressing the gathering of participants and members of LBFII under the sacred Bodhi tree, the former president said, “You all are ambassadors of world peace. I am delighted to see so many senior representatives from Buddhist communities from South-East Asia, Europe and America. On behalf of fellow Indians, I thank all of you for making the effort to travel to this seat of enlightenment and gathering in such a large number. We appease that you chose to visit our country again and again and sincerely hope that your every visit will be fulfilling and pleasant”.

He added: “It is a great pleasure to be in the vicinity of the sacred Bodhi tree, a place that I always cherish deeply in my mind. I find the Bodhi tree a source of nourishment for the entire humanity. When I was living in the Rashtrapati Bhawan, I had arranged to get small branches of this great Bodhi tree and got them planted there. I got it done at two different locations. Now those saplings have become young trees. Those two Bodhi trees have become a living bond between Rashtrapati Bhawan on the one end and Bodh Gaya and the great tradition of Lord Buddha.”

The former president said, “I undertook a 10-day residential course in Vipasana, which was a great experience. I was keen to do the course but due to my responsibility as governor of Bihar and later as President of India, I could not attend the course.”

He further said, “What I feel that Vipasana is a great gift of India to humanity. It is also a sample Buddhist part of self-realization. I feel that practising Vipasana can help strengthen the values of peace, harmony, love, kindness and compassion. These are the values that Buddha wanted every human being to follow.”

Earlier, the former president offered prayers before the statue of Lord Buddha in sanctum sanctorum of the Mahavihara.

Mahavihara chief monk Bhikkhu Chalinda led him to offer prayers. DM Thiyagarajan SM welcomed the former president. Bodh Gaya Temple Management Committee (BTMC) member secretary Nangzey Dorjee, member Arvind Singh, LBFII executive director Wangmo Dixie were also present on the occasion.

The Light of Buddhadharma Foundation is dedicated to revitalizing and developing the Buddhasasana in India.


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