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regular-article-logo Tuesday, 21 May 2024

Over 1,500 Buddhist monks, nuns march in Bihar for world peace

People from India, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, the US and other countries participated in the walk with devotion and surrender to Buddha, says professor

Dev Raj Patna Published 14.12.23, 06:35 AM
Over 1,500 monks, nuns and devotees from 15 countries march from Jethian to Rajgir in Bihar on Wednesday.

Over 1,500 monks, nuns and devotees from 15 countries march from Jethian to Rajgir in Bihar on Wednesday. The Telegraph

The hills and forests of Gaya and Nalanda districts in Bihar on Wednesday reverberated with chants of Buddham Sharanam Gachchhami (Surrender to the Buddha), as over 1,500 Buddhist monks, nuns and devotees from 15 countries marched for peace.

Known as the “10th Jethian — Rajgir Dhamma Yatra”, their trek started in the morning from Jethian village in Gaya and ended 15 kilometres away at Venu Vana (bamboo forest) at Rajgir in Nalanda district in the evening.

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“People from India, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, the US and other countries participated in the walk with devotion and surrender to the Buddha, remembering his teachings and praying for peace in the entire world,” said professor Dipankar Lama of Nava Nalanda Mahavihara, a deemed university under the Union culture ministry, which organised the walk.

“Such occasions and prayers become more relevant in this time of war. The prayers also encompass national, societal and personal peace, because they all are inter-connected,” Lama told The Telegraph.

The Nava Nalanda Mahavihara has been organising the walk in the footsteps of the Buddha since 2014 and this was the 10th such event. Several institutions such as the Light of Buddhadharma Foundation International and the Bodhgaya Temple Management Committee supported the yatra, which went through hills, forests and villages on the way.

Light of Buddhadharma Foundation International executive secretary Wangmo Dixey and several members also participated in the walk that takes the route identified with the help of various ancient Buddhist texts and the accounts of Chinese traveller Monk Xuanzang.

Gautam Buddha (563 to 483 BC), after becoming enlightened at Bodh Gaya, had taken this route, to travel to Sarnath near Varanasi, where he gave his first sermon.

Buddha’s contemporary Magadh king Bimbisara, on coming to know about his travel, received him at Jethian, brought him to his kingdom at Rajgriha (present-day Rajgir) and donated Venu Vana, which was his personal garden. This was the first donation of land received by the Buddha.

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