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"As long as human rights are violated, there can be no foundation for peace. How can peace grow where speaking the truth is itself a crime?"

Kagyu sect celebrates festival at Bodhygaya

December 22, 2007

Asian News International
December 19, 2007

Bodhgaya, Dec.19: The 17th Karmapa Lama, Ogyen Thrinley Dorje led
several Buddhist monks and devotees in prayers for world peace and
harmony at the

opening day the 25th International 'Kagyu Monlam' prayer festival on Monday.

Over 7,000 Buddhist monks, nuns and devotees from across the globe
congregated at the Mahabodhi temple in Bodhgaya to pray. It was held for
the first

time in 1983.

The eight-day long festival that aims at promoting and establishing
worldwide peace, harmony and happiness is a tradition that is said to
have commenced in

Tibet over 500 years ago by the Kagyu sect. It is one of the four major
sects in Tibetan Buddhism.

Dompo Tshering, secretary to the 17th Karmapa Lama, Ogyen Thrinley
Dorje, head of the Karma Kagyu sect, said a key concern at the 'Kagyu
Monlam' is

environmental protection.

"All living beings should live in peace and harmony. And in today's
environment, Guruji (Karmapa) feels that we should pay utmost importance
to the

environment. It is like an egg, if we don't take care of it, then it
will break and all will be lost," said Tshering.

Dorje, one of the highest lamas in Tibet's Buddhist hierarchy, is the
only senior monk to be recognised by both Beijing and exiled Tibetan
spiritual leader, the

Dalai Lama.

Sandreia, a devotee from Argentina, said: "This is the first time I've
come here but I see there is a very strong energy. We can feel the wish
of the people

about peace and spirituality and praying...So many people from different
places and with different kinds of feelings but the more important
feeling is peace."

For the remaining days of the festival, there will also be a free
medical camp set-up as part of the special celebrations. By Surya Pratap
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