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Dalai Lama, Karmapa lead Buddha Purnima celebrations in India

May 30, 2010

2010-05-27 17:50:00

New Delhi, May 27 (IANS) Thousands of Buddhists from all over the world,
including the Dalai Lama and the Karmapa, Thursday led the Buddha
Purnima celebrations in India that was attended by hundreds of monks
from as far as Tibet and Nepal.

The Dalai Lama, leader of the Tibetan community, inaugurated a sprawling
22-acre park in Patna to commemorate Lord Buddha's 2,554th birth
anniversary that is celebrated as Buddha Purnima.

It is the most sacred day for Buddhists as it not just marks the birth
anniversary, but also enlightenment and passing to final Nirvana of Lord
Buddha.

The inauguration of the Rs.125-crore Buddha Smriti (memorial) Park was
attended by delegations from four predominantly Buddhist countries --
Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Japan and Thailand.

The foreign delegations brought consecrated Buddha urns and gifts that
were kept at the memorial park by the Dalai Lama. He also planted a
sapling of the tree under which Buddha is believed to have attained
enlightenment in Bodh Gaya.

In Bodh Gaya, hundreds of Buddhists from across the world celebrated the
occasion, the focus of the events being the Mahabodhi temple that is the
faith's holiest shrine.

Delhi celebrated Buddha Purnima, enriched by the presence of hundreds of
monks and lamas from all over the country besides Tibet and Nepal,
including the Karmapa, one of the most important lineage holders of the
teachings of Tibetan Buddhism.

As it is the first time that Buddha Purnima has fallen on the same day
as per the Hindu and Tibetan calendars, it made the day very auspicious.
The celebrations were marked by the arrival of the 17th Karmapa, Trinley
Thaye Dorje, spiritual head of the Karma Kagyu tradition of Tibetan
Buddhism.

'The Dharma is known as one of the best objectives of life, and it is
accepted by one and all as the path of peace and prosperity. I pray for
the sake of world peace and urge you all to do the same to overcome evil
and the power of love to overcome unrest among all the people of the
entire nation,' Dorje said.

In Dharamsala, where the Dalai Lama and most Tibetans live in exile
since they fled to India in 1959, special prayers, sermons and
recitation of Buddhist scriptures were conducted to mark the occasion by
thousands of faithful followers.

Over 150,000 Tibetans live outside Tibet, most of them in India. There
are an estimated six million Tibetans worldwide, including in Tibet.
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