Thousands of Buddhist devotees land in Bodh Gaya to attend holy Kalchakra puja
PATNA: More than 50,000 Buddhist monks and devotees have landed in Bodh Gaya to attend the Kalchakra puja which starts from January 2. The rituals will be conducted by His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
Bodh Gaya happens to be the holiest of the holy place for the Buddhists across the globe and is now again playing a host to another Kalchakra puja—34th in the series.
The number of the visitors assumes significance given the demonetization drive which is believed to be cancellation of several tour programmes booked in advance.
“Demonetization has less impact on pilgrims visiting Bodh Gaya for Kalchakra puja because the state government has made arrangements to overcome currency crisis here,” Tibetan Youth Congress president Tenjing Jygme was quoted as saying in local daily Hindustan Times.
“The real trouble is China embargo which has affected devotees’ inflow to the shrine city,” the leader added.
According to the organizers, there will be a special place for foreigners in the front of the teachings platform, in the westerner translation area during the Kalachakra teachings and initiation.
In India, seating is usually on the ground. The convention amongst Tibetans is to mark a spot on the first day with a cushion or piece of cloth, and to keep to it for the duration.
The 10 day-long event starts in Bodh Gaya from January 2. Earlier it was to start from January 3 but now its date has been advanced keeping in view requests from the devotees.
Around a million Buddhists from places such as USA, Britain, Germany, France and Switzerland are expected to attend the Kalchakra puja.
During this occasion, Dalai will give preliminary teachings on Shantideva’s A Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life and Kamalashila’s The Middling Stages of Meditatio, from January 6 to 8.
On January 9, the Kalachakra Ritual Dance will be performed by the monks of Namgyal Monastery. His Holiness will confer the Kalachakra Initiation from January 10 to 13.
On January 14, a long life empowerment and offering prayers for the long life of His Holiness will be performed.
The office of His Holiness has suggested the devotees to arrange FM radios sets on their own to listen to the translation saying it will not be possible to get radios in Bodh Gaya.