Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Dhammakranti Retreat underway at Bodh Gaya - 650 attending

We promised you regular updates from the Dhammakranti Retreat now underway at Bodh Gaya. Communications are not easy at such a distance, but a mixture of emails and text messages (!) have enabled us to bring this report. Santosh says:

Lokabandhu, now rain is less. Still it is raining but not continuously. Weather is cool and soothing. Governor of Bihar (ed: a Buddhist) was supposed to inaugurate program but couldn’t because of bad weather. But it didn’t affect the Intensity and charm of the retreat. Every day most of those present are making the 1km journey to the Mahabodhi Temple itself, place of the Buddha’s Enlightenment.

Lokabandhu, it was great inauguration of the Retreat with Subhuti. 650 people are present, many have travelled up to 1,000 miles across India. Programme started at 3.00pm with Lama Gyaltesen from France, Bhante Sumati from the Tibetan ‘Root Institute’ next door, and Bhante Niranjana jointly inaugurating it with Subhuti, all speaking for a short time to bless the retreat. Sumati emphasized TBMSG’s importance and praised it for doing real work to change society in India. He also emphasized to the people present that they must take this event at the Land of Buddha very seriously and try to let the Dhamma percolate to the bottom of their hearts and then from there outwards, to change the Mind and Society.

Subhuti nicely coordinated those present by saying that Babasaheb Ambedkar wanted Liberty Fraternity, and Equality for all, repeating Ambedkar’s saying that these came not from the French Revolution but from “My master, the Buddha”, and that people should go to that religion which gives them humanity and liberty. He also mentioned beautiful consolidation of Hinayana and Mahayana as represented by the monks from different traditions on the stage.

Kumarjiv anchored the programme. He says, “The theme is ‘Changing the Mind, Changing the World’, and the four-fold Dhammakranti ‘action plan’ is being studied: (1) work on ourselves, (2) form sangha, (3) share Dhamma (4) help those who are suffering”. Over the past two or three years Subhuti and others have toured the length and breadth of India hammering home this simple formula – he says “In order to change India, one must start by changing one Indian - oneself. We can't expect others to participate in the Dhamma-Kranti unless we ourselves participate. So the Dhamma-Kranti begins with Self-Kranti - 'Self Revolution'. We do that by following the Buddha’s path of sila, samadhi and prajna. Sila means revolutionising our relations with other people. Samadhi means revolutionising our experience of ourselves, and Prajna means revolutionising our ideas, attitudes, and understanding.”

We hope to bring you more reports over the coming days.



Post a Comment

<< Home