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HindustanTimes Sun,21 Dec 2014

Peace-loving Buddhists shocked

Anupam Srivastava, Hindustan Times  Lucknow, July 08, 2013
First Published: 12:31 IST(8/7/2013) | Last Updated: 12:40 IST(8/7/2013)

Members of the Buddhist community are shocked over the Sunday terror attacks on the temple town of Bodh Gaya in Bihar.

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“It is shocking. I don’t know why they have chosen to attack temples. This is not an attack on Gaya but on teachings of Buddha,” said Rajesh Chandra, principal of ITI College.

A practising Buddhist, Chandra claimed that never in the 2000-year-long history of Buddhism, any place of worship, except Buddha idols in Bamiyan, Afghanistan, have been attacked.

“The religion which preaches peace so vehemently must be spared from such attacks,” he said. Seewali P Tharo, general secretary, Mahabodhi Society of India too termed the incident as unfortunate.

“It is an effort by terror organisations to stop foreign Buddhists to come to Buddhist circuit,” he said while talking to HT on phone from Sarnath.

“But, they won’t succeed as India is a safe place and such isolated incidents won’t affect the faith,” he added while demanding adequate security for places of worship.

He said the members of Buddhist community would take out a peace march at Sarnath followed by special prayers for peace soon.

Bhante Suman Ratna, who takes care of Bhante Pragyanandaji, the priest who was present when Dr BR Ambedkar adopted Buddhism) said: “I am concerned that one of the blasts took place just under the enlightenment tree causing partial damage to the Buddha footprints. This is a heinous crime committed by senseless people.”

“Still, I would pray to God that give terrorists peace. Hope their hearts change and they stop doing such things,” he added.

Meanwhile, a special protest march was taken out from GPO crossing to Parivartan Chowk in Lucknow on Sunday.

A special prayer session was also organised at Ambedkar statue in which many Buddhist priests participated. Bhante Prgyananda, the senior most monk in the city, has urged the community members to maintain peace and harmony.


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