The formal inauguration of the Buddha Smriti Park in Patna by the Dalai Lama on May 27 will be a gala international event attended by delegations from at least four predominantly Buddhist countries.
This important bit of information surrounding the event and the Tibetan spiritual leader's programme for his proposed Patna visit were confirmed on Monday by Tenzin Taklha, a spokesman for the Dalai Lama.
"Delegations from Sri Lanka, Burma, Japan and Thailand will attend the prayer ceremony during the inaugural function of the park that the Dalai Lama will preside over in Patna on May 27", he told HT.
Taklha also confirmed that the visiting foreign delegations would bring with them Buddha relics and gifts that would become part of the memorial park's treasure of arts and artifacts.
He also confirmed being aware that a sapling from the 'original' Mahabodhi banyan tree at Anuradhapuram in Sri Lanka was being brought to India for being planted at Patna's Buddha Smriti Park.
"As of now, it has not been communicated to us that the Dalai Lama would be requested to plant that sapling in the park. But then details of His Holiness' programme are still being worked out", Taklha said.
He said the Dalai Lama would return to India from the United States May 26 morning. The Dharmashala (Himachal Pradesh)-based Buddhist leader would reach Patna by a chartered flight the same afternoon.
Tenzin Taklha said the Dalai Lama would leave Patna immediately after the conclusion of the park inauguration function on May 27, by the same, chartered flight.
A Bodh Gaya Temple Management Committee (BTMC) delegation is already in Sri Lanka to attend a function to commemorate the 2,500th year of the making of Buddhist flag, amid other engagements.
According to BTMC chairman and Gaya DM Sanjay Kumar Singh, the delegation is slated to bring with it a sapling from the holy banyan tree at Anuradhapuram. Singh said the tree at Anuradhapuram was believed to have grown out of a branch of a tree at the Gaya Mahabodhi Mahavihara that dried up. The existing tree at the Gaya temple has grown from a branch of the same tree.