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World peace only through ahimsa: Dalai Lama
Anand Mohan Sahay in Patna | January 12, 2003 23:04 IST
The Dalai Lama on Sunday said that world peace can be attained only through Lord Buddha's path of ahimsa (non-violence).
Delivering a sermon on the inaugral session of the nine-day Kalchakra puja in Bodh Gaya in Bihar, he said ahimsa was need today as several countries have developed weapons of mass destruction.
Referring to the 37 teachings of Boddhisatva, the Dalai Lama said, "Accumulation of wealth leads to rivalry and anxiety...wealth even leads to conflict between father and son."
The sacred prayers began amid tight security and attended by thousands of Buddhist devotees.
Last year he had put the nine-day prayers off midway, the first time since 1954, in January 2002 at Bodh Gaya due to ill health. He had postponed the puja till January 2003.
The Kalchakra puja is considered one of the most sacred rituals of Mahayana sect and Tibetan Buddhists. About 300,000 to 400,000 Buddhists from across the world are likely to attend prayers led by the Dalai Lama in Bodh Gaya.
The largest congregation of Buddhists from all over the world attends the Kalchakra prayers. Apart from Indians and Tibetans, Buddhists from Southeast Asia, Europe and the United States arrive in Bodh Gaya for the prayers.
The Dalai Lama fell ill with gastroenteritis and high blood pressure, thousands of Buddhists from across the world, who had flocked to Bodh Gaya for the puja in January 2002 in the hope of hearing the Nobel peace laureate, went back disappointed.
The peace prayers have been organised 26 times between 1954 and 2001 in different parts of the world, with the Dalai Lama present on each occasion.
The Bihar government has made heavy security arrangements for the puja in view of the presence of the Dalai Lama and the Karmapa, who are in the hit list of extremist groups.
A large number of anti-riot police, commandos and policemen in plainclothes have been deployed in and around the town. Sniffer dogs and bomb disposal squads have also been pressed into service.
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