Dalai Lama Unveils Buddha Idol

January 21st 2009

Gulbarga, Karnataka, India, 20 January 2009 (The Times of India) - Religious fervor and gaiety marked the unveiling and consecration of the gold-coated, 400-kg Buddha idol in a sitting posture, at the newly-constructed Buddha Vihar on the city's outskirts here on Monday.

Nobel laureate and spiritual leader Dalai Lama offered prayers and unveiled the statue inside the massive central hall. The huge crowd numbered around a lakh (100,000). The ceremony was telecast on digital screens amid thunderous applause and chants of "Buddham sharanam gacchami".

Many people from districts across the state, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra attended the event. Religious leaders chanted "Sarva dharma sammelan" before the consecration ceremony started. Sri Sri Ravishankar of Art of Living led Dalai Lama into the massive structure built on 75 acres and assisted the latter in completing the ritual.

Dalai Lama said: "In this growing era of materialism, it is the responsibility of everybody in the world to revive the spirit of Buddhism that taught tolerance, ahimsa (non-violence), peace and truth. It is India that led the world in tolerance, peace and non-violence and once again, it is India that should revive the `ahimsa' philosophy to make this world a garden of peace and tolerance."

He appreciated the efforts of the Buddha Vihar Trust that built the structures. "These structures are a tribute to Buddha and his philosophy."

Sri Sri Ravishankar stressed the need to revive and spread Buddha's message of tolerance, peace and non-violence. "It is time for people to follow Buddha, Basava and Ambedkar and their preachings in every aspect of life," he added.



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Upcoming Schedule

Public Talk in Yokohama, Japan on November 17: On November 17, His Holiness will give a public talk on Compassion - The Key to Happiness organized by the Liaison Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama at Pacifico Yokohama Hall. Contact Website: www.tibethouse.jp

Kalachakra in Bodhgaya, Bihar, India from January 3 to 14: His Holiness will give the Kalachakra at the request of the Kashag of the Central Tibetan Administration. From January 3 to 5, His Holiness, along with Namgyal Monastery monks and senior lamas, will conduct rituals which prepare and consecrate the venue. From January 6 to 8, His Holiness will give preliminary teachings on Shantideva's A Guide to the Bodhisattva's Way of Life and Kamalashila's The Middling Stages of Meditation. On January 9, the Kalachakra Ritual Dance will be performed by Namgyal Monastery monks. His Holiness will confer the Kalachakra Initiation from January 10 to 13. On January 14, a long life empowerment and long life offering prayer for His Holiness will be performed.