Foreigners participate in Novitiate programme in Bodhgaya

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Bodhgaya (Bihar), Nov 20 (UNI) Several foreign nationals from the US, UK, Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia have been attending the two-week Novitiate programme at Mahabodhi Mahavihar in Bodhgaya, the place reverred by Buddhists the world over.

More than 200 Buddhists, including 137 women, have so far attended the ceremony during which they were administered temporary monkhood by the spiritual leader and founder of Alok Foundation, the reverred Mahinda. During the brief period of two weeks, the devotees would experience monastic life.

Spiritual leader Mahinda said such temporary programmes were being organised to provide opportunity to individuals to reinforce faith in their religion.

He said such programmes bring the devotees closer to the Buddha by inculcating the values of Dhamma (religion) in them. It also inspires them towards the benefit of Sangha.

The religious leader said the Novitiating programme is held annually at Buddhsist Mahavihara in the Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur.

The first ever such programme was held at Lumbini where 118 devotees from the US, Singapore, Australia and Malaysia attended the function.

Mahinda said after Bodhgaya the Novitiate programme would be held next year at Sarnath.

UNI RS DPM RD 1318

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