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Bodh Gaya blasts: Stay calm, says Tibetan religious head

By Ians English

Dharasalam, July 8: Tibetan religious head and the 17th Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje Monday appealed to his followers to remain calm and refrain from escalation of violence in the wake of the blasts in Bihar's Bodh Gaya town.

"I was deeply saddened to hear of the senseless violence perpetrated Sunday at the Mahabodhi temple and its environs in Bodh Gaya," the Karmapa, a frequent visitor at the Mahabodhi temple, said in a statement here.

This is the place, he said, where Buddhist pilgrims from India and the world over pay homage to Lord Buddha and his teachings.

Buddhists at Bodh Gaya temple

"As yet, we do not know why or by whom this sacred site was targeted. However, I am convinced that, as Buddhists, in responding to this situation, the best homage we can pay to Lord Buddha is to uphold his teachings on love and ahimsa (nonviolence)," said the 28-year-old monk.

"I ask you, therefore, to remain calm and refrain from any further escalation of the violence. I offer my prayers for the victims and their families, and call on Buddhists everywhere to truly embrace the wisdom of Lord Buddha's teachings in all that we do."

Nine blasts took place between 5.30 am and 6 am on Sunday at the over two millennia old Mahabodhi temple, annually visited by millions of pilgrims from all over the world, especially from Sri Lanka, China, Japan and the Southeast Asia region.

The blasts injured two monks but did not damage the temple. The government termed it a terror attack as the National Investigating Agency (NIA) began its probe.

The Karmapa has been residing in the Gyuto Tantric University and Monastery on the outskirts of this town, the seat of the Tibetan government-in-exile, ever since he mysteriously escaped to India in January 2000.

In the Tibetan religious hierarchy, he is considered the third most important Tibetan religious head after the Dalai Lama and Panchen Lama.

The Dalai Lama lives in exile along with some 140,000 Tibetans, over 100,000 of them in India. Over six million Tibetans live in Tibet.

The Tibetan exile administration is based in this northern Indian hill town, but is not recognised by any country.


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