News and Views on Tibet

Kalchakra puja begins amid tight security

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By Manish Kumar

Patna, January 12 – Security has been tightened in the pilgrim town of Bodhgaya in Bihar for the nine-day Kalchakra puja beginning today.

Devotees of Lord Buddha in Bodhgaya are present in large numbers to participate in the puja – one of the most sacred rituals of Buddhism’s Mahayana sect.

The puja, which is held once in 10 years, was postponed last year due to the ill health of Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama.

“Actually, last year I was supposed to carry out the function but I got ill, so it had to be postponed. This time, hopefully my physical health is ok and there will be no problem,” he said.

But unlike every puja in the past, this time the Bihar government has decided against transporting the relics of Lord Buddha from Patna to Gaya.

Instead, they will now lie in the Patna museum. “It was decided that with the constant transportation of the relics, the chances of damaging them in transit was a high possibility,” said Dr Madhuri Aggarwal, curator, Patna museum.

There is tight vigil for this Buddhist festival in view of threats from some Naxal organisations such as the MCC last year. The sacred Mahabodi temple, the venue of the puja, has also been cordoned off.

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