By Phurbu Thinley
Sarnath, January 9: His Holiness the Dalai Lama Friday inaugurated the installation of a unique handcarved 2.5 meter-high stone statue of Buddha in the compound of the Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies (Deemed University) here before carrying on with the second-day of a week-long teachings here.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama responds to media queries upon consecration of a 2.5 meter-high stone statue of Buddha from Indonesia, in Sarnath, India, January 9, 2009. Renowned interfaith spiritualist and author Anand Kumar, who presented the statue to the Tibetan spiritual leader, is also seen in the photo. (Photo: Tenzin Choejor/OHHDL)
The revered Tibetan spiritual leader consecrated the Buddha statue, which is to be installed permanently later in the Kalachakra Temple in the institute’s compound.
Internationally recognised Indonesia-based interfaith spiritualist and author Anand Krishna offered the statue to the Dalai Lama as a token of restrengthening the spiritual and cultural ties between the peoples of Indonesia and Tibet.
The unique Buddha statue is made from the same source materials used to build the 9th CE Borobudur Temple, regarded as the world’s largest Buddhist temple, in Muntilan in Central Java.
The offering also aims to support His Holiness’ non-violent struggle to protect the cultural heritage of Tibet, Anand Krishna, founder of the Jakarta-based Anand Ashram Foundation, said in a statement on its website
“Representing the peace loving people of Indonesia, I salute His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama for his untiring and relentless efforts in finding peaceful solutions to protect the historical and cultural heritage of Tibet based on tolerance and respect,” said Anand.
“By offering this statue from Indonesia to His Holiness, and to be placed on Indian soil – I hope, I pray that the peoples of Tibet, India and Indonesia are united in love, peace and harmony,” he added.
“In 1012 AD, Indian Buddhist monk/scholar Atisha traveled to the Indonesian archipelago, and went to Tibet to preach the ancient art of Tong-Len meditation which he learnt from an indigenous Indonesian Master, Dharmakirti Svarnadvipi, a name very close to the heart of His Holiness and the people of Tibet,” Anand puts it.
Anand was joined by six other officials of Anand Ashram Foundation in Sarnath to present the Buddha statue.
Mr. Anand Krishna’s visit to His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama will be one of the most significant and historical moments in the histories of Tibet, India and Indonesia, Anand Ashram Foundation chairwoman Maya Muchtar said in the same statement.
“We all belong to the one and same Indus Valley Civilization, together we can respond wisely and compassionately to the problems faced by our world. Together we can realize our common dream of ‘One Earth, One Sky, and One Humankind,” Ms. Muchtar said.
In thanking Anand for the offering, the Dalai Lama described the interfaith spiritualist as a supporter of Tibet’s cause.
An Indonesian national of Indian descent, Anand Krishna has written more than 120 books in the past 10 years, both in English and Indonesian, on varied subjects like spirituality, philosophy and humanity. He is also recognised for his other social and humanitarian activities related to promotion of interfaith understanding and appreciation.