Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama being received by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar at Patna Airport on January 3, 2013.
DHARAMSHALA, January 4: Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai arrived in the Indian state of Bihar at the invitation of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, Thursday.
The Dalai Lama was received at the Patna airport by the Chief Minister and a host of top government officials.
The Tibetan spiritual leader is scheduled to inaugurate a three-day International Buddhist Sangha Seminar on The Role of the Buddhist Sangha in the 21st Century jointly organised by the Bihar Art and Culture Department and the Bodh Gaya Temple Management Committee.
Hundreds of delegates from 20 countries, including China, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, and Japan are expected to attend the meet starting January 5.
Earlier today, the Dalai Lama held a special prayer at the Chief Minister’s One Anne Marg official residence for world peace.
CM Kumar, Deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi, Water Resources Minister Vijay Chaudhary, state JD(U) President Vashist Narayan Singh, and party Rajya Sabha member R C P Singh were among those who took part in the prayer.
Talking to media persons, the Dalai Lama praised the chief minister and the state government for taking keen interest in Buddhism.
Describing Nitish Kumar as "a dynamic Chief Minister," the Tibetan leader said he was "very happy to visit the land of King Ashoka who spread Buddhism in the world."
While mentioning the glorious history of modern day Bihar, the Nobel Peace laureate recounted the names of the state’s great sons like independent India’s first President Dr Rajendra Prasad and Loknayak Jayprakash Narayan.
Also today, the 77-year-old Tibetan spiritual leader, along with CM Kumar, inaugurated a statue of Lord Buddha at the Buddha Smriti Parka in the state capital.
Following his visit to Patna, the Dalai Lama is scheduled to leave for Sarnath, Uttar Pradesh to give four days of teachings on Shantideva's A Guide to the Boddhisattva's Way of Life (chodjug) from January 7 to 10.