Bodh Gaya, January 6 – Preparation for the 28th Kalachakra pooja is almost complete now with a whole-hearted support and cooperation from the Bihar State government and the local administration of the Gaya District as well as the local people. The stage is all set to welcome His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama in Bodh Gaya for this nine-day Kalachakra pooja beginning from Sunday, January 12, 2003. His Holiness arrives in Patna from Delhi this afternoon. After an overnight stay there, His Holiness and his entourage will leave Patna the next morning, and will arrive in Bodh Gaya tomorrow during the day.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama will be received at the Maitreya Project by the abbot of Namgyal Monastery, other high lamas of different sects of Tibetan Buddhism, local authorities and public of Gaya District, senior officers of the Central Tibetan Administration and the representatives of seventeen sponsors of the Kalachakra pooja. Devotees, both monks and lay people, will stand in line along the routes leading to the Maitreya Project to welcome His Holiness in Bodh Gaya. Later in the day, His Holiness will visit the Great Stupa and attend the concluding session of the on-going Kagyu Monlam under the Bodhi Tree.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama has accepted to perform the Kalachakra pooja in Bodh Gaya at the request of the International Buddhist Council, Bodh Gaya, the Himalayan Buddhist Cultural Association, the Cholsum Namdrel Drikzug, Dharamshala, the Kyirong Association, Dharamshala, the Tibetan Youth Congress, the Lodrik Tsokchung, Nepal, and the thirteen Tibetan families based in India, Nepal and Switzerland. This is the third Kalachakra pooja conducted by His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Bodh Gaya. The first and second Kalachakra pooja in Bodh Gaya was held in 1974 and 1985 respectively.
It is estimated that to-date, around 80,000 devotees and pilgrims, including monks and nuns, from all over India, Nepal, Bhutan and other countries have arrived in Bodh Gaya to attend this year’s Kalachakra pooja. Over 300 Indians and foreigners have already registered for the Kalachakra pooja. Special entry passes are issued to the Indians and foreigners at the Mahayana Guest House, and a separate seating arrangement is being made for them at the Kalchakra Maidan for attending the Kalachakra teachings and initiations.
The Department of Religion and Culture of Central Tibetan Administration based in Dharamshala, India, which organises this Kalachakra pooja, expects many devotees more to arrive during the next few days, and is well prepared to meet all the logistical arrangements to accommodate them during their stay in Bodh Gaya. The Department is grateful to the State Government of Bihar and the local administration of Gaya District for extending their full support and cooperation to meet the logistical needs of the devotees attending the Kalachakra pooja. It also expresses its appreciation to the local people for extending all possible assistance and cooperation to the organiser as well as the devotees arriving here.
Three tent camps have been set up for accommodating the devotees. Camp one is at the Rajpur Road opposite Burmese temple. Camp two with 300 tents are located behind the Archaeological Survey of India’s Museum. Camp three is set up behind the Thai temple. All the camps are provided with running water, water pumps, electricity, makeshift toilets, and a small clinic by the local administration. Seven ration shops opened near the camps provide daily necessities and kerosene oil at reasonable prices to the devotees. One fire service vehicle will be stationed in each camp and the two will be parked near the Kalachakra Maidan. Besides these, the Department of Health of Central Tibetan Administration is holding a free medical camp near the Kalachakra Maidan. The doctors of the Tibetan Medical and Astro Institute are providing treatment according to the traditional Tibetan healing system. Ambulances are available at the main clinic near the Kalachakra Maidan.
The Kalachakra temple at the Kalachakra Maidan has been repaired and refurnished. The perimeter of the Kalachakra Maidan has been extended from the three sides to increase its capacity and fenced with tin sheets. Entry gates have been marked with numbers. Gate number 2 has been allotted for the entry of Indians, foreigners, and media persons into the Kalachakra Maidan attending the Kalachakra pooja. Elaborate security arrangements are in place at the Maitreya Project, the Great Stupa, the Kalachakra Maidan and various other important points.
Volunteers are working round the clock to receive the devotees at the Gaya Railway Station. They also assist them to book the local transportation from the station to the Bodh Gaya.
The Department of Religion and Culture of Central Tibetan Administration based in Dharamshala, H.P., is taking the full responsibility of organising the Kalachakra pooja. Representatives of the 17 sponsors of Kalachakra pooja and volunteers of Tibetan Women’s Association and National Democratic Party of Tibet have been working under the leadership of the Department of Religion and Culture for the last more than a month for making all the arrangements for the Kalachakra pooja.
The Kalachakra teachings and initiation programme is for nine days from January 12-20, 2003. There will be preliminary teachings by His Holiness the Dalai Lama on the first three days. His Holiness will teach on 37 Practices of a Bodhisattva and Middle Stages of Meditation. Kalachakra Initiation will be from January 16-19th. Long life empowerment for the public and long life ceremony for His Holiness the Dalai Lama will take place on the last day (January 20th). The Kalachakra programme concludes with public viewing of the Kalachakra Mandala and dismantling and dissolving of mandala sand in the lake.
Contact: Sonam N. Dagpo, Additional Secretary
Masood Butt, Press Coordinator
Department of Information & International Relations
Central Tibetan Administration, Dharamshala, India
Camped at: Mahayana Guest House, Bodh Gaya
Tel: +91-631-2200675, 2200756