VHP regains lost ground in Bodh Gaya

by ABDUL QADIR, TIMES NEWS NETWORK, NOVEMBER 22, 2004

GAYA, India -- After more than 12 years, the VHP has regained its lost ground in Bodh Gaya, the seat of Buddha's enlightenment. The organisation suffered a setback when Gyan Jagat, the Mahabodhi Temple superior priest, mysteriously left Bodh Gaya in 1992. Gyan Jagat had been part of the VHP think-tank and a member of its Marg Darshak Mandal.

Gyan Jagat's departure was caused by the revelation made about his VHP connections, as, till then his VHP association was a close guarded secret. And ever since Gyan Jagat's departure, the VHP could not consolidate itself in Bodh Gaya.

Now that Bhupendra Kumar Modi has been elected as the president of the Mahabodhi Society, one of the most influential Buddhist organisations and the society's constitution has been amended, freeing it from the Sri Lankan yoke, the VHP finds itself in a vantage position in Bodh Gaya. As per the amended constitution of the Mahabodhi Society, the India chapter of the society has become an independent unit and it has no longer to depend on instructions received from the Colombo headquarters of the society.

As per Modi's bio-data released in Bodh Gaya, he has been the chairman of the overseas chapter of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad. During his interaction with mediapersons in Bodh Gaya on Saturday evening, Modi did not conceal his VHP connection. However, he made it clear that he did not favour militant Hinduism and a consensual approach was needed to resolve inter-religious conflicts and disputes.

There is another reason, too, why the VHP must be feeling happy with Modi in command of the Mahabodhi Society. For the last several years, conversions have regularly been taking place in Bodh Gaya and a significant number of Dalits from Bihar as well as other parts of the country, particularly Maharashtra, have embraced Buddhism at baptisation ceremonies conducted at the seat of Buddha's enlightenment. This year too, no less than 116 persons renounced Hinduism and embraced the Buddhist faith and mode of worship.

Though the VHP has been underplaying the conversions on the plea that Buddhism had no separate identity and it was part of the larger Hindu family, comprising all non-Muslims and non-Christians, the 22-point vow administered to the converts making them denounce deities formerly worshipped by them has been a major irritant.

Modi, the new president of the Mahabodhi Society, has been an active anti-conversion campaigner and he plans to organise a conference on conversions in the Sri Lankan capital, Colombo. During his interaction with mediapersons in Bodh Gaya, the former chairman of the VHP's overseas chapter was quite vocal in denouncing conversions and demanded amendment of chapter 18 of the UN charter. The UN charter recognises religious conversion as a fundamental right.

We Need Your Help to Train the
Buddhist AI Chat Bot
NORBU!
(Neural Omniscient Robotic-Being for Buddhist Understanding)



For Malaysians who wants to donate in MYR, please use the following account:

Account Name: Bodhi Vision
Account No:. 2122 00000 44661
Bank: RHB

The SWIFT/BIC code for RHB Bank Berhad is: RHBBMYKLXXX
Address: 11-15, Jalan SS 24/11, Taman Megah, 47301 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Phone: 603-9206 8118

Note: Please indicate your name in the payment slip. Thank you.


Dear Friends in the Dharma,

We seek your generous support to help us train NORBU, the word's first Buddhist AI Chat Bot.

Here are some ways you can contribute to this noble cause:

One-time Donation or Loan: A single contribution, regardless of its size, will go a long way in helping us reach our goal and make the Buddhist LLM a beacon of wisdom for all.

How will your donation / loan be used? Download the NORBU White Paper for details.



For Malaysians who wants to donate in MYR, please use the following account:

Account Name: Bodhi Vision
Account No:. 2122 00000 44661
Bank: RHB

The SWIFT/BIC code for RHB Bank Berhad is: RHBBMYKLXXX
Address: 11-15, Jalan SS 24/11, Taman Megah, 47301 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Phone: 603-9206 8118

Note: Please indicate your purpose of payment (loan or donation) in the payment slip. Thank you.

Once payment is banked in, please send the payment slip via email to: editor@buddhistchannel.tv. Your donation/loan will be published and publicly acknowledged on the Buddhist Channel.

Spread the Word: Share this initiative with your friends, family and fellow Dharma enthusiasts. Join "Friends of Norbu" at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/norbuchatbot. Together, we can build a stronger community and create a positive impact on a global scale.

Volunteer: If you possess expertise in AI, natural language processing, Dharma knowledge in terms of Buddhist sutras in various languages or related fields, and wish to lend your skills, please contact us. Your knowledge and passion could be invaluable to our project's success.

Your support is part of a collective effort to preserve and disseminate the profound teachings of Buddhism. By contributing to the NORBU, you become a "virtual Bodhisattva" to make Buddhist wisdom more accessible to seekers worldwide.

Thank you for helping to make NORBU a wise and compassionate Buddhist Chatbot!

May you be blessed with inner peace and wisdom,

With deepest gratitude,

Kooi F. Lim
On behalf of The Buddhist Channel Team


Note: To date, we have received the following contributions for NORBU:
US$ 75 from Gary Gach (Loan)
US$ 50 from Chong Sim Keong
MYR 300 from Wilson Tee
MYR 500 from Lim Yan Pok
MYR 50 from Oon Yeoh
MYR 200 from Ooi Poh Tin
MYR 300 from Lai Swee Pin
MYR 100 from Ong Hooi Sian
MYR 1,000 from Fam Sin Nin
MYR 500 from Oh teik Bin
MYR 300 from Yeoh Ai Guat
MYR 300 from Yong Lily
MYR 50 from Bandar Utama Buddhist Society
MYR 1,000 from Chiam Swee Ann
MYR 1,000 from Lye Veei Chiew
MYR 1,000 from Por Yong Tong
MYR 80 from Lee Wai Yee
MYR 500 from Pek Chee Hen
MYR 300 from Hor Tuck Loon
MYR 1,000 from Wise Payments Malaysia Sdn Bhd
MYR 200 from Teo Yen Hua
MYR 500 from Ng Wee Keat
MYR 10,000 from Chang Quai Hung, Jackie (Loan)
MYR 10,000 from K. C. Lim & Agnes (Loan)
MYR 10,000 from Juin & Jooky Tan (Loan)
MYR 100 from Poh Boon Fong (on behalf of SXI Buddhist Students Society)
MYR 10,000 from Fam Shan-Shan (Loan)
MYR 10,000 from John Fam (Loan)
MYR 500 from Phang Cheng Kar
MYR 100 from Lee Suat Yee
MYR 500 from Teo Chwee Hoon (on behalf of Lai Siow Kee)
MYR 200 from Mak Yuen Chau

We express our deep gratitude for the support and generosity.

If you have any enquiries, please write to: editor@buddhistchannel.tv


TOP