Muslim youth to be patron of Buddhist temple in Bihar

IANS, July 5, 2007

Bihar, India -- A Muslim youth has been appointed the advisor and patron of an upcoming Thai temple-cum-community centre at Bodh Gaya, where Lord Buddha attained enlightenment about 2,550 years ago.

Sabi A. Shamsi, in his 30s, a resident of Gaya district, has been chosen by Thai king Bhoomibhol Adulyadej as the advisor and patron of the Neranjarawas temple, which will be funded by Buddhists living in Thailand and the US.

'Impressed by Shamsi's selfless service for communal harmony at Bodh Gaya, the king of Thailand selected him for this rare honour,' sources said.

'It is an honour for me to be given the responsibility by the king of Thailand,' Shamsi said. He said Neranjarawas temple would work for strengthening communal and religious harmony.

Never before has a Muslim been appointed the advisor and patron of a Buddhist temple. 'There is no such precedence in history,' a Buddhist scholar said. There are over 30 Buddhist monasteries in Bodha Gaya, most of them belonging to Thais or Japanese.

The temple-cum-community centre, to be built at a cost of Rs.160 million, includes a school, hospital, community centre and a guesthouse for monks coming to Bodh Gaya from around the world.

The Thai king had honoured Shamshi with a royal golden coin. Only 50 such coins were minted in Thailand to be given to distinguished people across the world by the king.
The Buddhist Channel - Donate to Support Our Work

An Appeal

In deep gratitude for your support! We are half way to meeting our target (US$ 10,400 of US$ 18,000 already achieved)!

The Buddhist Channel is a dedicated group of "mindful communication practitioners" striving to make a positive impact on the Buddhist community. We deeply believe in the power of mindful journalism and are reaching out to you with a heartfelt request for your support. Your donation, no matter the size, can make a tangible difference in the lives of countless Buddhist monastics, local communities and other dedicated engaged workers. With your help, we make their stories known, and thereby opening up avenues for them to obtain sustainable support for their work.

Please indicate whether your support will be a donation or a loan. We will get back to you via email. We thank you in advance for providing us financial relieve. May the Buddha Dharma ever be your guide and protector.

Note: To date, we have received the following:

US$ 900 from Esa Myllykoski (donation)
US$ 9,500 from Lance Edwards/Kau Soo Kin (loan)

We express our deep gratitude for the support and generosity.

If you have any enquiries, please write to: