Foreign monks distribute blankets among the poor in Bodh Gaya

ANI, January 17, 2008

Bodh Gaya, Bihar (India) -- A group of foreign monks distributed nearly two thousand blankets among the poor and the needy during the ongoing ‘Buddha Mahotsava’ here.

The monks, coming from Singapore, Taiwan, Bangkok and Hong Kong, distributed the blankets to help the poor beat the chill.

Gunthuk Rinpochhe, a Buddhist monk from Singapore, said: “Bodh Gaya is a place where Lord Buddha attained enlightenment, so we found that it will be good if we provide needy people with blankets. They are suffering, as it is cold now and it will give them little warmth.”

The group aims to distribute blankets to at least 10,000 people in the region.

The blankets were distributed under the aegis of a self-help group, Atisha Kadampa Organisation Charitable Project.

The three-day long Buddhist festival ‘Buddha Mahotsava’ began in Bodh Gaya on Tuesday, where Lord Buddha is believed to have attained enlightenment in the sixth century BC.

Thousands of Buddhist monks, devotees and scholars from across the globe have arrived here to take part in the annual event.

Apart from Bodh Gaya, pilgrims also visit places like Kushinagar, Rajgir and Kusambhi, which are believed to have figured in the life of Lord Buddha. All these places attract Buddhist pilgrims from South Asian countries.