Open Learning Buddhist Studies
Bodhgaya News
Founded: March 15 2002
Last updated: March 29, 2009

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New Search Translations Facility
March 29, 2008. Peter Friedlander. I have today put the 248 translations of Hindi news stories on this website into a searchable form. This is now available by using the 'Search Translations' facility in the left hand links. The links to archived stories on the right hand side still link to the archive pages that include links to other stories, such as stories from the English press, and pieces I and others wrote for Bodhgayanews.

Bodhgayanews seventh annual report

Mar 17 2009. Peter Friedlander. Its seven years now that Bodhgayanews has been running. Thank you for visiting the site, I have renewed the subscriptions again for another year so the site should certainly be running for another year now. If you are curious about who else visits the site read on, as this is a kind of seventh annual report.

  • There were 529,122 'hits' on the site in the last year. Of those around 200,000 were page requests , an average of about 450 page requests a day over the last year.
  • The most viewed aspect of the site, apart from perhaps the home page, was the searchable text of the Pali Canon which had around 166,000 hits.
  • Particularly, striking was the popularity of MP3 versions of Conference talks I have given, with almost 29,000 downloads of talks on the Dhammapada. But, I suspect somehow that almost all of those downloads were by robots crawling the net.
  • There were about 25,447 requests for image files, quite a few of which were for paintings in my collections of artworks.

Sorry that the frequency of updates is low nowadays, but remember there are still lots of stories in the archives and I still keep a watch on stories in the Hindi press on Bodhgaya, so do visit again.

Judicial Halt on Construction in Bodhgaya
Mar 15, 2009 (Jagran Yahoo! India)
Gaya, Patna High Court has put a halt on all types of building construction around the Mahabodhi temple. In this connection the district administration has notified the local administration and police. Along with this the District Magistrate Sanjay Kumar Singh has ordered the Police in charge to make certain that the order is applied to the letter.
Meanwhile, the Regional Commissioner, Dr Karra Parashu Ramayya said that in the High Court a woman of Bodhgaya has filed a suit. In which there is the allegation that several foreign monasteries are carrying out construction works without any permission. Despite after the declaration of the temple as a world heritage monument the area around the temple being divided into various zones and there being a prohibition on new developments.
On the other hand the said woman alleges that the administration has acted against minor building works. Commissioner Dr Ramayya said that Attorney General had notified that
until the final decision of the court there was a prohibition on all forms of building work.

Three worlds' Buddhist Federation's international Conference begins
Feb 25, 2009 (Jagran Yahoo! India).
Gaya. The sixth annual Conference began on Tuesday late in the evening in the Federation compound of the Three worlds' Buddhist Federation's international Council. In this around six hundred Dhammacharis from America, New Zeeland, Sri Lanka, Australia and India are taking part. Dhammachari Nagketu said that that this was the first time that the international conference of the Three Worlds' Buddhist Federation established by 'Ugyen' Sangharaksita was being held in the land of the Buddha, previously it had been held in England. In the conference there was discussion and exchange of views about the activities of Dhammacharis in various in various countries. The participants at the conference took part every day in special worship and devotion in the World Heritage Mahabodhi temple compound. He said that last night the participants had a vido 'visualization' (English word in the Hindi text) of a message from the founder 'Ugyen' Sangharaksita. In this emphasis was placed on spreading and propogating the Buddha Dharma . Along with this the Federation's centre running in the Buddha land was newly named 'Triple Jewel Centre'. The new name was inspired by the Buddha, Dharma and the Sangha. He said that on the first of March in the Federation compound an International Dharma Revolution camp would be held. In which apart from Dhammacharis also lay men and women followers of Buddhism would take part.
Note: this is a report about the FWBO, with the title applied of 'Urgyen' (written wrongly in the Hindi as ugyen), to its founder Sangharakshita. In India the title of the organisation is the trailokya 'three worlds' Buddhist Federation', In one Friends of the Western Buddhist Order web page a similar title for the Indian branch of the FWBO is the 'Buddhist Order of the Three Worlds', and in another page Sangharakshita himself translates Trailokya Bauddha Mahasangha as 'Buddhist sangha of the three worlds', ignoring the maha prefix on sangha. The Hindi newspaper article also gives it as trailokya bauddha mahasangha which would be understood by as a Hindi reader as 'Three worlds Buddhist Federation' or perhaps 'Buddhist Federation of the three worlds'.

Uproar by Buddhist Monks in Bodhgaya
Bodhgaya, 17 January 2009 (Hindustan Dainik). There has been an upoar amongst monks over the presentation at the Buddhist festival organised in Bodhgaya. During this for about twenty minutes there was a strange situation on the stage. The Buddhist art director was accused of discrimination. Later there was peace after there had been conciliation.
After MLA chairman Udit Narayan Chaudri addressed the assembled audience at the festival on Friday night the program began. At the same moment as the announcer requested that the folk artists come on stage and make their presentation the Buddhist monks assembled there began to make an uproar. The monks came on stage and said that on Thursday they had been told they would be given an opportunity to present a program but they had not been given a chance. Even today they were being put off.
Local 'Maitri Monk union' and Chandramani Buddha Monastery monks artists, including Bhante Vimalakriti, Bhante Sanghratna and W. Bhante said that they were being discriminated against and prevented from presenting their program. Whilst the tourist department said that they had been called yesterday but had failed to show up on time. Main Office DSP Rajbhaksh Singh, DPRO Shameem Akhtar and BDO Anil Kumar calmed matters down after discussions with the monks.

No News is good news?
January 18, Singapore. Peter Friedlander. Happy new year to all Bodhgaya news readers. Just a note to say sorry I have not been managing to cover any Bodhgaya stories over the last couple of months here. I have read the odd story in the Hindi press about Bodhgaya, the normal run of stories really have just been repeated: anticipation of a good tourist season, the arrival of pilgrims, ceremonies around the tree, promises of future improvements in facilities, preparations for the Buddhist festival. Its all kind of familiar, and you can read almost identical stories for each of the last few years here on this site.
Meanwhile I have been working on other projects, mostly developing and teaching Hindi at NUS and a project translating a long Hindi devotional poem, and the odd painting as well. For the moment here are a few poems by Charandas, an eighteenth century Sant poet from Delhi whose poetry I have been working on for a while now.

Chorus Since I heard the unstruck sound,
I tired of the senses,
my mind became calm,
and every aspiration burned away.
1

With downturned eyes, and tranquil body,
absorbed in pure contemplation,
In every pore bliss arose,
my listlessness naturally faded away.

2 Like a madman, lost in the sound,
I was drenched in the rain drops inside,
The bonds of karma and delusion were broken,
duality and doubt were destroyed.
3 The self forgotten, I forget the bonds,
of where the five senses dwell,
no sense was left of the world or sensuality,
forgotten in divine wisdom.
4 Be utterly absorbed in that place Charandas!
Said Shukdev Muni,
fortunate are those who meditate,
and climb to the highest peak.
 
Chorus The injuries to your heart are deep.
Unless you see the True doctor,
you cannot cure your chronic affliction.
1 Steeped in the sickness of the three qualities,
you burn in attraction, aversion and delirium,
the storm wind of desire rises up in your heart,
and sets every door swinging back and forth.
2 Sensuality and desire are bile and phlegm,
the essence of all sense pleasures.
True company may seem a bitter remedy,
is that why you won't take it?
3 Why don't you heed the true doctor's advice?
Why don't you practice morality and mercy?
Fool! Why don't you abandon sensual pleasure?
Why don't you take control of yourself?
4 When Charandas met Shukdev,
then he understood the true remedy.
He drove out all ills from mind and body,
and ended the cycle of death and rebirth.
 
Chorus

O man! Why do you worship ghosts?
Their eyes are blind, their voices mute,
they give you nothing and take nothing from you.

1 Why do you burn so much ghee in lamps for them?
Why do you cook so many meals for them?
Why do you love to spend so much on them?
more than you could ever imagine in your dreams?
2 Why keep vigil all night to the song of the Shenai?
Why wave your head in affectation?
Why fall with all your family at their feet?
Why cause such lies to be told?
3 Why waste your life away believing in them?
Will your companions in life follow you into death?
Great is the fortune in gaining a human birth,
Why let it trickle away through your hands?
4 All four castes have lost their wits,
talking of who is high or low,
whoever pins their hopes on such empty lies,
will end up in an ill state.
5 So you must cling to belief in truth,
and be devoted to Hari,
Shukdev told Charandas,
in that lies your liberation.

 


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Texts and Translations © Peter G. Friedlander unless otherwise indicated.