March 20, 2019
Karmapa in Bodh Gaya: visit to Bodhi Tree school
Today, as we approach the eve of the 2015 Kagyu Monlam, Thaye Dorje, His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa, visited the Bodhi Tree school to support the activities of the Bodhi Tree Educational Foundation. The Bodhi Tree Educational Foundation is a non-profit organization that builds schools and develops educational programs in the region of Bodh Gaya and Northern India. It also provides medical training and education.
At the school, Karmapa visited the Women’s Empowerment block, and was symbolically offered herbal plants from the ‘Bodhi Tree Herbal Village Campaign’, which is run by local women. He took part in a ceremony for global peace and solidarity at the Human Solidarity Ground, and met with the last living student of Mahatma Gandhi, 96-year old Dwarko Sundrani, paying tribute to Gandhi’s legacy of peace and nonviolence.
Karmapa and members of the Foundation distributed blankets for several hundred local villagers, and shoes for the schoolchildren. The Vice Chancellor of Magadh University, who has given great support for underprivileged ethnic groups in support of the Foundation’s work, was also present.
Karmapa sincerely thanked everyone who supported the good work of the school:
I would like to offer you my prayers and sincere gratitude on this occasion. I think if everyone looks around, more than words, the actions themselves show everything. Starting from the main organizers as well as the students, everyone who gets involved in this activity here at the Bodhi Tree School really shows that in the most difficult conditions one can face, in the harshest possible conditions, one shows tremendous courage, tremendous compassion and perseverance. And these are qualities that we always need, and particularly in our current era, where most of us have to deal with the experience of various kinds of challenges.
The Bodhi Tree school is located near Bodh Gaya, where the Kagyu Monlam is being held. It is named after the tree under which the historical Buddha Shakyamuni reached enlightenment. Each year, Karmapa presides over the Kagyu Monlam, the most auspicious pilgrimage in the Buddhist calendar, leading thousands of students in prayer under the Bodhi Tree. The Kagyu Monlam 2015 starts on December 15.