CM to open peace prayers at Rajgir Shanti Stupa
PATNA: The picture perfect Japan recently got severely disfigured by tremors, and radioactive leak from a nuclear power station only compounded the problem. The destruction was overwhelming.
Japanese are assiduously trying to work their way out of this difficult situation. However, they have not forgotten their annual pilgrimage to Bihar, the land of Buddha, more particularly to Rajgir Shanti Stupa anniversary ceremony.
The Shanti Stupa ceremony will go on as planned on October 25, as has been happening every year for over four decades.
The first one to confirm his participation was the famous Japanese face in Bihar, Atsuhiro Horiuchi, the chairman of the board of directors of CGC companies of Japan and vice-chairman of Rajgir Buddha Vihar Society, of which chief minister Nitish Kumar is the chairman.
Over 80 Japanese delegates have confirmed their participation. Besides Rajgir Shanti Stupa, they will visit the Mahabodhi Mahavihar, Bodh Gaya. On October 26, the Diwali day, Atsuhiro with wife Taeko will be praying at Patna’s Buddha Smriti Park, which houses the sacred relics of Lord Buddha from six nations. Later, they plan to visit the place of Buddha’s Mahaparinirvana, Kushinagar, and Sravasti in UP.
With the beating of OTAIKO (a hand drum), the celebrations will begin on October 25 morning atop Ratnagiri Hill, facing holy Grddhakuta Hill, where Lord Buddha preached the sacred ‘Lotus Sutra’ (Saddhanrmapundarika Sutra) for eight years.
CM Nitish Kumar will inaugurate the peace and prayer ceremony, which has been dedicated to the disaster-affected people of Japan. The Japanese ambassador has sent his message for this special ceremony.
The 42nd anniversary ceremony will have tourism minister Sunil Kumar Pintu as the special guest of honour. Atsuhiro Horiuchi, the leader of the CGC Pilgrimage Mission of India will be the honourable guest and Y. Saito, chairman, Santoku Co., will also grace the occasion along with his group members.
The Peace Pagoda facing Grddhakuta Hill was built by famous Japanese monk Nichidatsu Fujii Guruji at the initiation of Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru, who also presented the holy Buddha relics, which are enshrined in the Shanti Stupa. Eminent Buddhist architect and artist Upendra Maharathi designed it.
Foundation stone of the stupa was laid by the then President, Dr. Radhakrishnan. V V Giri, the then President of India, inaugurated it on October 25, 1969. Morarji Desai was its founder president.
The magnificent Peace Pagoda can be reached by 2200-ft-long aerial ropeway, presented to Bihar as a symbol of Indo-Japanese friendship. It is maintained by Bihar State Tourism Development Corporation.