Senior lamas and over 500 venerable monks from monasteries in Ladakh and around the world gathered at the Devachan campus of the International Mahabodhi Meditation Center (MIMC) in Leh to dedicate a 14-meter statue of Shakyamuni Buddha at the new Buddha Park for MIMC World. Peace on August 1.
MIMC Founder and President Venerable Bhikkhu Sanghasena welcomed dignitaries and guests for the auspicious occasion, observing that the newly consecrated statue was dedicated to world peace and would inspire many generations to follow the path of Buddhadharma.
“The world is going through a phase in which there is conflict everywhere,” said Ven. Added Bhikkhu Sanghasena. “And under such circumstances, the teachings and philosophy of Lord Buddha have become increasingly relevant. »
Fri. Bhikkhu Sanghasena, who founded the non-profit MIMC in Leh, the capital city of Ladakh, in 1986, is an example of socially engaged Buddhism in the region, initiating numerous humanitarian projects, events and initiatives. Its outreach work includes educational opportunities and shelter for underprivileged children, empowerment and literacy programs for women and other socially disadvantaged groups, health care for the sick and needy, and a home pensions for the elderly and the poor. MIMC's expanding campus has become a hub for a multitude of socio-cultural and community programs.
In addition to being president and spiritual director of the MIMC, Ven. Bhikkhu Sanghasena is also the founder of the Mahakaruna Foundation, the Save the Himalayas Foundation and an advisor to the International Network of Engaged Buddhists (INEB).
Among the guests of honor at the consecration ceremony were His Eminence Drukpa Thuksey Rinpoche, His Holiness Laklung Matul Rinpoche, His Eminence Drukpa Khamtak Rinpoche and several other notable rinpoches. Also present were the President of the Ladakh Buddhist Association, the President of the All Ladakh Association Gonpa, a special group of 45 guests from Taiwan, and sangha representatives from various other countries.
Fri. Bhikkhu Sanghasena expressed special gratitude to the Buddhist monks in Taiwan for spreading the Buddha's message and teachings around the world with zeal.
"Taiwan is a shining star on the world map as it shows the courage and determination of its people, despite its very small land area," said Ven. Bhikkhu Sanghasena noted. “The people of Taiwan generously donate their money for the construction of Buddhist temples around the world. »
In addition to integrating spiritual development and human well-being, Ven. Bhikkhu Sanghasena and the MIMC are also closely involved in peacebuilding and interreligious dialogue, environmental conservation, and the promotion of Buddhist and Himalayan cultural heritage through national and international festivals. Fri. Bhikkhu Sanghasena has traveled extensively to participate in international conferences, seminars and workshops aimed at promoting spiritual and cultural values, environmental awareness, non-violence and world peace, and raising the status of women in society , especially those from disadvantaged communities.
In 2021, Ven. Bhikkhu Sanghasena led an MIMC team on a humanitarian relief mission in the border areas of Ladakh, providing material aid against COVID-19 as well as much-needed emotional and spiritual guidance to local residents who lived in fear during the double crisis of the pandemic and the military border clash between Indian and Chinese troops. The same team also led a peace campaign in the conflict zone, calling on both nations not to resort to violence, but to resolve the impasse through peaceful means.*
* Work, walk and pray for peace: Bhikkhu Sanghasena embarks on peace pilgrimage to Ladakh (BDG) and Buddhist monk Bhikkhu Sanghasena calls for a peaceful resolution amid Sino-Indian border tensions (BDG)