Friday, November 26, 2010

2497th Anniversary of Parinirvāna of Mahā Moggallāna

Iddhi Samattho Mahā Moggallāna Patha Padakhinā Pada Yātrā
On the occasion of 2497th Anniversary of Parinirvāna of Mahā Moggallāna 
20th December, 2010- Mahā Moggallāna Stūpa site, Juafardih, Nalanda

Mahā Moggallāna and sāriputta were born on the same day in neighbouring villages of Rājgriha, both were childhood friends; both joined the Sangha together and their contribution to the Buddha, Dhamma and the Sangha earned the sāriputta title of Dhammasenapati (Marshall of the Dhamma) and the Mahā Moggallāna the bearer of supernormal power (Iddhi & Pātihāriya). 

Sāriputta attained Parinirvāna on Kartika Poornimā (Full Moon day- October-November) and Mahā Moggallāna 15days later on Agahana Amāvasyā (New Moon day- November-December) (SA.iii.181).  Buddha visited Rajgriha to raise a stūpa over the relics of the Sāriputta. At Rajgriha the Buddha learnt about the Parinirvāna of Mahā Moggallāna. He took Mahā Moggallāna’s relics to raise a stūpa over them too (Cunda Sutta, S.v.161ff, and SN 47.13). Six months later the Buddha attained Mahaparinirvāna on Veshākha Poornima (Full Moon- Veshākha) (SA.iii.181).

As per the corrected chronology year 2010 is the 2494th anniversary year of Parinirvāna of Mahā Moggallāna, the great pillar of the Dhamma. The Department of Buddhist Studies, Nava Nalanda Mahavihara in continuation to its efforts to generate awareness and revive the ancient Buddhist pilgrimage is organising “Mahā Moggallāna Patha Padakhinā Pada Yātrā”, at the Mahā Moggallāna stūpa site at Village Juafardih. The objective of the Padakhinā Pada Yātrā is to pay homage to this great Pillar of Dhamma, to create awareness among the community regarding the rich heritage of Nalanda and revive the ancient Buddhist pilgrimage sites of Nalanda.

Stūpa Site at Juafardih

The Pali sources maintain Kolitagāma; the village of Mahā Moggallāna was near Upatissagāma (Village of Sāriputta) and not far from Rajgriha (SNA.i.326; DhA.i.73; Mtu.iii.56). 

The Stupa before excavation

Children at the stupa

Excavation in progress in 2007

Stupa from a distance

Xuanzang says the stupa was made to mark birth and the death of Maha Moggallana

Stupa has many successive reconstruction in different periods
Shri Sujit Nayan from Archaeological survey of India, who participated in Stupa Excavation in 2007

Large quantity of Pottery  Collected from the stupa site

Ancient Pottery found at Juafardih
The Beautiful Ambiance of Juafardih (ancient Kulika)

Community of Juafardih participating in uncovering their heritage

The Brick Encasing - Xuanzang saw a Brick Stupa at Kulika

Celebrated Monk scholar Xuanzang, who came to Nalanda in the 7th century CE, visited the Ashokan stūpa to mark birth and death of Mahā Moggallāna at the Village Kulika (Travels¹, Thomas watters, Vol-2, P-171). Kulika, Xuanzang maintains was a part of Nalanda Sangharama, he briefly stayed at a farm house here (Life²- S. Beal, P- 109). 

Xuanzang maintains that the stūpa site was 8-9 Li South-West of Nalanda Sangharama (Travels¹, Thomas watters, Vol-2, P-171) and 7 Yojans from the Bodhi Tree (Life²- S. Beal, P- 108). Based on the description provided by Xuanzang and some research studies done in the past the Archaeological Survey of India in 2007 conducted excavation of the 10 Mt high mound measuring 105 X 100 Mt. The excavation revealed the mound to be a Stūpa site from the times of the Buddha with successive reconstructions in later periods. Among the rich antiquities unearthed in the course of excavation was a broken disc bearing two Brahmi letters MUGA(Excavation at Juafardih and its identification with Kulika, Puratattva-vol- 38)All the finds suggests this stūpa to be the stūpa to mark birth and death of Mahā Moggallāna as mentioned by Xuanzang
The Custodians of the rich legacy

Beautiful Sunset at the Village of Maha Moggallana

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Peace Walk today...

For the first time in the history of Bihar, son of the soil, Dhammasenapati Ven. Sariputta was remembered on the occasion of 2497th Parinirvana year in his homeland. As the part of the event a ‘Sariputta World Peace Walk” was organised jointly by Nava Nalanda Mahavihara, Nalanda (Deemed University) and Bodhgaya Temple Management Committee, Bodh Gaya.
As a part of the event in the morning, monks from various Buddhist countries assembled along with participants from BTMC, students, teachers and staff of NNM at the foothills of the Giriyak Hill, Giriyak. It was almost to the amazement of the organizers a group of local community from Chandi Mau, Nanand and Giriyak were assembled to welcome the Bhikkhu Sangha.
 A brief Ceremony of 1 hour was organised in which the famous Sammādiţţhi Sutta of Pali Canonical Text given by Ven. Sariputta was chanted by the Ven. Bhikkhu Sangha. Thereafter the speakers in their address expressed, that this zone comprising of villages Chandimau, Nanand and Giriyak be preserved, developed and promoted as Sariputta Heritage Zone.

Dr. R. Panth, V. C., Nava Nalanda Mahavihara
 Address by Ven. Phra Vithun Putāni, Thailand

Address by Ven. Dr. Pannyalinkara, Head Abbot of Chinese Buddhist Temple, Nalanda

Bhikkhu Sangha chanting Sammādiţţhi Sutta

Shri Rajkumar singh from Chandi-Mau

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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Sāriputta World Peace Walk- Launch of Promotional material

Launch of the Promotional material of the 
Sāriputta World Peace Walk

On 17th November 2010, Promotional material for the world peace walk was launched in a small function at Bodhgaya Temple management committee Office at Bodh Gaya.

Shri Nangzey Dorjee, Member Secretary of the BTMC , Dr. R Panth , Director, Nava Nalanda Mahavihara,  Bhikkhu Chalinda, Chief Priest Mahabodhi temple,  ven monks from different monasteries and other guests were present at the small gathering to discuss the course of action to make this walk a success.

Launch of the Stickers

Launch of the Wall Poster

The Hoarding at the main entrance of Mahabodhi temple

Wall poster at the Main Entrance of Mahabodhi temple