Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Mahakassap Plaque to "Bhagwan Buddha Gram vikas Samiti", Jeṭhian

In year 2011, Nava Nalanda Mahavihara Sanskrktik Gram (NNMSG, a Unit of Nava Nalanda Mahavihara) conceived Mahakassapa Plaque (Saṅghassa Patiṭṭhāpako Mahākassapa Yāvajīvam Sammānopādhi) to honor individuals and institutions that have made exemplary contributions towards awareness generation  and  protection of the rich Buddhist legacy of the Bihar.
Jeṭhian village is settled over the remains of ancient Yasthivana, a place associated with the sublime wandering of the Buddha. "Bhagwan Buddha Gram Vikas Samiti" a village based institution established by village elders from village Jeṭhian did a very exemplary work towards the protection and promotion of the heritage of Jeṭhian.  For their exemplary the "Bhagwan Buddha Gram Vikas Samiti" was awarded the third Saṅghassa Patiṭṭhāpako Mahākassapa Yāvajīvam Sammānopādhi at the "Engaged Buddhism" Workshop held at Nava Nalanda Mahavihara on 27th September, 2013.

Committee members led by Shri Sadhu Saran Ji receiving the Mahakassapa plaque from the distinguished guests

"Bhagwan Buddha Gram Vikas Samiti' with the Plaque 
Contribution of Bhagwan "Buddha Gram Vikas Samiti"
Jeṭhian valley retains a unique assemblage of valued cultural heritage places with relating to the sublime wanderings of the Buddha. It was here at Supatiṭṭha Cetiya that the Buddha stayed during his first visit to Rājagaha (Rajgir) from Gayāsīsa (Brahmayoni Mountain, Gaya), after his Enlightenment. It was here Bimbisāra and thousands of followers visited the Buddha and Uruvelā Kassapa, who was also present. Bimbisāra and the people began to have doubts as to who was practicing under whom, but Uruvelā Kassapa quickly dispelled their doubts by declaring his acceptance of the Buddha as his teacher.
Venerable Xuanzang stayed here and studied under the eminent monk-scholar, Jayasena. In his writings, Venerable Xuanzang gave a detailed description of Asura Cave and its surroundings where the Buddha gave teachings. The landscape, features, and archaeological sites of the Jeṭhian valley are treasures with distinct value that provide visible evidence of the continuity between past, present and future. In the 1990s, Venerable Satori Hanaoka, while staying at Bodhgaya, visited Jeṭhian and realized the need to protect and generate awareness towards this important place associated with the sublime wandering of the Buddha.
                                      Venerable Satori Hanaoka and others at Buddha Mandap

Newly constructed Buddha Mandap to house scattered Buddhist sculptures
Ven Satori Hanoka with colleagues and people of Jeṭhian 
 In 1999, Venerable Satori Hanaoka along with the Venerable Gencyu Hayase and Venerable. Kenryu Ito of the Japanese All Kochi Young Buddhist Association visited Jeṭhian with the determination to setup a temple to safeguard ancient sculptures scattered throughout the Jeṭhian valley. The heritage conscious community of Jeṭhian responded by setting up a “Bhagwan Buddha Gram Vikas Samiti,” a committee of village elders to facilitate development activity and generate awareness towards the rich heritage of Jeṭhian valley. That same year, the foundation of the “Buddha Manḍap” was laid. In 2000, the temple was inaugurated and has since created a strong relationship of mutual trust between the All Kochi Young Buddhist Association, Japan, and the Bhagwan Buddha Gram Vikas Samiti, Jeṭhian. Venerable Hanaoka and his team from Japan regularly visit the Jeṭhian Valley. Together with mutual cooperation from the local community, they are revitalizing this site brick by brick.

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