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Sacred chants at Buddha Jayanti Park

Express News Service
New Delhi, October 6: The 10th anniversary of the consecration of Lord Buddha’s statue at the Buddha Jayanti Park was celebrated today with a rare discourse by His Holiness Dalai Lama.

The statue was installed on October 2 a decade ago in the presence of the then president R. Venkataraman, who was also present at today’s ceremony which was attended by, among others, many Sri Lankan, Tibetan and Vietnamese monks.

The eight-feet tall statue, made of gilded copper, stands in the western part of the park under a 40-feet high canopy of pink and yellow sandstone. The East-facing figure is seated on a lotus pedestal on a rocky outcrop, surrounded by water and swans. The statue’s right hand is shown pointing downwards, towards the Earth, in the bhumi-sparsha mudra.

The celebrations began with Theravada, Vietnamese and Tibetan Buddhists chants. In his discourse, Dalai Lama explained the four seals of Buddha’s teachings. He urged those present to understand the true cause of suffering and the ways that the Buddha had prescribed to get rid of it.

‘‘The first seal, which says that all conditions are impermanent, provides the real perspective of reality. It shows that all things that are dependent on courses and factors will disintegrate. Disintegration here means discontinuance,’’ he said.

He lauded India, the country ‘‘where for thousands of years, diverse cultures have flourished and where the concept of ahimsa has survived for centuries’’.

The discourse was followed by chants by various religious groups from around the world. The chanting was a preview of a three-day festival of ‘Sacred Chants and Singing’ at the India International Centre. It includes sacred Hebrew chants by Dr Mordehai Wosk from Canada. Dr Wosk used Shofar in his performance, the ancient animal horn made of a kosher animal, most commonly the ram. The instrument has been mentioned 70 times in The Bible.

The celebrations also included Shaman chant from the Republic of Tuva and Gregorian Chant from The Netherlands. Also present at the occasion were members of Zoroastrian community, Baha’i Temple choir and Nizam Bandhu.

©Copyright 2003, India Express News (India)

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