Yangon, Feb. 1: As Myanmar moves towards new government formation, Indian Buddhist monks initiated a ‘Peace Yatra’ in Yangon, Myanmar led by His Eminence Drukpa Thuksey Rinpoche, a spiritual regent to His Holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa. The monks maintained that their peace march was aimed at enabling India and Myanmar to work together for ensuring a smooth transition of power to the democratically-elected government. They also said that India and Myanmar are linked by age-old ties of religion and culture. Presiding over a special prayer ceremony at the world-renowned Shwedagon Pagoda, His Eminence Drukpa Thuksey Rinpoche shared the blessings of the Buddha and messages of compassion, wisdom and loving-kindness. “The Buddha’s teachings transcend all time, therefore in today’s times of multiple conflicts, we can still rely on the wisdom of Lord Buddha to resolve modern day crisis and to achieve peace and harmony,” said His Eminence Drukpa Thuksey Rinpoche.
“We brought with us the Buddha’s relic to Myanmar to share the blessings, and as a reminder of the beauty of spirituality and our ability to practise genuine spirituality, so that we can all achieve peace, from inner peace to outer peace, from individual peace to collective peace,” added Drukpa Thuksey Rinpoche. The peace padyatra also witnessed tens of thousands gathered at the 2,500 years old Shwedagon Pagoda, to seek the blessings of the sacred 2,600 year- old-bone relic of the Buddha. The relic contains the strands of Buddha’s hair and other holy relics. Sitagu Sayadaw, the elderly spiritual guru of Myanmar, said that the visit of the Indian monks would help strengthen relations between the two countries. In an interview, Sitagu Sayadaw said, “The Buddha relic comes from India, the birthplace of Buddhism but not the birthplace of the Buddha. The Buddha spent 45 years in India.” (Also Read: Sri Lankan court remands extremist Buddhist monk to custody)
“Therefore, this is a very significant sign of the peace and stronger relationship between the two countries — Myanmar and India,” added Sitagu Sayadaw. Indian Ambassador to Myanmar Gautam Mukhopadhaya, who also attended the prayer sessions in the Shwedagon Pagoda, said this would definitely help strengthening the India-Myanmar relations. “It’s a rare opportunity and definitely a meeting point of two traditions — the Vajrayana and Theravada schools of Buddhism,” he said. On bringing the sacred Buddha bone relic to this country, Mukhopadhaya said that it is a very rare occasion where the relic had been brought out of the Hemis monastery, the oldest monastery of the Drukpa Order in Ladakh. “It’s very rare that the bone relic of the Buddha has gone out of the country. The people of Myanmar have a lot of faith in Buddhism. This platform will strengthen religious faith between both the countries,” added Gautam Mukhopadhaya. “This will strengthen the historical relations that have been since the colonial period,” he added. Drukpa Thuksey Rinpoche, who is also the chairperson of Druk Padma Karpo Educational Society, runs the famous Druk Padma Karpo School of the Hindi film ‘3 Idiots’ fame.