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Mahabodhi Maha Vihar, BuddhaGaya.

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  • by way of Ken and Visakha Kawasaki
    Buddhists Plea to the UN 31st July 2002 To, Madam Mary Robinson Her Excellency The High Commissioner For Human Rights United Nations Geneva Switzerland Subject
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 15 6:51 PM
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      Buddhists Plea to the UN

      31st July 2002

      Madam Mary Robinson
      Her Excellency The High Commissioner For Human Rights United Nations

      Subject : Request to direct the Government of India to handover the
      Management of Mahabodhi Mahavihar at BuddhaGaya to Buddhists

      Respected Madam,

      With great respect to the office of the United Nations High Commission for
      Human Rights , may I invite your kind attention towards the continued
      illegal occupation of the most sacred and holiest place of the Buddhists
      and the Entire World, the Mahabodhi Mahavihar at Buddha Gaya in the Bihar
      State of India by high caste Hindu Brahmins.

      This is the place where the Siddharth Gautama, the Prince, attained the
      Supreme Enlightenment and became the Buddha. This vihara was erected by
      Emperor Ashoka 250 BC as a monument in the memory of Lord Buddha. This is
      confirmed by Chinese Monk Fa-Hain who visited Buddha Gaya in 409 AD and
      Huen Thsang in 637 AD. One of the great Archaeologist Sir Alexander
      Cunnigham also visited Buddha Gaya. It is beyond doubts that it is the
      sacred and holiest place of Buddhists where Buddha attained Enlightenment.
      Dr.Buchanan Hamilton a very well known archaeologist visited Buddha Gaya
      vihar and he found that the vihara was in a hopeless condition. Buddhism
      vanished from India due to onslaught by Hindu Brahmins. The Vihara had been
      visited by thousands and thousands of Buddhists from China, Burma,
      Thailand, Sri Lanka and other parts of the world

      nd several inscriptions had been found during excavation in Buddha Gaya to
      prove that throughout the ages, it was truly the Buddha Vihara . Sir Edwin
      Arnold, the world famous author of the book " The Light of Asia", visited
      1885 and appealed to British Government to handover the Mahavihar to the
      Buddhists. He also appealed to the Buddhist Countries to show intrest in
      the matter of management of the Mahavihar.

      Ven. Anagarik Dharmapala , was one of the greatest Buddhist Monk from Sri
      Lanka who took up the cause of handing over of Mahabodhi Mahavihar to
      Buddhists, visited Buddha Gaya in January 1891 along with Col. Oleot. He
      again came back in July 1891 along with four monks. Hindu Brahmin Priests
      (Mahants) assaulted all of them and the statue of Buddha was thrown away.
      The case went to Dist. Judge who said " The temple was continuously and
      regularly been used as Buddhist place of worship by Buddhist pilgrims. No
      form of Hindu worship had been carried on inside the Mahabodhi temple and
      there is nothing to show that any such worship (Hindu worship) has been
      carried on for many centuries". Justice Mc- Pherson of Calcutta High Court
      said " It is mentioned that the Mahabodhi Temple which is very ancient and
      very sacred to the Buddhists, was a Buddhists Temple. Although it has been
      in the possession of Hindu Mahants, it has never been converted into a
      Hindu Temple in the sense that Hindu idols have been enshrined or orthodox
      Hindu worship carried on there and that Buddhists pilgrims have had free
      access and liberty to worship in it".

      The proceedings of the case were published in all newspapers and the Buddha
      Gaya`s question became a live topic throughout India, Burma and other
      countries. Thus a strong public opinion was created in favour of the
      Buddhists Claim.

      In 1949, the Government of Bihar passed the Buddha Gaya Temple Act
      transferring the temple to a committee of Management consisting of four
      Buddhists and four Hindus with a Hindu District Magistrate of Gaya as the
      Chairman which ultimate means mangement of Mahavihar.

      Since the enactment of Temple Act in 1949, the Management has been in the
      hands of majority Hindu Brahmins who have nothing to do with the teaching
      of Buddha. Hindu Brahmins falsely claim that Buddha is an incarnation of a
      Hindu God Vishnu in order to destroy the holiest site of Buddhists. Hindu
      Brahmin Priests have been playing tricks to show to the world that Lord
      Buddha was a Hindu God and nothing else. It is established and accepted
      fact that Buddhism is the different independent religion which has nothing
      to do with the philosophy of God or incarnation of God.

      Some of the most important problems created by Hindu Brahmin priests are:

      1) Some of the original statues of Lord Buddha have been defiled and stolen
      from the Mahabodhi Mahavihara.

      2) Accounts of donations and gifts received have not been maintained properly.

      3) Elections for the management committee were held only after raising
      objections and launching agitations throughout India .

      4) Idols of some of the Hindu Gods have been smuggled inside the Mahavihar
      including Shivlinga to dilute and defame Buddhism.

      5) All sorts of Hindu Rituals and Rites are being followed inside Mahabodhi
      Mahavihar to defame and bring impurity in Buddhism.

      6) Criminal elements in the society are encouraged by the Brahmin priests
      who misappropriate donations and gifts offered by visitors.

      Thus it is seen that sacredness of Buddha Gaya has been threatened. The
      entire world has been expressing their concern on happenings in Buddha Gaya
      from time to time.

      We have started Mahabodhi Mahavihar all India Action Committee in 1992 and
      since then we have been protesting peacefully at Buddha Gaya and requesting
      both Government of India and Government of Bihar to bring amendment in the
      Buddha Gaya Temple Act 1949 and handover the management of the Mahavihar to
      the Buddhists .

      Your honour, it is surprising that the holiest of the holy place of
      Buddhists in the entire world is in the hands of non-Buddhists. This is the
      uniqueness Churches are under Christians, Masjids are under Muslims and
      Hindu Temples under the controls of Hindu Brahmins, why is it that the
      holiest of the holy place of Buddhism is not under the control of Buddhists?

      Government of India and Government of Bihar have been giving assurances
      that something will be done to handover the control of the Mahavihar to the
      Buddhists . In this connection we have met several Central and State
      Ministers and authorities but nothing concrete has been done. So far our
      movement has been totally peaceful and democratic and Government
      authorities have ignored our claim totally.

      In this connection we have sent a letter dated 23rd January 2002 addressed
      to His Excellency The Secretary General of United Nations Mr.Kofi Annan and
      requested him to use his good offices and cause justice to the Buddhists
      around the World by handing over entire control of the Management of
      Mahabodhi Mahavihar to the Buddhists .

      We all the Buddhist of India and All over the World are pleased at the
      announcement that UNESCO has declared the Buddha Gaya as World Heritage
      site. We therefore congratulate to the UN and express thanks to UNESCO for
      this historical decision, which will be having monumental effect in
      propagating ideals of Justice , Peace and Compassion in the entire world.

      We therefore request the UN to activate the convention concerning the
      Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (UNESCO) adopted on
      16th November 1972 and entered into force on 17th Dec. 1974. It was
      ratified by 159 countries including India. The convention provides that the
      heritage committee shall supervise the protection of items recognised by
      the convention as those of outstanding universal value from the point of
      view of history, art, science and aesthetics. We also request the United
      Nations to direct India to obey the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
      (1948) on the rights of persons belonging to national, ethnic, religious or
      linguistic minorities and handover entire managemant of Mahabodhi Mahaviha
      ng suitable amendment to the Bodh Gaya Temple Act 1949 (Bihar Act of 17th
      of 1949) - (as modified up to 8th Feb.1955) and help prevent confrontation
      between the Buddhist and Hindu Brahmins over the issue of Mahabodhi Mahavihar.

      With profound regards.

      Yours truly,

      (Bhadant Arya Nagarjuna Shurei Sasai)
      National President
      All India BuddhaGaya Mahabodhi Mahavihar Action Committee,
      Indora Buddha Vihar Nagpur,India. 440004
      Ph. 0091-712-642575
      e-mail: shuraisasai@...

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