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Dalai Lama offers prayers for world peace at Bodh Gaya

IANS | Patna |

Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama offered prayers for world peace at the Buddhist shrine in Bihar’s Bodh Gaya on Tuesday, a day after he arrived in the city for a month-long stay till February 1, officials said.

“The Dalai Lama offered prayers for world peace under the ‘Bodhi Vriksha’ (tree of enlightenment) and also visited the sanctum sanctorum of the 1,500-year-old Mahabodhi Temple,” said a Bodh Gaya administration official.

According to him, the spiritual leader spent nearly an hour near the Bodhi Vriksha, under which Lord Buddha attained enlightenment, and nearly half an hour in the sanctum santorum of the temple.

The Dalai Lama will deliver religious discourses before thousands of his disciples, mostly Tibetans and foreign followers from European countries and the US at Kalchakra Maidan on January 5 and 7 and later in the second week of this month.

Tight security arrangements have been made in Bodh Gaya — about 110 km from Patna — in view of threat perception to him. Hundreds of security personnel have been deployed in the temple town.

“There is foolproof security for Dalai Lama during his stay in Bodh Gaya,” Gaya Senior Superintendent of Police Garima Malik said.

Bodh Gaya had witnessed a terror attack, with nine serial explosions rocking the Mahabodhi Temple complex in July 2013.

Nearly one lakh devotees from all over the world are likely to visit Bodh Gaya to hear the discourses by the Dalai Lama and thousands of them have already descended on the holy land.

The Dalai Lama has been living in India in self-imposed exile since 1959 when he fled his homeland after Chinese Communist troops took over Tibet.