DHARAMSHALA, July 8: The 17th Gyalwang Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje has expressed his deep sadness over the “senseless violence” in the sacred town of Bodhgaya and said the best response to the attacks is to uphold Lord Buddha’s teachings on love and ahimsa.
On Sunday morning, several bombs exploded inside the Mahabodhi Temple and other places of worship in the town, including at the Tergar Monastery, residence of Gyalwang Karmapa in Bodhgaya, injuring at least two people and causing damage to property.
“I was deeply saddened to hear of the senseless violence perpetrated today at the Mahabodhi temple and its environs in Bodhgaya,” the Tibetan religious leader said in a statement issued from his exile home in the north Indian town of Dharamshala. “This is the place where Buddhist pilgrims from India and the world over pay homage to Lord Buddha and his teachings.”
Gyalwang Karmapa, who yearly holds a major religious festival in the town, noted that the “best homage” Buddhists can pay to Lord Buddha in response to the attacks “is to uphold his teachings on love and ahimsa (nonviolence).”
“I ask you, therefore, to remain calm and refrain from any further escalation of the violence,” Gyalwang Karmapa said. “I offer my prayers for the victims and their families, and call on Buddhists everywhere to truly embrace the wisdom of Lord Buddha's teachings in all that we do.”
The Indian government has termed the explosions in Bodhgaya “terror attacks” and directed all states to ensure fool-proof security at Buddhist shrines, Buddhist places of worship and Tibetan settlements in the wake of the attacks.
According to reports, the police are analysing footage of the last 48 hours from about 15 CCTV cameras that are installed inside the temple and have detained an individual for questioning.
Three live bombs have reportedly been recovered from the temple and defused. Police sources said that about two to three kg of ammonium nitrate and urea were used in the bombs. They said gas cylinders might have been used in the blasts and are also investigating whether RDX was used.
Temple authorities have confirmed that no damage have been caused to the Bodhi tree or the two millennia-old main temple structure.
While responding to reporters in the Tibetan settlement of Bylakuppe in south India, Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama yesterday called the attacks “very sad” while noting that it could be an act of a “few individuals” and “shouldn’t be considered something serious.”