Senior lamas and more than 500 venerable monastics from monasteries in Ladakh and around the world gathered in the Devachan Campus of the Mahabodhi International Meditation Centre (MIMC) in Leh to consecrate a 14-meter statue of Shakyamuni Buddha at the MIMC’s new Buddha Park for World Peace on 1 August.
MIMC founder and president Venerable Bhikkhu Sanghasena welcomed the dignitaries and guests for the auspicious occasion, observing that the newly consecrated statue was dedicated to world peace and would inspire many generations to follow the path of the Buddhadharma.
“The world is passing through a phase in which there is a conflict everywhere,” Ven. Bhikkhu Sanghasena added. “And under such circumstances, the teachings and philosophy of the Lord Buddha have only become more and more relevant.”
Ven. Bhikkhu Sanghasena, who founded the non-profit MIMC in Leh, the joint capital of Ladakh, in 1986, is an exemplar of socially engaged Buddhism in the region, lauching numerous humanitarian projects, events, and initiatives. His outreach work includes providing educational opportunities and refuge for underprivileged children, empowerment and literacy programs for women and other socially disadvantaged groups, healthcare for the sick and needy, and a care home for the aged and destitute. The MIMC’s expanding campus has evolved into a hub for a multitude of socio-cultural and community programs.
As well as serving as the president and spiritual director of the MIMC, Ven. Bhikkhu Sanghasena is also the founder of the Mahakaruna Foundation, the Save the Himalayas Foundation, and an adviser to the International Network of Engaged Buddhists (INEB).
Honored guests for the consecration ceremony included His Eminence Drukpa Thuksey Rinpoche, His Holiness Laklung Matul Rinpoche, His Eminence Drukpa Khamtak Rinpochay, and several other notable rinpoches. Also in attendance were the president of the Ladakh Buddhist Association, the president of the All Ladakh Gonpa Association, a special group of 45 guests from Taiwan, and sangha representatives from various other countries.
Ven. Bhikkhu Sanghasena expressed particular gratitude to the Buddhist monastics from Taiwan for spreading the message and teachings of the Buddha across the world with zeal.
“Taiwan is a shining star on the world map as it shows the grit and determination of its people, despite being very small in terms of land area,” Ven. Bhikkhu Sanghasena noted. “The people of Taiwan are generously donating their money for the construction of Buddhist temples all across the world.”
In addition to integrating spiritual development and human welfare, Ven. Bhikkhu Sanghasena and the MIMC are also closely involved in peace-building and interfaith dialogue, environmental conservation, and in promoting Buddhist and Himalayan cultural heritage through national and international festivals. Ven. Bhikkhu Sanghasena has traveled extensively to participate international conferences, seminars, and workshops to promote spiritual and cultural values, environmental awareness, non-violence and world peace, and elevating the status of women in society—especially those from underprivileged communities.
In 2021, Ven. Bhikkhu Sanghasena led a team from the MIMC on a humanitarian relief mission to the border regions of Ladakh, offering material COVID-19 relief as well as much-needed emotional and spiritual counseling for local residents who were living in fear during the dual crises of the pandemic and the military-led border standoff between Indian and Chinese troops. The same team also led a peace campaign in the conflict zone, appealing to the two nations not to resort to violence, but to resolve the standoff through peaceful means.*
Mahabodhi International Meditation Center
Mahabodhi International Meditation Centre – MIMC (Facebook)
Bhikkhu Sanghasena (Facebook)
Save the Himalayas Foundation
International Network of Engaged Buddhists
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