March 2017 Hatred, violence and harsh judgements have torn this world apart, creating division among people. The Earth and its inhabitants bleed with sorrows, wounds, wars, and misery and the call for peace fall on deaf ears. The world never needed the teachings of the Buddha more than present. “Compassion is what we need most,” says Bhikkhu Sanghsena, the founder of Mahabodi International Meditation Centre in Ladakh. Celebrating the Mahakaruna Diwas (Compassion in action) in Mumbai, Maharashtra, on February 7th, Sanghsena urged people to embrace compassion for all living beings because that alone can save the world. “Compassion is the main trunk from which the branches of peace, brotherhood and harmony arise, and mahakaruna is compassion in action. Where you translate your feelings into deeds. When you dress a wound, shelter the homeless and feed the hungry. Principles of non-violence, compassion, peace, forgiveness and meditation are the foundation of Buddhism, which is the fastest growing religion in the world but sadly in India, the country of its birth, it is not widely practised anymore,” he said. The Mahakaruna Diwas in Mumbai was the third stop of Sanghsenaji in the long list of cities and countries he was scheduled to go, such as Nagpur, Amravati, Chandigarh, Jammu, Burma, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia. The auditorium at Shivaji Natya Mandir, Dadar, was filled to capacity and almost bursting at the seams as people and dignitaries filed in. Among those present were Sri Subhash Patriji of Pyramid Valley and Pyramid Valley Foundation. A group of 30 students presented a dance performance on the theme of mahakaruna and prizes were distributed to people working actively in the propagation of dhamma. Later, a souvenir was released and a documentary film was shown on Sanghsena’s life. Born in Ladakh, he was raised in a deeply religious family. At the age of 17 he joined the Indian national army but quit it in the year 1977 to follow an inner spiritual call. He became a disciple of monk Ven. Acharya, Buddharakkihita Mahathera, of Mahabodi Society, Bangalore. In 1986 he founded the (MMIC) in Ladakh and has ever since been working tirelessly to better the lot of the underprivileged sections of society. He has built schools and shelter for the marginalised, organised healthcare for the disadvantaged, a care home for the aged and destitute, hostels for girls and boys and converted a vast patch of barren land into a flourishing orchard. He firmly believes in gender equality and says that women cannot be discriminated against on the basis of their gender, and have equal right to love, health, care, compassion and enlightenment.
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