DHARAMSALA, 31 Dec: Nitish Kumar, the Chief Minister of Bihar met with His Holiness the Dalai Lama at the latter’s residence at the Tibetan Monastery in Bodhgaya.
“You came here after so many years, So we are very happy,” the Chief Minister says as the leaders greet each other.
Following their meeting that lasted nearly half an hour on Friday afternoon, Kumar expressed his delight that people could visit the holy city of Bodh Gaya again after the pandemic.
“Every year, during this time, a large number of people visit Bodh Gaya where they offer prayers and listen to the preachings. The age-old tradition could not be followed for the last two years because of the pandemic. Thankfully, it has resumed, although we are alert because of the fresh spike in Covid cases reported from other parts of the world,” Kumar has said.
“I have been told that the number of people visiting Bodh Gaya is in lakhs. It is a matter of joy and pride for us. But because of the recent spurt, officials have been instructed to test foreign nationals,” he added.
Kumar who took the oath as Bihar CM for a record eighth time in Aug has spoken about his “old and deep relationship” with the Dalai Lama and added that the Tibetan Nobel laureate has “agreed to inaugurate a Buddhist museum coming up in Vaishali district which may be thrown open to the public in a few months”.
The Tibetan spiritual leader, His Holiness Dalai Lama is currently in Bodh Gaya after nearly two years of hiatus due to COVID-19. He arrived in the holy city of Bodh Gaya on 22 Dec for a series of religious teachings and engagements til 1st Jan 2023.
Around 65,000 disciples have gathered to attend the Tibetan spiritual leader’s teachings, of which 3000 were foreigners from 80 countries around the world.