Bodh Gaya, Bihar/ 5 December 2016. Thousands of monks and devotees visited the Mahabodhi Temple in Bodh Gaya, Bihar, over the weekend to attend the International Tripitaka Chanting (a Buddhist ritual).
The 12th ten-day International Tripitaka Chanting kicked off on Friday and will conclude on December 12.
A large number of monks and devotees from nearly 15 countries visited the Mahabodhi Temple and chanted hymns for world peace.
The prayers were first held in the year 2006 with 250 devotees.
Bhante Satyanand said, "We want that devotees not only from India, but also from across the world to come here to chant prayers. From 250 devotees taking part in 2006, it has now reached up to 25, 000."
During the ceremony, Buddhist monks chant teachings of Lord Buddha under the sacred Bodhi Tree.
"The messages of Lord Buddha in the Tripitakas are mentioned in the Sutra Vinaya Abhidhamma. These prayers and chantings are being held for the world peace as in the Sutra Pitaka, for peace, progress, especially for India's peace and progress," said another monk, Kalyan Priye.
Buddhist scriptures describe Bodh Gaya as the "Navel of the Earth", where pilgrims and tourists from Sri Lanka, China, Japan and the entire of southeastern Asia throng this holiest of Buddhist shrines every year.
The Mahabodhi Temple complex is located in this town; it is the place where the Buddha is believed to have attained enlightenment.
In the year 2002, the UNESCO declared the Mahabodhi Temple a world heritage site. (With ANI inputs)