Home Asia Pacific South Asia Nepal
Buddha Boy Plans to Give Blessings to Pilgrims and to Protest Animal Sacrifice at Ancient Festival
The Buddhist Channel, Nov 11, 2009
Nijgad, Nepal -- In Nepal, from November 19th to the 24th, 2009 Palden Dorje a.k.a. Ram Bahadur Bomjan (Ram Bomjon) will bless pilgrims at the site of the Gadhi Mai Fair which is likely the largest animal sacrificing festival in the world.
He plans this appearance in order to protest the killing of more than 550,000 large animals and countless small ones before they take place on the 24th at the Gadhi Mai Festival near Nijgad in Bara District. This Ancient Nepali Festival takes place once every five years in honor of the goddess Ghadi Mai, also known as Durga. The sacrifices are said to bring good fortune.
Palden Dorje, 19, has been negotiating the ceremony with the leaders of the Ghadi Mai Mela (fair). The priests of the fair are showing an unwillingness to co-operate as the sales of animals at the stalls provide a substantial profit. This year is foreseen to be the largest festival ever with a few million pilgrims, both from Nepal and India.
Palden Dorje became world famous when he began a six year meditation at fifteen to promote world peace in May of 2005. He meditated for at least ten months in front of crowds apparently without sustenance in Bara District’s Ratanpuri before disappearing to continue his meditation in private. He interrupts his meditation once a year to give blessings to pilgrims. He is in the fifth year of his meditation.
Last year, 2008, he gave blessings in November. Approximately 400,000 pilgrims queued in the Halkoriya Jungle to receive his blessings over a 12 day period. He made two speeches in which he urged people to recognize the compassion and loving kindness in their hearts.
This year Palden Dorje is expected to make two speeches at the opening and closing of the blessing ceremony encouraging people to reconsider this cruel practice and to make vegetarian sacrifices instead.