450 Buddhist monks march for peace in Maharashtra, India

DNA India, Dec 11, 2011

Mumbai, India -- A strong contingent of 450 monks and nuns, led by His Holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa (spiritual head of the 1000-year-old Drukpa Lineage) embarked on a "pad yatra" (march for peace) from Mumbai to Sanchi via Ajanta Ellora spreading the message of peace, harmony and respect for the environment.

The pad yatra, which was flagged off from Colaba, will pass through Ajanta and Ellora between December 24 and January 2, before ending in Bhopal on January 6. Thousands of people, including 450 monks and nuns, followers and supporters are taking part in the yatra, with various national and international celebrities and Drukpa followers.

This is the fifth yatra by His Holiness, who since 2006, has taken students on foot journeys through Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Ladakh, Manali, Sikkim and Darjeeling. On each of the yatras, the yatris picked up more than one ton of non-biodegradable waste and educated people in remote areas about the importance of keeping environment clean. The yatra, which aims to bridge spirituality and materialism through promoting a life in harmony with nature, will cover other destinations like Kanheri Caves, Elephanta Caves, Kondana Caves, Karjat, Rajmarchi, Karla Bhaja and Aurangabad.

Talking about this quest and spiritual adventure Gyalwang Drukpa said, “This yatra symbolises the journey from self to selflessness. It is an effort to raise awareness about the environment, and ensure that there is education on sustainability.”

Gyalwang Drukpa, the Indian-born spiritual teacher and philanthropist, is an active proponent of universal peace and harmony, and a United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDG) Award recipient and Green Hero of India. He founded the school in Ladakh which featured in 3 Idiots, and is popularly known as “Rancho’s School”.