Fasting Buddhist monks hospitalised

PTI, January 9, 2010

Monks demand total Buddhist control over management of the Mahabodhi temple

Bodh Gaya, India -- Three monks on an indefinite fast here since January one to press for ensuring total Buddhist control over management of the Mahabodhi temple, were hospitalised following deterioration in their condition yesterday even as Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama is holding discourses at a week-long festival here.

Official sources said today the monks were shifted to the Anugrah Narain Magadh Medical College hospital in Gaya for treatment as their condition detriorated 'alarmingly'.

“The condition of the fasting monks is stable”, hospital sources said, adding they were on medicine and saline and authorities have not not made any decision for their forced feeding.

The monks are Bhadani Kashyap, Bhadant Buddha Sharan and Bhadani Gyan Ratna.

Justifying the decision to hospitalise the fasting monks, Gaya District Magistrate Sanjay Kumar said that during the routine medical check-up of the fasting monks, some health parameters were found to be inconsistent with the acceptable limits and as such they had to be hospitalised.

Inside the hospital, the monks told mediapersons that they would resist all attempts to force feed them and would continue with their fast-unto-death programme till their demand regarding total Buddhist control over Mahabodhi temple, the seat of Buddha's enlightenment, was conceded.

The Dalai Lama is attending the 7-day Geluk Monlam puja at Mahabodhi Mahavihara since January 4.