Shocked and saddened by the serial blasts that rocked the Mahabodhi temple in Bihar’s Gaya district, the All India Bhiku Sangha, a national organisation of Buddhist monks has condemned the incident as an attack on messengers of peace.

“Buddhist monks all over the country feel saddened by the attack. The international community is also shaken. We try to put people on the right path and we have been made the target of a terror attack. The All India Bhiku Sangha condemns this attack. This should not have happened. We spread the message of peace across the world. This is an attempt to spread terror and create discord among the messengers of peace, Bhante Sadanand Mahasthaver, chairman of the Sangha, told The Hindu on phone from Maharashtra’s Wardha district.

Mr. Bhante Sadanand said a likely impact of the conflict in Myanmar cannot be ruled out as a possible reason for targeting the Buddhist community in this fashion.

“Bodh Gaya is the site that sent the message of peace to the world. It’s a sacred site. It was the fountainhead of enlightenment and knowledge and education to the world. Many universities and centers of learning sprang from this site. Although India is lagging behind in education, it is considered to be ‘gurudesh’ [teacher country]. There were many Buddhist Universities here once and India was the leader in education,” Bhante Sadanand said.

Mahabodhi temple at Bodhgaya is a world heritage site - inscribed in 2002. Bodh Gaya is associated with the enlightenment of Lord Buddha (566-486 B.C.). The sacred Bodhi tree under which he is believed to have attained enlightenment. The place is highly venerated by the Buddhists.

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