Posted on December 8th, 2010, by

Clean Water; A Gift of Gratitude from the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, to the People of Bodh Gaya

Today, 8th of December 2010, marks the celebration of the auspicious opening of the Karmapa 900 ceremony, a year-long event, which commemorates the birth of the founder of the Karma Kagyu Lineage; Dusum Khyenpa. (For more information, please visit As part of the celebration, Khoryug inaugurated a clean drinking water facility, gifted by His Holiness the Karmapa to the Bodh Gaya Temple Management Committee.

The water facility is powered by a high-tech water filter, which provides 500 liters per hour and was installed by the company Aqua Solutions from Bangalore. The quality of the water is equal to and in some cases, surpasses that of bottled water. It is situated along the entrance to the main gate of the Mahabodhi Stupa and will be managed by the Bodh Gaya Temple Management Committee (BTMC) in the future.

His Holiness conceived of this project during the 2009 Kagyu Monlam, when he noticed that a lot of plastic waste was being generated due to people drinking bottled water. He was informed that public water filters are found only in a few places in Bodh Gaya. He said:

“Bodh Gaya is the place where Buddha was enlightened, which means that it is the birthplace of the most-valued teachings of wisdom and compassion. We should treat this land with respect and protect its natural environment. During Buddha’s time, the river Niranjana flowed gloriously. But, these days, we hear that it is drying up. We must do everything we can to protect these water sources and to minimize wastes that are polluting this sacred land.”

The inauguration was attended by Chief Guest, Bantey Bhikku Chalinda, Chief Monk of Bodgaya Temple, and representative member from BTMC, Dr. R.H. Mishra, Khoryug monks and nuns, press, and hundreds of followers. The Representative of BTMC thanked His Holiness from the bottom of his heart, and said that water is the source of life and therefore, this gift of water would benefit the poorest of the poor, and the downtrodden the most.

His Holiness said that he hopes his followers will use water from this source as an alternative to bottled water since the plastic waste that is then generated can take up to a million years to decompose naturally and emits toxic fumes when burned.

“Bodh Gaya hosts the Kagyu Monlam every year and provides for the needs for thousands of followers from the Kagyu lineage. I offer this small project in gratitude to the kindness showered on us. Without water, there can be no life. I pray that this source of clean water benefits the local people of Bodh Gaya as well as the visitors who come here for pilgrimage.”

Following the inauguration ceremony which included special prayers of auspiciousness and blessings, throngs of people gathered at the taps to collect water, which they now considered to be “theu chu” or nectar.

Tagged: , , , , , .