India, the land of the Buddha, has not had a proper Buddhist monks’ training centre for locals in modern times. Observing the critical need of having one, Upasaka Dr. Harshadeep Kamble, a senior government officer from Mumbai, his wife Mrs. Rojana Vanich Kamble, galvanised the All India Bhikkhu Sangha to construct such a facility in the vicinity of Aurangabad in Maharashtra State, Western India.
The new 25,000 square feet training facility will be attached to Lokuttara Mahāvihāra, a Theravada monastery about 16 km north of Aurangabad, along the road to the world-renowned Ajanta Caves. The buildings will eventually be able to accommodate 100 monks – comprising both teachers and students.
On Sunday 4 March, a special ground-breaking pūja was performed on the site by dozens of Indian Theravāda monks, along with senior bhikkhus from Sri Lanka, Thailand and Myanmar. All the monks and hundreds of lay devotees present at the programme were aware of the historical significance of this event. Everyone was fully cognisant that the facilities will greatly help in the propagation of Buddha-Sāsana in India.
The venerable abbot of Lokuttara Mahāvihāra, Ven. Bodhipālo Mahāthera, specially thanked Dr. Kamble and his wife for their financial support and coordination work with Theravāda monks throughout India which resulted in this training centre being built today.
We in Malaysia rejoice over this momentous occasion, and hope that the campus will soon be filled with junior monks eager to learn and practise Dhamma, reminiscent of ancient seats of learning such as Nalanda and Vikramasila! Sadhu anumodana; may the Buddha-Sāsana long endure.