Why India?
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Most Rev. Hoyo Sugisaki, Chief Abbot and President of Daijokyo(at centre of photograph: Mahabodhi Temple, 2004)

Why India?  

By Hoyo Sugisaki, Chief Abbot and President of Daijokyo

Daijokyo has maintained its temple in Buddhagaya in Bihar, India for more than 20 years, engaging in local relief activities. People occasionally ask me, "Why do you operate in India — in Buddhagaya, Bihar among other places — such a long way from Japan?" In a case such as this, I always refer to three points as our motives, as explained below.

Point One is, of course, that India is the home of Buddhism. Buddha came into the world about 2,500 years ago, being born in India and leaving revered teachings. We believers in Daijokyo have a desire, as his disciples, to be part of the eternal history of Buddhism.

Point Two is that Buddhagaya holds the highest position of all the Four Holy Places in Buddhism. Gautama Siddhārtha, a prince of the Śākya clan, was spiritually awakened and became Buddha in Buddhagaya. If it were not for his Enlightenment (attainment of Buddhahood by Sakyamuni under the Bodhi Tree), Buddhism would not exist. Therefore, in Daijokyo we consider it the greatest honor for Buddhists to work in Buddhagaya, the birthplace of Buddhism.

Point Three is associated with the teachings of the Most Rev. Tatsuko Sugiyama, the founder of Daijokyo. Most Rev. Sugiyama pledged, "I will be the Sun to light the Embudai." Embudai, or jambudvipa in Sanskrit, has several meanings such as "the world in which humankind lives (the entire world)" and "the Indian subcontinent." Daijokyo believers read in her words her lofty aspirations to return to the origin of Buddhism (Embudai in narrower sense, meaning Buddhagaya, India), to make a fresh start from there in spreading throughout all the world (Embudai in broader sense) the teachings of Buddha and the Saddharmapundarīka Sūtra (the Lotus Sutra), and to save people ("be the Sun"). We make continuous efforts every day toward attaining her aim.

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History of Daijokyo Buddhist Temple

‚P‚X‚V‚V Dispatching of Daijokyo missionaries to India commenced
‚P‚X‚W‚R Shakado completed (completion ceremony attended by then-President Zail Singh)
‚P‚X‚W‚T Daijokyo Vocational School founded
‚P‚X‚W‚W Buddhist House completed
‚P‚X‚W‚X Consecration of the Great Buddha Statue (consecration ceremony attended by the 14th Dalai Lama)
‚P‚X‚X‚R, ‚P‚X‚X‚U Consecration of the Statues of Ten Great Disciples of Buddha
‚P‚X‚X‚W Ananda School founded in Miyabigha village
‚Q‚O‚O‚O Daijokyo Health Care Centre (for free distribution of medicines) opened in Sujata village
‚Q‚O‚O‚P Consecration of the Statue of Daijokyo Founder Tatsuko Sugiyama
‚Q‚O‚O‚S Received a commemorative gift (a young bodhi tree) from Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, President of India, at the International Conclave on Buddhism and Spiritual Tourism held in New Delhi (see photograph), for contribution to the promotion of Buddhism in India

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