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Birth anniversary of Bana Bhante today

08 January 2010

Today marks the 91th anniversary of birth of the Great Bana Bhante, who is believed to have attained Arhathood (fully liberated), the highest spiritual achievement in Buddhism.

The Great Bhante was born Rathindra Chakma on 8 January 1919 into an ordinary Chakma family in a village on the bank of the river Borgang, also known as Karnaphuli. He was given the name of Sadhanananda after becoming a Buddhist novice at the age of 29 in the year 1949 at Nandan Kanan Buddhist temple in Chittagong. His father’s name is Haru Mohan Chakma and mother’s name Birpudi Chakma. He is the oldest among his five siblings.

The young Rathindra received formal education up to class six at Moghban Medium English School. However, he has a deep passion for learning. He used to read whatever books he would get hold of including Buddhist and Hindu texts. He also read the writings of Rabindranath Tagore and Bankim Chandra, the two icons of Bengali literature, as well as books on medicine and Ayurveda.

After becoming a Buddhist monk, the Bhante went thorough rigorous meditation for 14 years enduring bodily pains and hardships, ignoring extreme heat and cold and braving incessant rain in the jungles of Dhanpada and Dighinala swarmed with wild elephants, tigers, wild bores and poisonous snakes.

This is because of his dwelling and meditating in the jungle following the true Buddhist tradition that he came to be known as Bana Bhante or Forest Monk.

Messages

On the eve of his 91th birth day, President of Bangladesh Zillur Rahman, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasian and Leader of the Opposition Khaleda Zia sent messages wishing him best and longer life.

Programmes

To mark his birth anniversary, the Raj Bana Vihara in Rangamati has chalked out a day-long programme, which includes hoisting of Buddhist flag, inauguration of the programme by Bana Bhante, offering breakfast to the Bhikkhu Sangha, Buddha Puja (offering to the Buddha), acceptance of Panchasila (five precepts), donation of Buddha statue, Sangha Dana (offering to the Sangha), Ashta Parishkar Dan (offering of eight essentials), rendering of religious songs, Deshana (sermon) by Bana Bhante and offering mid-day meal to the Bhikkhu Sangha.

In the afternoon, 84,000 candles will be lighted, while in the evening a mass candle lighting will be observed.

Most revered

The Bana Bhante is the most revered and venerated Buddhist monk in Bangladesh. His name and fame has transcended all borders. His contribution to the revival and spread of Buddhism in CHT is immense.

The Bhante has the distinguished ability to illustrate and explain the Dhamma of the Lord Buddha in plain language using similes and parables. The devotees listen to his religious lectures with rapt attention.

The advent of the Buddhas is rare in the world and so are the Arhats. The Bana Bhante has attained Arhathood which means that he is now fully enlightened and liberated and that he will not reborn after Parinibbana or the extinction of the flame of life. He is the greatest man ever born in the Chittagong Hill Tracts.

Source: chtonline



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