Nitish meets Dalai Lama at Bodh Gaya

Patna, Jan 8 (PTI) Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Wednesday called on the Dalai Lama at Bodh Gaya, the pilgrim town where the Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader is on an annual retreat.

The Dalai Lama welcomed the chief minister and presented him with a 'khada', a ceremonial scarf that is offered as a gift in Tibetan culture and is said to symbolise purity and compassion.

Kumar presented the Dalai Lama with a statue of Lord Buddha, who is said to have attained enlightenment at Bodh Gaya, and a coffee table book on Gaya.

The two spent nearly 30 minutes together, during which Kumar apprised the Dalai Lama of his governments 'Jal Jeevan Hariyali' campaign besides efforts in the direction of bringing the water of the Ganges to Gaya, which is situated at a considerable distance from the river.

The Tibetan spiritual leader visits Bodh Gaya every year in the second half of December and spends a few weeks offering discourses in addition to conducting rituals.

After wrapping up his tour of Bodh Gaya, Kumar flew to Munger, where he visited the Bihar School of Yoga.

Kumar met Swami Niranjanananda Saraswati, who currently heads the institution set up in the early 1960s.

The chief minister is scheduled to cover Munger and adjoining districts like Jamui, Banka and Bhagalpur in the next couple of days as part of his state-wide 'Jal Jeevan Hariyali Yatra'. PTI NAC RBT HMB

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