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Karmayogi Kripasaran Mahasthavir

Karmayogi  Kripasaran Mahasthavir

Karmayogi  Kripasaran Mahasthavir

(1865 – 1926)

This is a time (2014-2015) when India and the world is celebrating the 150th Birth Anniversary of some of Asia’s best known personalities like Rabindranath Tagore, Swami Vivekananda, Sir Ashutosh Mookerjee,  Anagarika Dharmapala, Dr. Benimadhab Barua  and Karmayogi Kripasaran Mahasthavir.  A common thread running through this great men was their zeal and lifelong commitment to socio-religeous reforms and education for all.

The nineteenth century India saw the revolt and the subsequent movement to dislodge the British rule in India. For the Buddhists this period is of immense significance as it was the time the revival of Buddhism started in the land of its birth with the arrival of Sir Edwin Arnold,  Anagarika Dharmapala and followed by Ven. Kripasaran Mahathera  from Chittagong to carry the movement further. Infact, in 1972, World Fellowship of Buddhists ,held in Colombo, Sri Lanka declared Anagarika Dharmapala, Babasaheb Dr. B. R. Ambedkar and Karmayogi Kripasaran Mahasthavir as the triple gem of Buddhist revival in India.

Ven. Kripasaran was born in the village of Unainpura, in the district of Chittagong in the then undivided India (now in Bangladesh) on 22nd June 1865 in a pious Buddhist family to Ananda Kumar Barua, his father and Aradhana Barua, his mother.  At the age of sixteen, he became a novice monk and in year 1885 he was given higher ordination to be initiated in the Bhikkhu  Sangha under the preceptor ship of Most  Ven. Acharya Purnachar.

It was during his pilgrimage to Buddhagaya, Sarnath and Kusinara  alongwith his Guru in 1885 that Kripasaran realized how important Buddhism is to the world and what a gift India had given to the world civilization. Kripasaran decided to make Calcutta his base for the work of regeneration of Buddhism as it has already become the center of social and religious renaissance and the biggest city in the eastern part of India. Here is a list of his major work after he settled in Calcutta :

1892        Establishment of Bauddha Dharmankur Sabha (The Bengal Buddhist Association).

1896        Attending  Coronation ceremony of Chakma Raja Bhuban Mohan Roy.

1900        Purchase of five kathas of land by Ven. Kripasaran at Bowbazar area in Central Calcutta.

1901        Foundation laid for construction of Dharmankur Vihara.

1903        Inauguration of Dharmankur Vihara.

1907        Foundation  for construction of Buddha Vihara at Lucknow and Shimla.

1908        Publication of ‘Jagajjyoti’, a Buddhist journal which has become well known for its scholarly content and Buddhist culture; Establishment of Shillong and Dibrugarh branches of the Sabha.

1909        Foundation of Gunalankar Library in Calcutta which is still functioning.

1910        Visit of 12th Dalai Lama of Tibet at Dharmankur Vihara ; A convention of Young Men’s Buddhist Association was organized by him which brought forward all the youths under a common banner

1911        Ven. Gunalankar  and Ven. Kripasaran  attend the Coronation Durbar of Prince of Wales in Delhi; Also pilgrimage to  Sri Lanka on the invitation of his friend  Anagarika Dharmapala.

1912        Establishment of Kripasaran Free Institution, ,still functioning as Kripasaran Continental Institution in Calcutta;

Foundation of Buddhist Hostel at Calcutta; Ven. Kripasaran’s visit to various parts of Assam.

1914        On Ven. Kripasaran’s initiative, Sri Beni Madhab Barua sent to London University for higher studies in Pali, who later became the first D. Litt from Asia.

1915        Establishment of Ranchi branch of the Sabha; Reception of Rev. Anagarika Dharmapala in Chittagong; Installation of marble statue of Kripasaran in the premises of Dharmankur Vihara – Sir Ashutosh and Anagarika Dharmapala graced the occasion as President & Chief Guest respectively.

1916        A very successful visit to Rangoon, Burma; Rest House built in Chittagong near the Buddhist Temple.

1917        Dr. Beni Madhab Barua felicitated by Bengal Buddhist Association on his return from London after becoming first D. Litt from Asia.

1918        For the rights of women in India, Ven. Kripasaran organized a Buddhist Women’s Conference under the Presidentship of Ms. A. L. Janau, Principal of famous Bethune College, Calcutta.

1919        Visit to famous Sitakundu Mela in Chittagong; Felicitation by people of Darjeeling in the presence of Maharaja of Burdwaman,  Bijoychand Mahtab and Sir Ashutosh Mookerjee.

1921        Reconstruction  of Buddha Vihara of Village Unainpura and Rangamati in Chittagong  by Ven. Kripasaran.

1922        Establishment of Jamshedpur branch of the Sabha.

1924        Convention of World Buddhist Conference at Nalanda Park, organized by Bauddha Dharmankur Sabha was his ultimate gift to the Buddhist world; it lasted for nine days from 6th December to 14th December; Many highly regarded monks from Arakan, Burma, Srilanka, Chittagong as well as renowned intellectuals from all parts of India participated to revive the Buddhist ideology in the world.

1925        Foundation of Shillong Buddha Vihara and ‘Gandhamadan Vihara’ in Darjeeling by Ven. Kripasaran.

1926        Due to failing health, Ven. Kripasaran died on 30th April.

1927        As per his last wish, his body was cremated in his native village Unainpura,Chittagong.

150th Birth Anniversary Celebration of Karmayogi  Kripasaran Mahasthavir

To be organized by Dialogue of Wisdom,New Delhi in association with

 Bengal Buddhist Association (Bauddha Dharmankur Sabha),Kolkata

On 22 Nov 1014 At B P Pal Auditorium, C R Park, New Delhi.

 

About The Author

Tridib

An Education and Religious Book Publisher based in Delhi (India) associated with prominent Buddhist organisations and temple associations, including Mahabodhi Mahavihara Temple, Bodh Gaya (Bihar) India. Created this website "baruasamaj.com" in the year 2010-11 with a view to bring the members of Barua community to a common platform, and to make available all relevant information about the community.

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