Nothing is permanent, so everything is precious. Here’s a selection of some happenings—fleeting or otherwise—in the Buddhist world this week.
The global Buddhist community said farewell to celebrated thinker recently: Indian monk Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhipala. As he begin his journey to the next life, we always remember him here.
INDIAN BUDDHIST MONK VEN. BHIKKHU BODHIPALA
Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhipala, a revered Indian Buddhist monk and secretary-general of the Bengal Buddhist Association, died on July 27 while being treated for COVID-19 at AMRI Hospital in Mukundapur, Kolkata, reported Buddhistdoor Global. He was 52. Ven. Through the pandemic, he visited Buddhist monasteries, remote areas of India, and vulnerable Muslim families in Bangladesh to distribute relief supplies. The secretary-general of the International Buddhist Confederation, Ven. Dr. Dhammapiya, called Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhipala “an eminent Buddhist leader who worked tirelessly for the uplift of the Buddhasasana.” He added: “With his passing, the entire Buddhist world has lost a great Dhamma leader.”
Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhipala was born in 1968 in Shillong, capital of the Indian state of Meghalaya. His forebears originated from Unainpura Village in Chittagong, Bangladesh, and migrated to India before the partition in 1947. Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhipala was a descendant of Ven. Kripasaran Mahastavir (1865–1927), a Buddhist monk, founder of the BBA, and a key figure in the movement to revive Buddhism on the Indian subcontinent.
After completing his studies in Shillong, Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhipala became a monk in 1993, under the preceptorship of Dhammapala Mahathera. In 1995, he was appointed assistant-secretary and trustee of the International Brotherhood Mission (IBM), Dibrugarh, Assam. He then moved to Bodh Gaya, where he earned a master’s degree from Magadh University. In 2001, he was placed in charge of the monks of the Mahabodhi Temple in Bodh Gaya, where he served until 2006. Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhipala subsequently moved to the IBM for a period, before settling at the BBA. In 2018, he was elected as secretary-general of the BBA, a post he held until his death.