Ladakh 13

21st
Today, on my Sunday stroll through the fields below the city, we met a Japanese Buddhist monk in charge of building the Peace Pagoda overlooking Leh.

We’d last met at the Molesworth Peace Camp in May last year.

On May 14th he was in Battersea Park for the inauguration of the London Peace Pagoda, that I hadn’t realised had been completed until I went to Heathrow airport for my flight out here.

He gave me a strip of yellow cloth which I’ve used ever since as a bookmark for this diary.
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fr. Wikipedia

A Peace Pagoda is a Buddhist stupa; a monument to inspire peace, designed to provide a focus for people of all races and creeds, and to help unite them in their search for world peace. Most (though not all) peace pagodas built since World War II have been built under the guidance of Nichidatsu Fujii (1885–1985), a Buddhist monk from Japan and founder of the Nipponzan-Myōhōji Buddhist Order. Fujii was greatly inspired by his meeting with Mahatma Gandhi in 1931 and decided to devote his life to promoting non-violence. In 1947, he began constructing Peace Pagodas as shrines to world peace.

Peace Pagodas were built as a symbol of peace in Japanese cities including Hiroshima and Nagasaki where the atomic bombs took the lives of over 150,000 people, almost all of whom were civilian, at the end of World War II. By 2000, eighty Peace Pagodas had been built around the world in Europe, Asia, and the United States.

The Shanti Stupa in Ladakh was built by Nipponzan-Myōhōji monks, headed by Head monk Nakamura, with the help of local people. It is situated at a hilltop in Changspa village providing a bird’s eye view of Leh town and the surrounding mountain peaks. The Shanti Stupa holds the relics of the Buddha at its base, enshrined by the 14th and current Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, who inaugurated it in August 1985.

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About Jakartass

A Brit Abroad
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