<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama, who was in Patna on Wednesday, called Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar an old and close friend, as the duo planted a sapling of ‘Anand Bodhi tree’ at the popular Buddha Smriti Park.The Dalai Lama, who is visiting Bihar for the Kalchakra Puja at Bodh Gaya, was received at the airport by the Bihar Chief Minister, who received blessings from the Dalai Lama as the two exchanged greetings.At the Buddha Smriti Park, which was inaugurated by the Dalai Lama in 2010 and houses saplings of the original Bodhi trees as well as several other Buddhist relics from across the world, the spiritual guru first offered prayers for world peace and harmony at the Patliputra K arun Stupa.After this, the Dalai Lama along with Nitish Kumar, prayed in front of Lord Buddha’s earth-touching posture statue, and planted the holy Anand Bodhi tree sapling there.Interacting with media persons, the Dalai Lama termed it a matter of pride to be visiting Bodh Gaya as a Buddhist monk. “Buddha’s teachings of non-violence and compassion are very much relevant today. Along with prayers, training of mind is also very important to avoid mental stress and anger,” he said.Referring to the Chief Minister as an old and close friend, he said, Nitish’s presence was commendable for him. He also stressed on love and harmony among Buddhists across the world.“India and I share a guru-shishya relationship. All our knowledge is from India and people should learn from the country’s history and philosophies,” he added.He also offered prayers at the Bodhi tree planted at the Bihar CM’s residence apart from participating at a luncheon there. He then left for Bodh Gaya, which is gearing up for the Kalchara Puja.THE SACRED TREEA very large and old sacred fig tree – the Bodhi Tree at the Mahabodhi Temple in Bodh Gaya, Bihar – is the tree under which Shakyamuni Buddha is said to have attained enlightenment, making it is the most important of the four main Buddhist pilgrimage sites. The Anandabodhi tree in Sravasti, Uttar Pradesh and the Bodhi tree in Anuradhapura – both are said to have been cultivated from the original tree.

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Dalai Lama, Bihar CM Nitish Kumar plant Anand Bodhi tree sapling