Bhubaneswar: The 45th foundation day of Dhauli Peace Pagoda was celebrated by Kalinga Nippon Buddha Sangha today in the presence of a number of Monks who have come from all the way from Japan, America, England, Thailand, Nepal, Shillong etc. Dr. Prasanna Patasani, MP, Bhubaneswar, Govt. of Odisha attended as Chief Guest of the programme. Among other dignitaries Dr Achyuta Samanta, Founder, KIIT and KIIS and Founder International Centre for Buddhist Studies and Research, Dr. Bimalendu Mohanty, Convenor of the celebration committee and former Vice-Chancellor, Utkal University of Culture, Rev. T. Okonogi, Chief Monk, Rajgir, Rev. M Asai, Chief Monk, Wardha,K Yoda, Chief Monk, Dhauli, Senior academician Dr. Surya Narayan Mishra, Dr. Arya Kumar Jnanendra, Dr. Hari Prasad Patnaik, Mr. Achyutananda Patnaik, Dr. Bedabati Mohanaty also graced the occasion.
On this occasion a book entitled “Dhauli Past and Present” authored by Dr Bimalendu Mohanty was released by the dignitaries.
Speaking on the 45th foundation day of Dhauli Peace Pagoda, Dr. Prasanna Patasani, MP, Bhubaneswar said “State Government gives importance for the development of Buddhist destinations of Odisha. Dhauligiri, the major tourist destination and one of the historical places where Emperor Asoka took the path of non-violence preached by Lord Budhha after the Kalinga world war is always been in priority.”
The Dhauli Shanti Stupa has a special significance because a piece of Budha bone was installed in the Stupa on 18th Oct 1972 by the then Chief Minister of Odisha Smt. Nandini Satapathy. The formal inauguration of the Stupa was performed by Shri Gatikrushna Mishra, the then acting Governor of Odisha and the Chief Minister had unveiled the four images of Lord Budha installed on the four sides of the Shanti Stupa. Dr Radhanath Rath, Editor, The Samaja, Shanti Shugei and many other dignitaries were presence at that occasion.
Shanti Stupa Dhauli was constructed by Japanese Monk led by Ven. Nichidatsu Fuji Guruji who was closely associated with Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru. It is heartening to note that Rev. Shanti Shugei under whose leadership the Shanti Stupa was constructed and he was the second Chief at the time of construction the Stupa was present in the gathering today. The Shanti Stupa construction was started on 25th Aug 1971 and completed on 8th Nov 1972.
It may be noted here that, the idea of construction of Peace Pagoda in India was first conceived by Most Ven. Nichidatsu Fujii Guruji, founder President of Nipponzan Myohoji during the course of his 5th visit to India in the year 1956. He sent his proposal for construction of the Stupa at Ratnagiri hill, Rajgir to Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and De. Rajendra Prasad, the President of India in 1958. The agreed to the proposal and the construction of the Stupa was taken up in March 1965 and completed on October 1969. Sri Nityananda Kanungo was then the Governor of Bihar. He suggested that another peace pagoda should be constructed at Dhauligiri in Odisha where Emperor Asoka after the Kalinga War renounced the cult of violence and took the path of non-violence preached by Lord Budhha. The message of Lord Buddha was first preached and propagated by Emperor Asoka through his edicts and inscriptions. Ven. Guruji Fujii decided to take up the matter of construction of a Peace Pagoda at Dhauligiri with the consent of Govt. of Odisha and the stupa was constructed.