Gyalwang Karmapa’s Speech at the Inauguration
January 24, 2014
As all of you know, over 2500 years ago, the Buddha awoke to perfect enlightenment here in Bodh Gaya and after he awoke to enlightenment he realized that all sentient beings have the same value and their lives are all the same in worth. And so, in that way, he made the aspiration that there may be happiness and love and well-being for all animals; we all need to strive to bring this about.
Now, this is something which came from the wisdom and compassion of the Buddha, but we can also say that this is the ancient wisdom and compassion of India, so here now we are following in those footsteps in establishing this animal medical camp here. This is one small thing that we are doing for their sake, and I am very happy that we are taking this opportunity. So I would also like to thank all of the workers at this camp.
As you all know, Bodhgaya is the sacred place where the Bhagavan Buddha awoke to enlightenment, and has become a source of wisdom and compassion. I have the hope that in this day it may become a mandala or pure realm for bringing benefit and happiness to animals.
There are many local dignitaries and officials who have come here today, and I would like to ask you as well to take up this call. In particular, Maneka Gandhi has taken a great interest in animal welfare. I have been to see her shelter for animal protection, and she has done wonderful work there. I hope that this work can spread all over India, and that we can respect the lives and freedom of animals.
Humans have often treated animals badly. I have the great hope that we can decrease that, and that an understanding that animals are members of our family in this world can spread everywhere.