On the bombing at Bodh Gaya, Buddhism’s holiest site

On the bombing at Bodh Gaya, Buddhism’s holiest site July 7, 2013

Though we still don’t know who carried out the attacks or why, the basic details seem pretty straight-forward:

  • 8 or 9 small explosions took place early this morning in and around the Mahabodhi Temple today
  • at least two foreign monks were injured (one Tibetan and one from Burma/Myanmar)
  • no one was killed
  • one person has been detained by police for questioning
  • Immediate response from the Bauddh Commune International (local Buddhist group) was a peace vigil

You can watch IBN’s latest coverage here:

While the response of the local Buddhists speaks volumes, I find it helpful to look at the words of great Buddhists in times like these. The Buddha himself had simple enough advice:

“Hatred is not overcome by hatred,
By love alone is hatred overcome.
This is an eternal law.”

—- Dhammapada v.5

“All tremble at the rod.
All fear death.
Comparing others with oneself,
one should neither strike nor cause to strike.”

—- Dhammapada v.129



Simply sitting with these verses is enough.

While we may send our wishes – for healing, for love, for support – to those effected, let us not forget the perpetrators who also tremble, fear, and hold great pain inside them. And let us not forget those hurt and killed in the Canada crude oil train explosion, in the airplane crash in San Francisco, or the nine dead and dozens wounded in Chicago over the weekend, just to name a few other examples of the profound suffering to be found in this human existence.

Let us not talk of ourselves as victims or them as murderers, but rather let us see our common, very flawed, humanity and ask:

how can we make it better?

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