The local legislator cum Parliamentary Secretary for disaster management along with his wife Nikh Meena and thousands of Theravada Buddhists belong to the Chakma tribe attended the 2- Day Maha Kathina Civara Dana, the most important religious festival of the Chakmas with great devotion and sincerity at Bana Vihar, Diyun.
The speciality of Kathin Civara Dana was the offering of robes (that the Buddhist Monks wear and which are known as ‘Civara’) by the local MLA along with the thousands of Chakmas to their most revered religious Guru, Venerable Nandapal Mahathera and to all other Bhikkhu Sanghas invited even from Theravada Buddhist Countries such as Sri Lanka, Thailand and Japan. More than 1000 Chakma women weaved robes in just over a night, started in evening of Friday (21st Oct) and ended early in next morning. It is believed that the donation of robes to monks is the highest form of donation according to Buddhism.
Venerable Nandapal Mahathera who is consider as the most revered and wise among all the living Buddhist Monks belong to the Chakma tribe around the world has preached the five precepts to the local MLA Nikh Kamin, to his family and EAC, S Tayang in a separate sermon on the first night of the 2- Day religious event.
During the Civara Dana offering ceremony attended by thousands of Chakmas from every village in Diyun Circle, MLA Nikh Kamin while expressing understanding of the Buddhist’s five precepts, he has advised the Chakmas to strictly follow the five precepts as preached by the Venerable Nandapal Mahathera as that could bring peace and social development within the society.
He have informed that he is an ardent follower of Jesus Christ and by following the 10 commandments of the Christianity it has brought drastic changes to their Society. He said the same miracle can happen to the Chakmas if they inculcate the essence of the five precepts.
While expressing gratitude to the grand hospitality and love given by the people of his constituency he has confessed that during his time of his youth even he have participated in the AAPSU anti-Chakma movement and shouted slogans against the Chakmas. He said there are lots of misgivings and misinformation passed to the people of the state, particularly in Itanagar about the Chakmas. But only after coming to Diyun and living with the Chakmas himself he have realised most of those misgivings about them are wrong. As a local MLA it is his responsibility to clear the sceptical of the local Arunachalees against the Chakmas, he said, while saying that he has started explaining things to people in Itanagar.
The local MLA who was accompanied by the Extra Assistant Commissioner of Diyun, S. Tayang and his brother-in-law, Arun Nido have witnessed the pathetic condition of the path from the main road towards the Bana Vihar and he have promised to build the road for the welfare of all the devotees.
Earlier Purno Sen Chakma has thanked the MLA Nikh Kamin for installing a deep well in the premises of the Bana Vihar which has solved the water scarcity problem of the grand temple.
The Bana Vihara located in Jyostnapur Village of Diyun is the largest Buddhist monastery complex for the Chakmas in Arunachal Pradesh. Established in 2003, it was founded by the Chief disciple of the Venerable Sadhananda Mahathera, popularly as Bana Bhante, the “forest monk”, Venerable Nandapal Mahathera. The temple which promotes deep penance/meditation in forest claimed that with the coming of the Nandapal Mahathera there is a sweeping reduction consumption of alcohol, wine among the Chakmas and even the practise of animal sacrifice have reduced drastically.
The President of the Maha Kathina Civara Dana Celebration Committee, Jamini Mohan Chakma has extended invitation to Venerable Nandapal Mahathera for the 2017 Rains Retreat (Vassa) in Diyun Circle.
Other events of the 2-Day religious festival included hoisting of world Buddhist flag, Dhamma discourse, colourful procession, opening of kathina civara weaving centre, colourful cultural programme, illumination of candle, acceptance of Pancha-sila and releasing of Penace (Hot air Ballons).