Mumbai, (GNI): President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, Governor of Maharashtra, Vidya Sagar Rao and Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Devendra Fadnavis visited the Global Vipassana Pagoda on account of “The Gratitude day”.
Global Vipassana Foundation (GVF), the trust that manages the Global Vipassana Pagoda, today observed ‘The Gratitude Day’, at the Global Vipassana Pagoda, in Mumbai. The Pagoda is considered to be the world’s largest interlocking stone dome built without any supporting pillars at Borivali. The dome can accommodate 8000 people. The Pagoda was inaugurated in February 2009 by then President Pratibha Patil.
The Pagoda was constructed under the direction of legendary Vipassana proponent and teacher, Late Acharya Shri Satyanarayan Goenkaji, who wanted to create a spiritual inspiration which could withstand the test of time.
‘The Gratitude Day’ marks the 46th death anniversary of Acharya S. N. Goenkaji’s teacher, Sayagyi U Ba Khin, the first Accountant-General of Burma and a leading authority on Vipassana meditation, in whose memory the Pagoda was built. It is also the second death anniversary of Mataji Illaichidevi Goenka, Goenkaji’s wife, who played a paramount role along with her husband in establishing the Vipassana meditation technique in India and teaching it.
Speaking on the occasion, Nayan Shah, Chairman, Global Vipassana Foundation, said, “By the year 2025, we expect to serve 50 lakh visitors at the Global Vipassana Pagoda. There is tremendous potential for the spiritual development in and around the Global Vipassana Pagoda and a suitable time-bound integrated action plan is needed so that its potential is fully realized, for the benefit of millions of people, for centuries hereafter”.
Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Devendra Fadnavis, paid his tribute toSayagyi U Ba Khin, Acharya S.N. Goenkaji &Mataji Illaichidevi Goenka, on this occasion. He went on to commend the services of Global Vipassana Foundation, for spreading the practice of Vipassana and assured Global Vipassana Foundation of all possible support from the Government of Maharashtra.
President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, was glad to be back at Global Vipassana Pagoda, after having visited a year ago. Paying his sincere tributes toSayagyi U Ba Khin, Acharya S.N. Goenkaji &Mataji Illaichidevi Goenka, he reminisced his association with Mataji and Goenkaji. He congratulated Global Vippasana Foundation & the Government of Maharashtra for promoting the concept of Vipassana, worldwide, through Global Vipassana Pagoda, which has been attracting followers worldwide.
Sriprakash Goenka, Managing Trustee, Global Vipassana Foundation & son of Goenkaji, thanked the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Maharashtra for committing to the development of the Pagoda in a time-bound manner.
The President also laid the foundation stone for the GVF’s Dhammalaya 2 (residential quarters), near the Pagoda. Prior to the foundation stone laying ceremony, an Anapana Meditation (the observation of the natural breath coming in and going out) was held for those who gathered on the occasion, before the President’s arrival.
About Global Vipassana Foundation: The Global Vipassana Foundation is a non-commercial organization. The aim of the foundation is to express gratitude to Gautama Buddha for dispensing a universal teaching for the eradication of suffering, to reveal the truth about the life of Buddha and His teaching, and to provide a place for the practice of Vipassana meditation. With increasing number of people taking to Vipassana, the Global Vipassana Foundation built a Global Vipassana Pagoda in Mumbai. The monument in stone is an expression of gratitude and sharing of benefits of Vipassana, as well as serving a practical function of enabling thousands of students of Vipassana to meditate together, under the enshrined corporeal relics of the Buddha. Vipassana meditation courses are held free of charge at the meditation centre that is situated in the Global Vipassana Pagoda complex. All courses, throughout the world, are run solely on freely-offered donations. No fee is charged. The courses are financed totally by donations from students who have completed a prior course and wish to share the benefits they received by giving donations for students who come after them. Neither the teacher nor the assistant teachers receive remuneration and volunteer their time and service. This practice is consistent with the pure tradition whereby the teaching is to be offered free.
Among the multiple objectives of Global Vipassana Pagoda, the most important ones are:
- That it be built as a debt of gratitude to Sayagi U Ba Khin and a debt of gratitude to the people of Myanmar who preserved the Vipassana meditation technique in its pristine purity, thus it is it be built as a replica of the Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, Myanmar.
- That the relics of Buddha find its rightful place to be enshrined.
- That for centuries hereafter, it be the beacon for spreading the Vipassana in the world. Ends