The Jumma Buddhists of Chittagong port city observed Ashari Purnima yesterday. A few thousand Jumma Buddhists and a few Bengali Buddhists gathered at Chattagram Moitri Bana Bihar, Free Port, Chittagong to perform Astha Pariskar Dana and other religious rites to begin the Barshabrata of the Buddhist monks. The Marma and Chakma Buddhists call this celebration as ‘Waa’. The Buddhist monks start their 3-month long compulsory staying (at night) at a certain Buddhist temple on the full moon day of Ashar/Wacho month.
|Mr. Debatosh Chakma, president, Chattagram Moitri Bana Vihar, delivers his formal concluding speech in the management committee meeting and the general secretary is seen close to him.|
The increased number of employed Jummas in Chittagong, Dhaka and other parts of the country have now been forced to shift appropriate dates of religious programmees to weekly holidays (Friday and Saturday), to ensure their participation to religious programmes. Actually, this year the Ashari purnima falls on 22nd instant and it falls on working day, therefore, to accommodate the programme it has been brought a few days ahead, on Friday, the prime day of weekend.
|The foundation stone of the deshanalay testifies the involvement of Awami League M.P. Chittagong 10, Mr. M. A. Latif with the temple.|
Beside the religious function, the management committee of the temple sat as soon as the main function is over and decided to construct the 2-storied main portion of the building with dome within three months. Presently, the temple is in a makeshift on a 16 decimals plot. It was inaugurated on 7 May, 2010 and the prayer hall was jointly inaugurated by Mr. MA Latif, MP (Awami League) and Rev. Pragnalankar Mahasthabir. Mr. Latif has helped get and develop this government land after his return in last parliamentary election.
According to a source, now about 100,000 CHT Jummas are in Chittagong city, employed in different foreign and local companies. There is a great demand of Jumma workforce for their integrity. Therefore, five Jumma Buddhist temples have been established in Chittagong which are Chattagram Moitri Bana Vihar, Bargang Boudha Vihar, Hill Chadigang Vihar, Bishwa Moitri Vihar and Phra Raung-Khray-Taw Kyaung (Divine Light Buddhist Temple) run by Marma Buddhists. Except the Chattagram Moitri Bana Vihar all other temples are housed at rented buildings.
In yesterday’s Ashari Purnima celebration Rev. Bishuddhananda Bhante, disciple of most revered Bana Bhante conducted deshana to the congregation. He asked the congregation to follow the teachings of Lord Goutama Buddha and also wished the immediate halt of the infighting in the CHT. He, in his deshana, warmly welcomed the presence of Rupayan Dewan, Member, CHT Regional Council to the function and wished his role to stop occasional clashes between Jumma students in Chittagong. The president of temple management committee, Mr. Debatosh Chakma, also warmly welcomed Rupayan Dewan and highly appreciated his participation to this important religious event, during his formal speech in the management committee meeting.