Day 2 of our ‘India Week’ on Triratna News features the Karuna Trust’s new ‘Dhamma Seed Fund’, set up to make grants to new Buddhist groups across India, however small. It complements the larger ‘Dhamma’ grants given to other parts of the Triratna Buddhist community in India, notably our main retreat centres there, Bhaja and Bor Dharan. The new fund is closely linked to the work of the Nagarjuna Training Institute, Triratna’s campus facility in India where young men and women from all across the country are invited for a year’s intensive social and Dhamma training - after which they return home to do what they can for the ‘Dhamma Revolution’ in their local areas. Now in its eighth year, its produced well over 400 graduates who between them are responsible for some 40 projects around India.
The £5,000 in the Seed Fund’s first round of grants were given to four widely-separated projects - in Bodhgaya, Dehra Dun, Orissa, and Kerala. Lokabandhu, one of the Fund’s administrators, writes “Yesterday, as I was preparing this report, I was delighted to receive an email from Buddhavajra in Bodhgaya with news of his first all-women’s retreat there - a major achievement in such a socially-conservative and rural part of the world. He told me - ‘from September 24 to 28 we held our first women’s “open retreat” at the Triratna Centre here in Bodhgaya, led by Dhammacharini Amitprabha and her team. In this retreat 45 women came for a taste of the Dhamma life; this was very significant for them because they are all from Dalit (ie oppressed) castes. I took some photos, it is easy to see from them how happy they were to be doing this retreat. With metta, Buddhavajra’.”
The photos show pictures from the retreat, plus two maps showing some of the many other Triratna projects across India. Tomorrow we’ll be featuring the work of Bhaja retreat centre.