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Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein participates in Poi-Leng festival at Namsai

Chowna Mein

Our Correspondent

Itanagar: Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein on Thursday participated in the inaugural day of the three day Poi-Leng Festival which commenced at Weingko village under Namsai district.

Recalling the late monk’s tremendous contributions to social and charitable services, Mein believe his teachings shall always be remembered.

“I believe the virtuous deeds of the most venerable one will continue to encourage all to join hands to build a caring and loving community,” Mein said.

Ven Ananda Bhikkhu, General Secretary of Bengaluru based Mahabodhi Society, also remembered the late monk as being humble and a very learned teacher who had trained many monks under him. He wished that many people will be inspired by his teachings and works.

The three-day Poi-Leng Festival will be celebrated as per Buddhist rituals and traditions. The festival is being celebrated in honour of Ven Indrabangsa Mahathera, who was for a long period the Sanghanayak of Arunachal Pradesh Bhikkhu Sangha. The festival is basically celebrated by pulling of a specially designed chariot which is a catafalque where the mortal remains of the departed monk is kept. The celebration is a gesture by monks and devotees who are taking part in the final journey of the demised monk. At the end of the three day festival, the chariot will be put to fire thus bringing to end the monk’s monastic journey.

Ven Indrabangsa Mahathera was born in January 1947 and breathed his last at the Weingko Buddhist Temple where he was the chief abbot in August 2019. He joined the monastic order as a novice when he was just seven years old. He spent fifty one vassas (rain retreats) after his higher ordination till his demise. He is remembered for working extensively for the development and propagation of Buddha Sasana besides on the socio-cultural front. He is best remembered by monks and devotees for his humility.

As per tradition the mortal remains was kept in a makeshift temple after embalming. On the first day the coffin was transferred from the makeshift temple to the chariot after performing ritual prayers.

People from various places from Arunachal Pradesh, Assam and even Tripura have thronged to the venue of the festival and the organisers are expecting more participation in the coming two days. A group of monks from Maharashtra is also participating in this sacred festival. Chief of Khamti Chow Khancheng Namchoom, Namsai MLA Chau Zingnu Namchoom, DC Bijoy Talukdar and SP Ankit Singh also attended the festival. Earlier, the deputy chief minister also released the festival souvenir, an official release informed here.

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