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Indian children become Fo Guang Shan-sponsored novice monks

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Indian children become Fo Guang Shan-sponsored novice monks

New Delhi, Dec. 29 (CNA) In the country where Buddhism was born in the 6th century B.C., 27 children have become novice monks in a ceremony sponsored by Fo Guang Shan (FGS) Monastery, a Buddhist organization based in Taiwan. The 27 boys around 12 years old participated in the tonsure, or hair-shaving, ceremony at the FGS Educational and Cultural Center in New Delhi Saturday. They and seven others who had gone before them will remain at the center for both secular and religious education before some of them are selected for further studies in Taiwan when they are in their late teens. The children are from a school for grooming sramaneras, or novice monks, south of Delhi, which was established by Fo Guang Shan Monastery in June 2010. There they studied English, math, Hindi and social science subjects for 17 hours each week with qualified Indian teachers. In addition, they were taught Chinese by Chinese-speaking volunteers, some of whom are from Taiwan. The purpose of grooming sranmaneras is to help promote Buddhism in India through its0 own people, as instructed by Hsing Yun, founder of the Fo Guang Shan Buddhist order as well as the affiliated Buddha's Light International Association, one of the largest international Buddhist organizations in Taiwan and in the Buddhist world, according to Hui Hsien, head of the center in New Delhi. Although the religion originated from India, among the country's 1.2 billion residents, less than one percent count themselves as Buddhists. (By Ho Horng-ru and Jay Chen)


Updated : 2021-02-27 14:28 GMT+08:00