Buddha of the Battlefields

His entire family and many friends were murdered by the Khmer Rouge. He seeks Peace and Forgives all the Killers, which stir our nation

His Holiness was sent to study in India, by a renowned Buddhist Master, Ven. Chuon Nath (the Supreme Patriarch of Cambodian Buddhism) to pursue a doctorate in Pali at Nalanda University in Bihar.
(Not too many people know his real date of birth)

Maha Ghosananda (5/23/1913 – 3/12/07)  has been called the “Buddha of the Battlefields.” He was born into a poor peasant family in the southern part of Cambodia. Even then there was great suffering in Cambodia. In the wake of the Depression and World War II, Khmer nationalism began to stir, bringing with it social upheaval, riots, and terrorism.

At a young age, Maha Ghosanada became a novice Buddhist monk and studied at monastic universities in Phnom Pen and Battambang.
In 1969, the U.S. began bombing Cambodia and that country became engulfed in civil war and social disintegration. Once the Khmer Rouge took power, Buddhist monks were denounced as part of the feudalistic power structures of the past.

Maha Ghosananda, who was in a Thai forest hermitage during this time, was one of the few monks to survive the brutal torture and murders that followed–nearly 2 million Cambodians, or almost one-quarter of the entire population, were killed between 1975 and 1979.

Maha Ghosananda’s entire family and many friends were murdered by the Khmer Rouge. In 1978, he left his forest hermitage to minister to Cambodian refugees who came across the Thai-Cambodia border.
In spite of — or maybe because of — this unimaginable tragedy, Maha Ghosanda continued his ministry for peace on an even larger scale. He led a 125-mile Dhammayeitra (pilgrimage of truth) across Cambodia in 1992 to begin restoring the hope and spirit of the Cambodian people. The Dhammayeitra continues to this day.

The suffering of Cambodia has been deep.
From this suffering comes Great Compassion.
Great Compassion makes a Peaceful Heart.
A Peaceful Heart makes a Peaceful Person.
A Peaceful Person makes a Peaceful Family.
A Peaceful Family makes a Peaceful Community.
A Peaceful Community makes a Peaceful Nation.
A Peaceful Nation makes a Peaceful World.
May all beings live in Happiness and Peace.

~Maha Ghosananda

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