As a result of Master Nan’s death, Wen Kwei, the sculptor of the Walking Buddha, was not able to attend our Ashok Vijaya Dashmi programme in Nagaloka, this year as he had planned. This was great disappointment to us all but we understood and hope he will be able to come in 2013.
The guests who did come were:
1. Christopher Benninger, the architect for Nagaloka. is one of the leading architects in India, with many huge, prestigious projects, numerous awards, and 40 architects working under him. We were delighted to be able to felicitate him and publicly express our appreciation of the beautiful campus he has designed for us. In his talk he said that of all his work, he felt most for the work at Nagaloka, as it was concerned with the real development, the evolution of the individual and society
2. Prof Aloysius, a south Indian who has done a lot of research on Jyothedas, the main figure in stimulating interest among South Indian Dalits in Buddhism at the end of the nineteenth century, asserting that they were returning to their old religion. Aloysius is a highly respected intellectual and social activist. Once a Christian priest, he is now more of a Buddhist and it is hoped he can involve himself with the Nagarjuna Institute and students.
3. Dhammachari Tejadarshan has just returned from Cambridge in UK, where he was working with Windhorse Trading for 15 years. Among his projects in India he wants to develop the Golden Light Foundation, a charitable company developed to help sustain Nagaloka.
During the programme we held the foundation stone ceremony for the new residential training building that has been made possible by Master Nan and his disciples, and inaugurated the Golden Light Foundation. We also inaugurated Nagarjuna College, as we now have permission from the Government of Maharashtra and Nagpur University to run a degree course on Buddhism, Dr. Ambedkar Studies and Pal. This academic year is our first year.