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Medical camp for animals launched by Tibetans with Gandhi in India

Buddhists have traditionally showed a great deal of respect for animals and feel that every effort possible to treat animals well should be made. In Buddhism animals are seen as having just as much of a right to life in this world as people. In recognition of the high value placed on animal life by Buddhists, Karmapa and Maneka Gandhi have launched a medical camp for animals in Gaya, reported Jan. 25, 2014.

The 17th Gyalwa Karmapa looks on during a ceremony in Dharamsala, India.
Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images

The Karmapa has inaugurated a medical camp for animals at the Kagyu Monlam Pavilion, Tergar Monastery in Bodhgaya, India. Indian parliamentarian Gandhi, who is an animal rights activist, attended the inaugural ceremony as the chief guest. Gandhi is the head of the "People for Animals" organization which she established in 1992. Gandhi said, "Throughout history great spiritual beings have come in human form. I believe the Karmapa is among those beings who have come to help us realize ourselves." Gandhi went on to say if you have a desire to make the world a better place for humans, you have to make it a better place for all beings, which include animals.

Karmapa shared his hopes that the land of Buddha's enlightenment will be transformed into a space where animals' rights are respected as much as those of people. He has said, "Bodhgaya is a land which has been a source of wisdom and compassion, and my hope is that it can become a mandala, or pure realm, where we can especially appreciate the worth of animals." This move to preserve the well being of animals is commendable.

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