News No. 06/2012, January 27, 2012
VENERABLE Bana Bhante, the most revered Buddhist monk in Bangladesh, has been admitted to Square hospital in Dhaka.
He was flown by an air ambulance from Raj Bana Vihara in Rangamati in the morning today after he fell seriously ill.
He has been placed under intensive care and a medical board will soon be constituted for his treatment, hospital sources have said.
‘His condition has slightly improved as he has started to move his legs,’ one source said quoting Dr. Shneha Kumar Chakma, civil surgeon of Rangamati, who accompanied Bana Bhante to the hospital.
Raja Devashish Roy said Bana Bhante, who celebrated his 93rd birthday on 8 January, has been suffering from high blood pressure, pneumonia and other old age complications.
Hundreds of Jumma people crowded Square hospital to have a glimpse of the ailing monk, who is believed to have attained Arhathood, the final stage of spiritual progress.
Bana Bhante was born on 8 January 1920 in the village of Muroghona under Boradom Mouza in Rangamati district.
He renounced worldly life in 1949 at the age of 29 and became a Buddhist monk at Nandan Kanon Buddhist temple in Chittagong.
Later, he went through a rigorous meditation in the jungles of Dhanpada and Dighinala for fourteen years, enduring bodily pains and hardships, ignoring extreme heat and cold and braving incessant rain.
Bana Bhante’s contribution to the revival and spread of Buddhism in the CHT is immense. He has a distinguished ability to illustrate and explain the Dhamma of the Lord Buddha in plain language, using similes and parables. The devotees listen to his deshana or religious lectures with rapt attention.