Bodhgaya the place where Budha found Enligtment
India has been a very intense journey, since we landed in New Delhi a few months ago… We travelled all the west coast and we were now on the east coast. We’ve travelled through mega metropolis Like Delhi, Mumbai or Kolkata and a tiny little rural village lost in time, like Ananda Nagar.
We’ve visited tourist hubs like Goa, cities where no tourist go like Kannur,a paradise in the Andaman coast like Havelock and Neil islands and an Ashram where devotees get hugged by a kind smiley lady, Amma or the Mother, one of the rare female Gurus.
Arriving to the train station, we were slapped with the reality; we were back to the chaos of modern India.
Lots of little untouchable children were flocking there, as well as their parents, carrying large amounts of things, probably all they have in life. The thought of how lucky I was and how grateful I should be for the life I have, passed through my mind once more.
We took the 3rdclass train to Bodhgaya. The 3rd class is the lowest class, but the journey was not too long and we would have a chance to meet some local people.
We met a really nice guy who wanted us to come over his house and who seemed to be fascinated with the fact a foreign girl came all the way from Europe, just to learn the ancient Ayurvedic medicine.
We arrived at Bodhgaya, a dusty town, filled with monks from all Buddhist traditions and monasteries from all Buddhist nations. I wanted to stay over at a monastery and I heard it was possible to get a room at the Burmese monastery, for a very affordable price.
The place was huge, with a massive internal garden, where the monks and lay people were hanging out, hanging their robes to dry in the balconies, playing board games, etc. I really loved the place.
|The Burmese monastery where we got a room|
We took off to see the Bodhi tree and the monument to Buddha. It was majestic, with hundreds of pilgrims walking around, praying or offering repetitive prostrations. The Tibetan monks prayers were absolutely amazing, what a great sense of peace around there.
Many thousands of years ago, a prince, revolted with the fact that life is surrounded by misery, disease and ageing went on a journey of self-discovery and that very spot is the place where he found the answer, under that massive tree (which is not the original one, but is a branch which was saved in Sri Lanka).
|The legendary Bodhi tree|
I actually felt very emotional there and I wish I could have touched the tree, but for safety reasons, the tree is fenced. Still people sat around it, chatting or praying.
Inside the big monument, there’s a massive golden statue of Buddha. Tourists make a line, trying to get the best shot. Although he said we should not worship images or statues, seems like we humans have a certain need to worship or at least get reminded of Buddha and his teaching through statues, paintings, etc. It’s probably the power of attachment, he talked about.
We were planning on staying 3 or 4 days there, before reaching Darjeeling. What was not on our plans was that EVERYTHING would be shutting down with the celebrations of Holly, a crazy Indian Holiday where people have fun playing with colorful powders.
As much as we wanted to celebrate Holly in Bodhgaya, we needed to get the trains up north. We were informed no one would take us anywhere the next day, so we had a couple of hours to pack, check out and hurry as fast as possible to the train station.
This was the worse and most stressful part of our trip, we were about to arrive in Patna.
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