Thursday, February 14, 2008

A Pilgrimage Special: Twilight at Bodhgaya

During Buddha's time,Bodhgaya was called Uruvela. It is here that the famous Mahabodhi Temple stands. King Asoka was said to be the first to build a temple here and henceforth, it became a place of focus for Buddhist pilgrims for more than 1500 years until the 13th century when the Buddhist viharas and shrines were devastated by Muslims. When a Tibetan pilgrim, Dharmasvamin visited Bodhgaya in 1234 AD, only four monks were left in the vihara and one said that all have fled in fear of the Turushka soldiery. As Buddhism further declined in India, the Burmese came in to rescue the decaying Mahabodhi Temple. That was during the 14th and 15th centuries. The Mahabodhi Temple was again forgotten thereafter and a wandering Hindu ascetic, Mahant Gosain Giri, later took control of the temple and since 1590 AD, the temple was under Hindu control. In 1861, Cunningham found the Mahant and the followers indulging in non-Buddhist ceremonies there and Sir Edwin, author of The Light of Asia, observed that Shrada, a Hindu last rite where mantras and verses are chanted on behalf of the dead to free the soul, was performed there and precious ancient relics of carved stone inscribed with Sanskrit were left around the area unattended.

Just after the surprise Birthday Bash at our hotel, we made off for this temple. It must be about ten and the temple was closing...

Mahabodhi Temple in Bodhgaya...


14 comments:

Anonymous said...

super post.. see my http://everestmydream.blogspot.com/2007/11/himalayan-pilgrimage-amazing-movie.html
Have a nice day! -himalman :)

Liudmila said...

They say, places where many persons come to pray for centuries have special energy. Did you have a special feeling visiting them?

footiam said...

Liudmila, I guess I am that kind of ordinary people who just live life, don't have that kind of vibes for things beyond the human world! But when i was in India, I heard from the lady in the train, that in places like Kusinagara, if you take photos, sometimes, you get to see things that wasn't there, not there to our naked eyes that's it. The lady showed me some photos which she took in Kusinagara and sure enough there were faint circular lights which she said are called orbs which are actually beings from other planes out to listen to the Dhamma. I don't know whether that's true and wonder if the accompanying photo that I posted here, has the orbs too. If you look carefully at this photo, there are circular lights here too, which I initially thought were a result of diffusion, or diffraction of lights. I have checked the internet, but there is nothing on orbs or whatever that round thing is. Maybe, you have heard of something too and maybe able to add some information.

--pandi merdeka nurdiansyah-- said...

hi footiam nice post i have link my blog to your blog..

footiam said...

Thanks Pandi. do visit often!

Liudmila said...

I'm able to see and to feel other beings sometimes, but I've never seen them as orbs. So far I know, other persons do not see them as orbs too.

In the form of orbs can present visions. It's the result of some advanced techniques. They can be pure and impure. Impure come forced by the mind, pure appear when the Chanels of Wissdom are open.

It's possible, I think, that it happens in the places like this to many persons. They say, there are "Places of Force" all over the world. Positive and negative too. Like Phyramid in Ghisa, others. I know only that they exist.

But in the case of photography... I don't know.

footiam said...

I heard that these orbs appear in photos and that was about the only time I have heard of them.A nun said orbs are possible; the camera can capture it unlike our eyes because of the faster frequency but orbs are really minor things compared to Nirvarna which is the main objective of Buddhism. As for being able to see other beings, I have heard of two who could see here; one, the mother of a very good friend and another a young man of about 28 years. I only know the young man and he said he could see these things since very young and I don't think it bothers him. I wonder if if bothers you.

Liudmila said...

The first time for me I remember very well till today. The first I remember at least. I was very little, about 6 years old.

But I began to think seriously about it only about 10 years ago, when they became too... strange, invadent, I don't know to explain.

That is why I looked for explanations in different religions to know, what behaviour I have to have with them. Because they take offence very easily and can create problems in the life. So, I try to satisfy them.

That is why I know that there is not death of the being. After the death of the body the life continues and the being saffers very much that you don't see it, don't understand it. I feel these emotions very well. And -you know how it is- when you want but can't help, don't understand what to do... It's terrible feeling.

footiam said...

I believe you must have got used to all these after so many years. I have heard a Australian monk said. Come to think about it, he is the third person I've known who had seen these things. He had experienced this in England where he was born, in Australia where he had migrated to and in Malaysia, where he visited. He said these beings are trapped here in our world and it would be good to send them good thoughts, telling them to just leave, go on in their journey. Anyway, I believe Buddhism explains their presence , what with the 32 planes of existence that I've heard about from a nun during my trip to India. But I think I have heard elsewhere that there are good and harmful spirits; some of these are always hungry. I hope the one you meet, do not all try to create problems. And just over my post 'ghost' at http://dhammadelights.blogspot.com , there is a new comment from a youngster who said he had experienced this all his life!

Liudmila said...

I don't know about other Teachings, Bon has also this point of view about good and bad spirits and that they are suffering beings and need our help (prayers, dedications, offers).

There are more great spirits and you can call them telling mantras unopportunetly.
So, said our Lama, imagine: this very powerful, not very patient and good being is sleeping, you begin to call him (unconsciously because you don't know about it and can't see him). He comes to you, asks you "what do you want from me?" and you -because you don't see, don't hear, don't feel- make a stupid -from his point of view. What would YOU feel if somebody made the same for you? He could be offensed and make something bad to you in this case.

Once I had courage to ask our Bon Lama about my experience with a tree. I was sure he will say bad about me. Buddhist Lama in our Institute did not recognize even animals as the same souls like humans -what can I say you about plants? (Sincerely, it was the reason I left the Institute -because I feel the life in other way, and pure philosophy was not enough for me)

But Bon Lama was absolutely not surprised hearing my question and explained me what I have to do.

There are different planes of existence in buddhist philosophy (different as number in every school too) but I think they reffere to our actual existance. Those are states of mind, of our continuum. One lives all his life as a hungry spirit, other feels all the life as evil ecc ecc.

footiam said...

There are many schools in Tibetan Buddhisms. Just the other day, i read the sakyas school was replaced by the Gelug school at one time but surfing through the net, it seems the sakyas school is very popular in the west esp America . Bon is just a minor school, just like Jonang, which I had posted in my latest post at Travel Pangs. I think in this way, Buddhism is like many other religions. There are many schools and sects. All said, teaching varies slightly according to the sects and then according to the monks who teach us. I guess as Buddha said, we just have to think over what is being taught and not to accept blindly. In the end, we'll have to decide what is right to us; and not just right to other people. As long as we do not harm and cause sufferings to others , that would be enough. So, personally, sometimes it's not important to me whether there are other beings other than us. Confucius said, if we can't solve our worldly problem yet, why think further then his world. Hell and heaven has to wait. Oh, about your experience with tree, you should write a post on it. I have been thinking about doing one on that for a long time, but haven't yet. Hope to do that soon, anyway.

Liudmila said...

We had special course about different schools in Buddhismus at the Institute, what they have common and how they differ. It was not important for me and I learned it not very attentively. If I need this information, I can open my lessons and read it.

So, like different schools in Christianesimus. What changes for me if I cross myself with 2 or with 3 fingers? What changes for me if the prist has golden or simple cup on his table? It was important in 1500 to protest against papst. Why have I to kill an other person for this reason TODAY?

About the tree... I had something like "special relation" with it, and it came to me for the last greeting when it was saw down (I knew about it only a day after). I was sure about what I feel (I had different experiences like that before that case), but could not believe that it's possible with a plant too. But our Lama had no doubts that it's possible.

I don't like to write about these experiences. Persons that do not have them are not ready to listen to them. We have not to provoke manifestations of bad karma in other persons.

By the way,(excuse me if I rememer it to you) you never write the exact address of the posts in comments -only general address of the blog and do not want to write so as I explained to you once.

It's very uncomfortable, first -because
1-you see the address broken in comment and, if it's general,
2-it's unpossible to find the post you are speaking about. I tryed to find the comment of a young man you wrote about before, but could not find it. Unfortunatelly.

Second, if you write the address in the right way, you ad your link to the page. If you don't do it,your link is lost for search engines. And this is bad too.
Excuse me, once more.

footiam said...

There's a lot of things that I agree here. Yes, if we want to know anything about the different schools in any religion, we can just open a book and read it. And it does not matter whether we cross ourselves with two or three fingers at all. How will a person without finger cross himself anyway? Besides, these are all rites which are not at all important but if people love to do it and help them in anyway, by all means , do so as long as it does not harm others. It's only a problem if people start asking you why you do not do this or that, trying to patronise you and make you just like them.

About the tree, it's interesting. You have a different perception from other people, I suppose and perhaps, you are lucky! You know more than others. Maybe, I 'll do a post on a tree soon but I have to find an old photo first and perhaps, take new photo.

And thanks for the comment about linking. Sometimes, I just don't think about it. It's so convenient to just give a general link which we remember well, not the specific link but as it say, it's very uncomfortable, there seems to be a break somewhere, which is true. That's why I say above, you can cross with one finger or two as long as it does not cause an adverse effect on others; in my case, I left a general comment; and it has an adverse effect on otherw which is bad. Sorry!

Anyway, I found BMX's comment at http://dhammadelights.blogspot.com/2008/02/ghost.html#comments interesting:

bmxforever said...

I may be only 18 but I believe in spirits. I have been around them my whole life. Just about every house I have lived has been the home to a ghost as well. Take for example my gradpas house. My aunt saw a jar of penutbutter fly from the counter to the table. She was the only one there. My gradpa had a shop in an old hotel around where I live and he would go to open shop and all his musical stuff would be playing. So how can I not believe.

Liudmila said...

To contribute on your post about the tree, I wonted to remember you the research abuot plants how they are feelings. I don't know if you read it. I don't remember many examples from it today, only one.

One man had a Ficus in his flat. He treated it with great attention for different years. Once he find a girl-friend that he wanted to marry and she moved to him and they began to live together. After some time the woman began to feel bad and had diffrent disturbs, I don't remember precisely, but I think psychological and in health. And when the doctors made exams, they found that that ficus began to produce substances that damaged this woman (only her! so it could distinguish what chemical substance is bad for her, but not damage the man!). To catch the woman from the house.

Than there was written about how the trees speak between them. If worms begin to eat trees in one part of the forest, the trees in other part of the forest have the protective reaction too, so they know, that trees in other part of the forest have this problem.

Ah, every gardener knows that if you speak to your plant with lovely words, the plant grows better... Something begins to emerge in my memory about this research, when I think about it.

Maybe you know more facts from that research, I write it only to remember to you, and it would be interesting if you know more about plant-communication.

By the way, many ancestral religions recognize that it's possible "communicate" with plants. They say, if you know, what plant is good for you, you can go in the forest, huge the tree and you will have more forces or you can heal something -it's really so, this know everybody. I do not know much about it. I know that some healers use this technique -this is only information I have.

Have another serving of Travel Pangs!