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Last Day

INDIA | Thursday, 4 January 2007 | Views [862] | Comments [1]

Today is my last day in Bodhgaya. Yesterday a group of 8 of us took a day trip out to Ragjir and to Vulture peak where the Buddha gave his first sermon. Then to Nalanda University,which dates goes back to the 5th century . It was one of the greatest universities of the ancient world as well as being "the" monastic educational institurtion. It hosted famous Buddhist scholars such as Nagarjuna,Vasubandu, Asanga, Dharmakirti and Shantarashita. And was the place of birth and death of Sariputra. What an amazing experience to get to see and be in these places. Tomorrow I take a train to the city of Varanasi. One of the seven holiest cities.In Hinduism it is believed that those who die and are cremated here get an instant gateway to liberation from the cycle of births and re-births. Varanasi is situated on the banks of River Ganges, which is believed to have the power of washing away all of one's sins. As pundits here will tell you, whatever is sacrificed and chanted here or given in charity reaps its fruits thousand times more than those good deeds performed at other places because of the power of that place. Varanasi is the oldest city of the world and more than 3000 years old..I will stay in Sarnath(After his enlightenment in Bodhgaya, the Buddha went to Sarnath seeking his five former companions. He found them, taught them what he had learned, and they also became enlightened. This event is referred to as "the turning of the wheel of the Dharma" and also marks the founding of the Sangha..) I will post pictures! On the 8th finally, I will fly to Nepal. I can’t believe I have been gone 10 days already. As was predicted, I have made some new friends and seen some old ones. I am sick with a head cold, most likely from all the dust. Everything is covered with it and even with my big white mask I am still not immune! So far India has been all about getting used to being here. It is slow and filthy and also so colorful and infused with history. The roads are filled with sellers and shops and beggars and cows and small children, lots of trash and men urinating as well as all forms of transportation imaginable..Even pony drawn carriages. Today was the last empowerment and teaching and I will collect some leaves from the Bodhi tree for all that want one. Let me know! When I get a chance to really reflect I will have more to share. I am in a bit of overwhelm just from being in the presence of The Karmapa..L

Tags: Adventures



Happy New Year Laura,
I'm truly enjoying your notes and photos and reports, especially the teachigns and poem from the Karmapa. Hope your cold is better and that you find Sarnath as magical as they say it is. Thank you so much for sharing this journey. Many blessings to you...Barbara

  Barbara Abrams Jan 5, 2007 2:14 AM

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