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From Ananda Nagar we went to Bodhgaya, the place where Buddha got enlightenment. We stayed in the International meditation centre, a Vipasana place who welcomes people from other paths as well. The monk in charge is always very hospitable and likes us to join the meals... unfortunately they use onion.

Bodhgaya has a very different feel of other Indian towns as it's predominantly Buddhist, many Tibetan people are there and often in December the Diala Lama visits for a while. At that time there are hundreds of monks and nuns as well as Buddhists from all over the world.

Bhuddist monks under the Bo tree Prayer wheel used while studying

A short walk away is the place where the descendant of the Bo tree stands. It is thought that under this tree Buddha took the determination not to move until he would reach the Goal. He sat for 40+ days and finally his mind merged with the infinite. After this he came to Sarnath where he gave his first Sermon on the three noble truths. Actually Baba told the, real Bo tree was indeed in that area but not quite there, it had been few hundred meters away but no descendants are there. Who knows this tree has still some relation with the original... maybe not as great grand child but ate great grand cousin or so:-) However, The tree or a tree, it's the focus point for the Buddhist pilgrims and many other visitors and there is a sentient environment good for meditation. When there is any special occasion the whole place is light up with 10,000 of little oil lamps creating a beautiful atmosphere.

More study, reading scriptures on palm leaves Tara, Mayatiita and Kamala enjoying the tour.

Street kids with great smiles Japanese temple

This time one Didi joined us for few days to the delight of the group. I am not really a fan of temples and never really took the effort of checking them out. Many countries have put up their temple and thanks to Didi pushing us (me) to them I had the chance to have a look. And I didn't regret! It's so interesting to see how each country has a complete different idea of how the temple should look like. The Japanese, austere and, in my opinion, a bit cold. The Burmese? very colourful and bold paintings, the Tibetan one again different and so on, I think we saw about 10 different ones.

Burmese temple Small kids making huge noise

Than just outside the Tibetan temple we heard tremendous noise from inside and wondered if some kind of ceremony was starting so we went inside to see. But nothing there... Just some kids studying the scriptures. Than again a bit later the same noise, but this time we were still inside and saw what was happening. It were the studying kids! They would read the scriptures quietly for some time maybe 5-10 minutes... but than, like children everywhere, they would get restless. So the system was that every that would happen they would pick up some instruments (like this long horns in the photo) and just make what ever noise they could and as loud as they could. After a minute or so, once that energy was expressed, they would again peacefully continue their study! Great idea, and very effective. Maybe something to introduce in our schools:-)

30 meter high Bhudda statue

It seems that having the biggest Buddha statue is something to aspire for, so in many places one can find these. For me they are not so special unless the art work is exceptional but in this case the sunset behind it made it really beautiful!


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