Back from India … the Land that Buddha Walked on Moons Ago

A few thousand moons ago, 30612+ moons ago, or 2551+ years ago, to be exact. … 🙂 That was how long ago when Buddha was in India, walking the land, going on alms, teaching the Dharma, meditating under trees, in the caves, couselling the monks, enlightening the seekers of Truths. And last two weeks, we went and spent some time at Bodhgaya under the novice retreat programme.

It was pretty amazing, to say the least, to see constant throngs of people coming to Maha Bodhi to pray, to chant, to prostrate, to meditate, to be where the Buddha attained enlightenment! … and of course, not forgetting to take some pictures for posterity.  What really touched me was to see people of various nationalities & religion, speaking different languages and dialects, inter-mingling there, like old friends coming back for a reunion!

The other interesting thing that struck me was how “un-strucked” I was  about India as a whole. It seemed almost just normal to see it the way it is/was, that I didn’t felt awed, surprised or shocked, as some would put it. It was my first trip to India, but in a strange way, I just felt ‘normal’ to see the dusty streets, the beggars, the monks chanting, the crowds lining the streets etc. Some people suggested that perhaps I just felt familiar because maybe I was born in India in the past. Maybe eh?

I’ll write more later on, when I sort my thoughts out. In a way, having modern travel, shortening the time to go to and return from India, kinda mess things up for me. Am I really back from India already? 😮

In the meantime, some of the retreat participants may have something to say about the trip. Just add to the comments and post away!

I’ll setup the photo album thingie in this few days so you can upload your photos. 🙂

With metta,

🙂

Did the Buddha Do Charity?

Of late, I’ve been thinking about something. “Did the Buddha do charity?”

Of course the mere inclusion of Buddha in such a question would invoke hordes of Buddha-fans who might flame this entry as its preposterous to even conceive such a question, much less ask one, and to post it online at that. Purists would start asking questions like “Define ‘Charity'” or “When we say ‘Did’, are we referring to the Buddha in his final life, as a monastic, as a prince or are we referring to his numerous past life?” … or perhaps my personal
favorite would be “What do you mean by Buddha? Are we referring to the historical Buddha or the very concept of Buddha-Nature” … etc etc.

While it may really seem like they are splitting hairs, those questions are very real and helps define the extent of our question. It can also shed light on the current status of Buddhism and perhaps whether there are alternatives to our current way of applying Buddhism to modern society.

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