Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Back to Bodhgaya

We came back to Bodhgaya, while in the bus we tasted a local dessert called "Kadcha". Tipitaka mentioned it as a fried dessert in a story about a very thrifty millionaire who wanted to have it cooked only for him and not willing to share to others. So he had it fried on his seventh floor castle, but a Buddhist monk who had supernatural power still appeared in the air outside his windows and asked for it so he unwillingly gave it to the monk. The dessert looks like a crossed between fried crossant and folded curry dessert. It came in 2 flavors, sweet or salty. I understood then why the millionaire did not want to share his dessert to others and why, 2500 years later, it 's a popular dessert now.

Next morning we went to visit the place where Suchada (Suchata) 's house was. The mound is now covered with bricks and it now looks like an archeological stupa, perhaps in an attempt to lure tourists here. A mountain, Thais call Donkasiri, where Buddha spent his 6 years of physical torments during his quest to understand dhamma before enlightenment could be seen in the back behind our bus. We did not go there.

We visited a site near Niranjala river (Thais call Nerunchala) where Lord Buddha floated the gold tray after he consumed all the Payas (dessert made of rice, milk and butter) presented by Sujata on the day before the full moon night of May. He had not eaten for several days before. And he would not eat any food after the enlightenment for at least the next 49 days.

This locatlion is also where Buddha was given 8 bundles of long Gussa grass by a brahmin and he carried them across the river to where the Bodhi tree is (and now Bodhgaya) and used that to make a cushion for his sitting meditation on the enlightenment night (now celebrated as Vesakhabucha).

Nerunchala river is now mostly dried sand, with small stream running only afar in the middle, due to deforestation in the origin water source of this river.

Perhaps, the shrubs of grass we see in this picture are those of the Gussa grass.

No comments: