Saturday, November 07, 2009

Main Viraha at Bodhgaya

The is the place almost 26 centuries ago where, under a Bodhi tree, Lord Buddha sat cross-legged with strong determination that he would not get up again unless he discovered the dhamma. He eventually had enlightment on the full moon night on the 6th month (May). The fourth generation Bodhi tree planted on the same spot can be seen on the left next to the tall Viraha. The Vihara housed a sacred Buddha image, called Luangphor Buddha Metta by Thais, on the first floor. A lot of people came here to meditate, to chant mantra, to walk clockwise around it three times (as a gesture to pay respect), or to pay homage by "Asdangkhapranot" (Tibetan style), which means having 8 points of the body touching the ground. Thais only do the 5 points touching the ground gesture now. Historically we did the Asdangkhapranot too, but not any more. I did not try that. My monk teacher said that he tried it once and after 3 times his body was sweating. More importantly, the (borrowed) bed would be quite smelly, if it's not your own. I was impressed by the presence of Buddhists from all over the World, including westerners. I feel glad for their discovered path of life.

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