Monday, December 10, 2007

29June07: Sarnath-Delhi, India

Buddhist Pilgrim: Deer Park, Sarnath

i got a running nose now. i hope to be well soon. i woke up at six thinking to to join the monk in chanting but i couldn't see them in the big shrine hall! Well, they actually do their morning chanting in another smaller hall.
Then i took the breakfast together with the monks and it was the same as last night dinner. i particularly like the bun things. i drank some tibetan salty milk as well. It tastes good when it was hot.
The young monk, Tsering, went sighseeing with me and showed me around the temple main building. We walked to different traditions and nations of temples too. It was pretty much amazing that, in a small place like Sarnath, there are just so many temples built by so many countries. Korean, Japanese, Burmese, Thai, Tibetan and Chinese temples are all around. The Japanese temple as expected was the most beautiful one in Zen style. There are several other Tibetan temples as well, but the one that i was staying, Thrangu Rinpoche's temple, is the most impressive one with a very beautiful Zen style garden too.
i walked 3 rounds at Dhanekh Stupa and Asoka Pillar, making my 3 wishes. i remember my tibetan Buddhism teacher said, make a wish at the very first moment that you see the Asoka Pillar, then your wish will come true. i think he would want us to make a wish in regard to our spritual strike. :) Too bad that the museum was closed, so i didn't see the lion capital of Asoka Pillar.
i didnt feel particularly inspired or touched to be able to come to this holy place of Buddhist. This was especially true when people approached me and trying to sell me some 'genuine' antic statue, secretly. The impression that i had over Sarnath was however good. This is a definitely a small and clean town.
Now Varanasi Old Town (not Ganges River), top as the dirtiest place that i had ever visited. Even on top of Chennai.
The monks helped me to arrange an auto-rickshaw to go back to Varanasi so that i could take the night train to return to Delhi. i was heading to my 10 days meditation retreat at the Northern mountain area, Dharamsala.

In the monastery. The two Tibetan monks who speak better English and been there to take care of my needs and one of them even showed me around the tiny Sarnath town.
It was coincidentally the monk's summer holiday and there were not many monks in the monastery.

Place to Stay
Vajra Vidya House (Non-profit and runs by the monastery of Thrangu Rinpoche)

Khajuhee, Sarnath, Varanasi
15 minutes walk from Deer Park or the main town.
Fan, 2 single beds, attached bathroom, big, clean, including food: 3 meals with monks - 300Rs

The stupa behind is the 34meter Dhanekh Stupa, which marks the spot where the Buddha preached his first sermon.

Chukhandi Stupa mark the spot where Buddha met his first disciples.

The Japanese Temple.

The deer enclosure, deer park.

A tibetan monk was chanting in front of the Bodhi tree by Mulgandha Kuti Vihar.

Street scene.

1 comment:

柏大衛 said...

Wow. Such a strange feeling to think of being so close to where the buddha first taught!