२३.१२°C काठमाडौं
काठमाडौंमा वायुको गुणस्तर: १५२

Following in the footsteps of the Buddha

Looking at the Bodhi tree standing on the ground where Siddhartha Gautama first stepped, I closed my eyes for a while, and after stretching myself, I entered the time of 2500 years ago and visited him.
Extreme renunciation is not the path to liberation, nor is extreme indulgence the path to liberation. Ati does not cross, always works.
घनश्याम खड्का

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There is a book that I like very much – 'Jahan Jahan Charan Pare Gautama K'. In that book by the famous Buddhist monk Thik Nyat Hanh, there is a delicious description of where the Buddha went and who he visited.

Following in the footsteps of the Buddha

After reading the

book, I have been haunted by a desire for a long time - to follow in the footsteps of the Buddha and visit the places where he walked. Let the Buddha's words fill the heart. And, 2500 years ago to feel the fragrance of her floral presence with psychic vision. Buddha, who was born in Lumbini and grew up in Kapilvastu, after attaining enlightenment in Bodh Gaya went to Sarnath and gave his first sermon. After that, 45 years of his life were spent in Rajagriha, Sravasti, Jetavan, Vaishali and Kushi Nagar.

Once I wanted to follow Buddha's footsteps and reach these places. The constant presence of work and circumstances does not always allow us to go anywhere. After realizing that 'I have to go now', I put all the work in the schedule this winter and left without delay, following the path that Buddha walked.

I have a deep affection for Buddha. No matter how much you read his country, it doesn't hurt. As if I was tired of not being able to run in my dreams, I was probably tired of the pain of not being able to reach the place I wanted to go with immense devotion, I suddenly left everything and left the house.

From Lumbini to Bodh Gaya and its surrounding areas, people follow the Buddha's footsteps all over the world. I was saddened by the fact that even after so many years, I could not even take advantage of the facility of not needing a paper permission to go, as if I were a ``near pilgrimage''.

What was evident from the crowd and excitement seen from Lumbini to Bodh Gaya is that the Buddha-Path spread in the border states of Nepal and India is attracting people from every corner of the earth. Considering Lumbini, the place where Buddha was born, and Bodhgaya, the place where he attained enlightenment, thousands of spiritual pilgrims come to establish themselves here. A deep resolution done in a skillful state of mind is as much a plan as anything. And, like the needle of the compass always pointing north, the skilled mind always finds the way to the salvation of its own and all sattvas. Whatever sufferings we have, they are due to the negative consequences of falling into the trap of ignorance. All sattvas are tormented by mirage-like miseries trapped by their own actions and actions. Abhirthana, which the Tibetans call 'Monlam', is the practice of sowing the seeds of skillful action in the mind with the determination to be freed from suffering forever with the same intensity that a trapped soul longs to be freed from. In order to make such an arrangement, pilgrims from all over the world flock to places touched by the Buddha's steps, especially in winter. In the middle of January, I also got to join that huge lake with the determination that my mind should be in good deeds.

Undoubtedly, the starting point of the Buddha-path was Lumbini. I closed my eyes for a while in the silent joy of the bodhi tree standing on the ground where Siddhartha Gautama first stepped and the gentle breeze blowing through it, and standing up to the time of 2500 years ago, I saw the mind of the child Siddhartha. Immediately, Mayadevi, walking from the Kapilvastu palace to Maiti Devdah, reached the forest of Lumbini. Here she was touched by labor pains. Siddhartha was born while he was standing with the support of a tree in that garden, which was blessed with ponds and banyan trees. What I saw on that Manas Yatra was that King Suddhodhana, unfazed by the predictions of the astrologers, raised the prince in the utmost luxury. And, bewildered by that, Prince Siddhartha left the palace one quiet night. Param Rupvati his wife Yashodhara was sleeping with her baby son in her arms. Siddhartha looked at the faces of mother and son before leaving and left the palace with the movement of a cat. Both his swift horse Chandak and his charioteer Chandan were astonished. Far beyond the palace, reaching the forest bordering Kapilvastu, the prince dismounted. Chanan tried to return with folded hands saying, "Where did you go Prince after giving up such a golden life?" Overwhelmed by Siddharth's love, she started crying. However, our prince was deeply determined to seek salvation. On a full moon night, even from beyond the forest, the Kapilvastu palace was bright and shining like a star. Chanan held Siddharth's leg crying saying, "Why do you leave such opulence, prince?".

'Where you say there is ultimate happiness, Chanan, I see only fire there, a fierce flame of fire,' said the prince and hugged Chanan with great love and returned his jewels. With a heavy heart he returned to Chhan, with a light heart Siddhartha proceeded to the forests. After that, he disappeared in the forests and I was dragged here by the chaos of people for 2500 years. And my eyes opened in the garden in front of Mayadevi temple. I was eager to meet Siddharth. I immediately left Lumbini and ran as he went.

Even when I reached Gorakhpur by renting a car from Bhairahawa, I did not find the forest where Buddha walked, there were only houses, fields and roads. Coincidentally, the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's inauguration of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya on January 22 has created a sensation all over India. I am entering India a few days before the Ramamurthy unveiling. In Uttar Pradesh, there was a procession of tricolor lights and flashing lights all over the road. I was shocked - oh, where did my Siddhartha go? Waiting for the Chaurichaurah Express at the Gorakhpur train station, I wandered around the ceiling-billing platform for hours till midnight. Siddhartha, who became a Buddha after attaining knowledge, had the experience-said speech - Sarvam Anityam. Man, everything is impermanent, nothing has power here, everything is changeable. Is the dense forest within the Republic of Wajjiya lost now? The society at that time? Lost Kapilvastu Palace? Lost Buddha's path? I was looking for all this with a troubled heart, with a silent cry. The hustle and bustle of Gorakhpur, the noise of the railway station and the late train gave plenty of time for such thoughts.

It was two o'clock in the night, the train came knocking. Thousands of passengers were boarding and alighting in their respective trains. I also got involved in that. After sitting inside, I thought, if it happened now, would Siddhartha change his clothes as a prince and escape by train in the middle of the night? Imagining this excitement, after reaching his compartment in the train, his eyes fell like this, when he opened it, it was already morning and the train had reached Varanasi. Descending quickly, I got lost in the commotion there for a while. The sun has not been able to rise for several days due to the ravages of the cold wave. A little further is Sarnath, where I have been before. I freed myself from the gap of 2500 years again when I reached Sarnath, the place of the first sermon given by the Buddha.

Siddhartha, who walked from home with a sad face, arrived at Sarnath with a light-headed gait like a duck floating on water with a pale face after becoming Buddha. Kodanya, Bhaddiya, Bappa, Mahanam and Asajji, who once met Siddhartha in search of knowledge, were surprised and delighted to see the Buddha's glorious face. Buddha kept them around him. And said, 'Monk, there is suffering in the world. This sadness is true. Sadly, this community is true. There are ways to get rid of it, this prevention is true. There is a state beyond suffering, this path is true.'

Buddha said - these are the four noble truths. Beyond this there is no truth of life. Hearing its explanation, the sound of the Buddha's voice, the mellow and bountiful feeling of his presence, the five took refuge in the Buddha, took refuge in the Dharma, and established the Sangha. At that moment, due to the intensive awakening of the five, all the sorrows of the mind were destroyed and they attained supreme nirvana. After that, the Buddha continued to work on awakening people. His five disciples began to spread the Tathagata's knowledge in all directions in the first Dharmachakra. Soon the whole of India became followers of the Buddha and thousands of people attained salvation in his presence. Hey! From such a joyful scene, the commotion around me took me back twenty-five hundred years.

I took another train from Varanasi following Buddha's footsteps and from there took a taxi straight down to Bodh Gaya. The timeless charm of Bodhgaya, like a bright sun emerging from the darkness of the night, brought an indescribable thrill to the heart. I took a long breath, held it in my lungs for a few moments to see if the distant vibrations of the Buddha's breath were secretly hidden somewhere in these air particles. Bihar after Bihar, people after people and business after business surrounded Bodh Gaya. A little while later, as soon as I saw the calm flow of the Niranjana river, which is still safe, time travel began in my mind's vision and I went back to the time of the Buddha.

When he reached the middle of the Niranjana river, Siddhartha's body collapsed due to intense heat. How did he become so weak that he could not even cross such a calm river? There was a discussion about this immediately. Somehow he crawled to the shore. However, before reaching the shore, he fainted due to weakness. At that time, Sujata, a young girl from the village of Urubela, now called Bodhgaya, came to offer kheer to the forest deity as instructed by her mother. Yes or no, 13-year-old Sujata thought that this unconscious Siddhartha was the forest god. She put some kheer in Siddharth's mouth. The taste of hot kheer made Siddhartha's mouth, which had become dry after several days of fasting, water. And his senses returned. He ate the rest of the pudding cup by cup. Sujata was happy to see the forest god awake. At that moment, a sweet realization dawned on Siddhartha – too much renunciation is not the path to salvation, nor too much indulgence is the path to salvation. Too much doesn't pass, it always does.

With this understanding based on his own experience, Siddhartha stopped drying, melting and suffering the body in the name of penance from that day. He began his daily routine of eating alms once a day, bathing in the Niranjana river and meditating under the Bodhi tree for the rest of the time. His five friends - Vaddiyas and Asajjs, after seeing him eat, denounced him as 'Siddhartha is corrupt' and left him. Swasti, the buffalo herdsman of Urubela, instead let Siddhartha move Kush's fist so that it would be easier for him to meditate. One day, sitting under the Bodhi tree, Siddhartha began to meditate, meditate and search for peace. Before taking Padmasana, he made a great resolution - even if my soul dies here, even if my blood dries up and only bones remain and even if I die in this soil, I will not rise from here without attaining enlightenment, I will not open my eyes.

Siddhartha's awakening in deep trance came full circle. The mystery of creation suddenly unfolded before him. By the last hour of the night he clearly saw that the world is full of misery and the only cause of it is ignorance. He saw clearly that thousands of stars were born and extinguished, that beings passed from one life to another through the ages, suffering from joy and suffering, and that sattvas were trapped in the trap of craving and the many miseries it gave rise to because of their own ignorance. He also clearly stated that if you can bring harmony in vision, resolution, speech, action, livelihood (profession), practice, memory and samadhi, you can overcome this suffering. saw

. He opened his eyes after experiencing the joy of being freed from a prison of thousands of years. Niranjana swam the river and reached Sarnath in search of penance for enlightenment with the poor and the poor.

My time travel was broken by the sound of 'Om Mani Padyame Hoon' coming from the throat of Anekan Narnari around the Bodhi tree. A huge monastery stands on the site where the Buddha remained silent for seven days after attaining enlightenment through Niranjana. People from all over the world flock to that place known as Mahavihara and perform Padmasana posture day and night. I took slow steps around that Mahavihara. I imagined the moment Buddha sat in silent penance and closed my eyes. I was enveloped in an emotional thrill during the time-traveling mind journey, following the steps of the Buddha beyond the time when life's small pettiness, anger and lusts were ringing. The next day, at Sravasti, Rajgir, Nalanda, Griddhakuta Mountain and Jetavan, a hundred kilometers from Bodhgaya, I sought to see the twenty-five hundred year old footprints of the Buddha. Buddha spent the longest 25 years of his life in Jetavana Vihara. Jetavan was a garden filled with the beauty of many species of flowers, trees, vines and waves, with a large lake in the middle. Buddha bathed there every day. Sudatta, the rich man of Sravasti Nagar, was famous for feeding the poor Guruva, so his name came to be Anathpindak. When the Buddha came to Sravasti, the capital of the Kosala kingdom, Anathapindaka decided to gift him a suitable place to be Bihar. Rajkumar Jeet had a huge garden. Anathapindak went straight to Rajkumarko and offered to buy it.

The prince set a strange price - you can only buy as much gold as you can cover on the ground. It was thousands of times more expensive than the current one. And also, Anathpindak immediately began to cover Jetavan with the gold he had. The news spread like wildfire and King Bimbisara himself came to see it. After showing so much interest, Prince Jet offered some of the remaining land to be covered by Asarfi in the name of Buddha. Anathapindaka was happy to sell and finally donated some land, he built a grand vihara there and named it after Prince Jet - Jetavan. Buddha spent 25 years of his life here and preached in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and nearby places. This donation of Anathapindaka has a proud place in Buddhist literature. The moment I got to see the beauty of such an important garden that I have always heard and read about, I felt a fresh fragrance as if Buddha was somewhere there.

While following the footsteps of Buddha, the experience of erasing the boundaries of time and being taken to a state of transcendence by the energy of that place was very transcendental.

Thousands of pilgrims on the Buddha-path reach places like Jetavan, Sravasti, Bodhgaya, Sarnath and Lumbini to gather in a common circle of silent samadhi, where all dividing lines of language, culture, country and identity are erased and people meet on a single plane of pure consciousness. .

प्रकाशित : चैत्र २४, २०८० १०:४९
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