Varanasi to Kathmandu - A Synopsis
28th of April, 2008 - 11:27
The blog has been silent ever since my departure for the grand pilgrimage... I am withdrawing for a month's silent retreat to the solitude of the hills surrounding Kathmandu after posting this synopsis of the journey so far.
Sanchi and Onwards
1st of April, 2008 - 14:02
This is a summary of our visit to Sanchi and a note to let everyone know I'll be for the most part off the grid during the two to three weeks to come.
The Peak of Arunachala
1st of April, 2008 - 13:00
A visit to Arunachala, the sacred mountain of Tiruvannamalai, and the ashram of the late Ramana Maharshi of Advaita-vedanta fame.
Sanchi and Onwards
Posted: 1st of April, 2008 - 14:02
Monuments of Sanchi
Sanchi, located in Madhya Pradesh some 50 km away from the city of Bhopal, is one of the remarkable places of old Buddhist relics in India. While the site post-dates the immediate times of the Buddha, this large area on a hill hosts many ancient stupas and monasteries, the earliest from emperor Ashoka's time. Some of the stupas are told to contain relics of the Buddha's important disciples, and according to some documents found in the nearby archeological museum one of the main stupas contains — or contained — the relics of Sariputta and Moghallana.
The monastery ruins were a powerful sight, invoking the mood of the olden days when the area was filled with monks, an active monastic centre. Some kutis were intact and open, so we took the opportunity for an hour of serene meditation, tapping into the ancient energies still vibrant in the atmosphere, surviving across the ages. Sanchi, even if it isn't included on the usual pilgrimage tours, is a place I would heartily recommend everyone to visit, should they be anywhere in the vicinity or passing by. (Bhopal is on the railway line connecting Delhi to South India.)
My planned brief visit to Mathura and the village of Radhakund, where I still have my kuti, was thwarted with misbooked tickets and a failure to get replacements in a timely manner. Then, the journey from Bhopal continues directly to Varanasi and onwards to Sarnath, where I and Ven. Dhammasaro will be joining Mae Chi Cristiyana and two senior monks from Thailand for a walk towards Kushinagar and Lumbini.
With an aim to travel as light as possible, I will be leaving my laptop behind. While I'll try and check in briefly on the road, it's unlikely that the blog will be seeing much new in the next two to three weeks to come — though I hope to catch up with reports from the journey once we are settled in Bodh Gaya sometime in the second half of the month.