To Reach : The Buddhist Holy Place BodhGaya, for the World
Chapter 1. Preparation
My wish, long time ago, I would like to go to respectfully worship the Lord Buddha at the Bodhi Tree at BodhGaya, the place where the Loard Buddha attained the Enlightenment. The BodhGaya is one of the four Secred places (the Buddha was born at ‘Lumpini Nepal, the Buddha attained enlightenment at ‘Bodh Gaya’, the Buddha delivered his first sermon and turned the wheel of righteousness at ‘Sarnath’ and the Buddha attained nibbana at Kusinara) in India. Even I’ve heard a lot, I’ve read so much, about the Bodhi tree which have been growing elegantly. There is a high Mahavihara nearby enclosed with carved railing. I still insist to go there. As advice on how to investigation a doctrine in ‘Kalamasutta-kankhaniyatthana 10’, be not led by report and be not led by hearsay, then my wish will be great achievement. When a chance came close, the preparation started.
The Bodhi Tree painting
Bodhi Tree at Bodh Gaya image
To get any job done well, the good preparation needs to be perform. For this trip, my original wish is to have time at BodhGaya as much as possible. My plan won’t go with group tour as generally which just only buying tour ticket, packing bags and following guide timetable and listening information form guide may cause me to have not enough time at the Bodhi tree. I wanted to go there as a backpacker. Therefore, both my physique and spirit needs to be prepared. Firstly, I wish to prepare my spirit, to close to the Buddha as much as I can, how to do this. Generally, I respectfully worship the Buddha as a Buddhist should do almost everyday, by using a chanting book of Suanmokhapalaram, Chaiya, Surathani by Venerable Buddhadasa Bhikkhu. It is a translation from Pali to Thai which is very useful to any prayer to understand the meaning of the chanting words. One part of the Triple Gems chanting section “… Buddham bhagavantam abhiva demi… I render homage to the Buddha, the awake and holy one, the knower of the Worlds, the indeed pure one…”. The curiousness to know the Buddha and closeness to the Buddha made me find out to have many books of Venerable Buddhadasa Bhikkhu as one way. Another way, I also learned to practice meditation ‘Anapanassati’ at international
area of Suanmok Chaiya. There are foreigner course in the first part of each month, 10 days, and Thai people course in the end of each month, 8 days. This meditation practicing area is very perfect. It’s environment quite as same as natural park and the well-being is very simple such as ‘eating as a cat’, sleeping as in pigsty, bathing in a pond”. These are intention of Venerable Buddhadasa Bhikkhu. The results of my preparation of the spirit is that I have Venerable Buddhadasa Bhikkhu’s books nearly a full bookcase. I’ve read them until now.
Bodh Gaya image
I have in my mind to have much more time at the Bodi tree, I would not plan to go there with any tour agency. I still insisted to go there with the team as backpackers. Therefore, the location of the Bodhi tree, the city where it locates
needed to be find out. I would like to thanks ‘Google Earth’ which is a perfect map website to help me to find out them. The current version of Google already include map function in it. Before using Google Earth, I needed to find out English words which correspond to Thai words of the important locations and city such as Bodh Gaya, Gaya City, MahaBodhi Temple, Bihar State, Gaya train station, Kalkata city and Kalkata airport etc. Once I had important places and city completely, I got into Google Earth, and drilled down to the location I needed. I also got some pictures of these important places to make sure that when I reached these places, those were exactly right. My draft plan was 1) flying from Suvanabhumi airport, Bangkok to Dum dum airport in Kalkata(distance : 1,002 miles, or 1,612 Kilometers, by train from Kalkata to Gaya station(distance : 422 kilometers), by bus from Gaya station to Wat Thai BodhGaya(distance: 16 kilometers) and stayed there (distance from here to the Bodhi tree about 2 kilometers). Now, There are flights directly from Suvanabhumi airport to Gaya airport by Thai airways. This airport is far from Mahabodi Temple about 10 kilometers.
Bodh Gaya image
Next part of preparation was to learn local language for people in Bodh Gaya. When I was young started to speak both Thai language and Chinese language (Fujian). After I entered into school, I spoke Thai continuously. I spoke English when I went aboard to study in master degree and when I was working. I had a chance to learn Mandarin Language some. I feel very high proud in my language, Thai. Thai language has perfect both consonants and tonal ascents. Any word in any language can be written with Thai consonants and tonal ascents perfectly. Example, the word ‘Australia’, Chinese will write down and pronounce as ‘Au- ta-ri-ya’, but with Thai language is exactly ‘Australia’. Thai language is the most highly proud for me. Due to human society is scattered around the world, culture of each group will be different. Therefore, going to another society, we should study their culture and language more or less. Knowing some foundation words will be lovely. Indian use English and Hindi as official languages. In India, I use English language for communication. I studied some Hidi words, such as ‘namaste’ for greeting(all time), ‘ek’=1, ‘do’=2, ‘tin’=3, ‘car’=4, ‘panc’=5, ‘cheh’=6, ‘sat’=7, ‘ath’=8, ‘nau’=9, ’das’=10, ‘so’=100, ‘hazar’=1000 and ‘dhanyavad’ = thank you etc. Once we have chance to greet indian people, just say ‘namaste’ and put the palms of the hands together in salute. He or she will feel very good and ask back where we come from. Thai and Indian culture look very close together. Thai have been accept Indian civilization quite a lot and improve to be our culture as today.
Buddha at Bodhi Tree painting
Fellows are also important. More tourist in India, travel alone, some are Thai, some are from other countries. Some travel for 2 months, some for 3 months, some for 2 or 3 weeks. I ever though that I would travel for 1 month but I still have my business to do, I have to ignore this idea. For the first time, I made my decision to go there just 2 weeks and with some fellows should be good. They also have chance to get more good experience in their life. But too many fellows will be loose time because too many idea. Finally, we agreed at 3 persons at the first part of one hundred years old of this group tour. Everyone has good health and won’t be heedlessness with take a walk for 30 minutes everyday.
Bodhi Tree at Bodh Gaya image
This well preparation made me feel very comfortable. We would respectfully worship the Buddha at the Bodhi tree, Bodh Gaya as my wish without any issue.
“Complete preparation before any act, the result will be great achievement”
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