I am on a pilgrimage trip led by Venerable T. Sangharatana Nayaka Maha Thera from 11 -15 November 2016.
The trip to India started from 9th November 2016 when we left Kuala Lumpur to arrive at Bangkok for a night, on transit, with Thai Airways.
We reached Varanasi on the 10th November to meet Venerable and the pilgrimage started the next day.
We started off from the hotel, as early as 5 am, to reach the Park. We were one of the first ones to go through the entrance gate.
A short walk from the entrance and we were standing in front of the Dharmekh Stupa, the spot where Buddha preached the first sermon of the Dhammacakkapavatana Sutta.
Just a few nights before the trip, I told sister Loo that I may be crying at every spot during the pilgrimage coz I did when I read and saw bro Yap’s posts about his trip in 2014.
However, when I was there, I was all calm. I was just admiring the scenery of the place, watched many other groups sitting here and there to chant, as we had done.
How did I actually feel? Well, nothing… No excitement, no emotion, no anything…
While on the flight to Varanasi I had read
All about the fall of Buddhism and how it was revived
To all the good people whose great merits gained in India
Who had allowed us to make a pilgrimage trip possible
They had discovered many of the ruins
Based on records taken to China
And tracked the historical spots of the Buddha
Of his birth, before enlightenment and after
Till the place of his parinibbana
As I walked on the ground of the Deer Park
When once there were deers on the wild
Now we have to pay to see some caged
As I walked around the stupa where the first sutta was preached
I wondered if Buddha was really there in the first place
How do we really know that was the spot
How do we know?
How do we really know?