Monday, 19 January 2009

Day 2: Sarnath, Varanasi

Day 2 (9 January 2009): Sarnath, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh

I shall never forget that day when I walked to the empty field next to Dalai Lama’s house in Sarnath and saw the stone Buddha statue sitting in lotus position, covered with white clothes and adorned with many candles and flowers… it was like a dream. I never thought that it would come true, that I would be able to come to Sarnath and see the statue inaugurated by His Holiness, with my Guruji next to him.

But it did come true. The Existence is too kind… I was allowed to witness the historic moment that reaffirmed the ancient spiritual and cultural ties between Indonesia, Tibet and India. The Buddha statue inauguration, the main reason for my first pilgrimage to India, at least this life time. From the Anand Ashram Indonesia website, this is the bits of the press release:

The morning fog has not cleared away when at His Holiness Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama inaugurated and blessed a 2.5m high Buddha statue humbly offered by Indonesian interfaith spiritualist Anand Krishna. Conducted at the Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies (Deemed University), Sarnath (Uttar Pradesh), India, the inauguration was covered by several Indian media, e.g. K TV, Z News, DD News and Hindustan Times. The Buddha statue is made of the same source materials used to build the 9th CE Borobudur Temple in Muntilan, Central Java, Indonesia, and was offered to reaffirm the spiritual and cultural ties between the peoples of Indonesia and Tibet, also to support His Holiness’ non-violent struggle to protect the cultural heritage of Tibet.

And this is the full link.

I spent the rest of the day busily with press release and uploading pictures; other pictures can be found here. It was a very tiring but satisfying day… Geshe Ngawang Samten, the professor and director of Central University of Tibetan Studies in Sarnath was very kind to bestow each of the Anand Ashram members with beautiful white khata (ceremonial scarf). It’s truly a blessing, and sometimes I wonder, what did I do to deserve such blessings… and will I live up to it. Godspeed, I will.

Pic 1: Bapak Anand Krishna and His Holiness Dalai Lama with the 2.5m tall Buddha statue
Pic 2: Bapak Anand Krishna, His Holiness Dalai Lama, and very blessed Ashram members, including me

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