Tuesday, 2 October 2012

The stories Behind..(Gaya Trip)

There are so many stories that makes Bodh Gaya a precious and very sacred place of all other places on earth. Lopen Khandu who is the Umzey of the Royal Bhutanese Monastery narrates the stories behind all the sites as follow:
1. The story of Statue in the main Chorten:
It is said that the statue is self created. There was once a mother of Brahmin caste and three sons.  The two elders were ardent follower of Hindu and they built the biggest Hindu temple that stands some where in Bihar today. The third and youngest son was also interested to do something in life and once asked his mother what he should do in his life. The mother asked him to built the statue of Buddha (སྟོན་པའི་སྐུ) which was the first time that he heard of the word 'Buddha'. He asked mother what that means and what is required to built that. His mother wasn't sure as well, but she said that she saw Buddha when she was eight years old
One night the third son had a Dream about the statue; someone told him that to construct a statue of Buddha, you need to have golds and he was asked to collect the prerequisites and keep inside a locked room (it is the present days statue site!!) and was asked to see after six days. After collection all the materials and six days when he opened the door, to his utter surprise he found the present day statue was self emanated with just fingers and toes incomplete. So the third son is believed to have made the fingers and toes himself. During the time of Muslim's uprising it is said that the king of srilanka Dharmapala covered the statue with mud and the statue remained unaffected.
That is one reason why Dorji Dhen is so sacred apart from Buddha's enlightenment and the statue is very precursor to other statues in the world. Every other statues are copied from this statue.

2.Sung joen Drolma (the talking Taras):
It is believed that there are seven Tara (sung joen Drolma) in and around the temple.The one which is attached to the right side of main chorten is believed to have talked to Nagarjuna (Goenpo Ludrup) while making the immediate surrounding fence around the chorten.Is is said to have told Nagarjuna to keep the statue of hers attached to the chorten for the well being of sentient beings. Nagarjuna is also believed to have put on the Sertok of the Temple. There is also one Tara who spoke to the King Ashoka who built the modern main chorten. Inside the Druphu,which lies adjacent to the main chorten, there is also the statue of Tara who spoke once.

3. The Nalanda University:
The Nalanda University was once the home of learning to five hundred panditas. The most famous one is the story behind the pandita Shantideva (རྒྱལ་སྲས་ཞི་ཝ་ལྷ) Shantideva studied all the teachings on his own, in private, and within himself, focusing on the meaning of the teachings and practice. He remained in Nalanda without doing anything outwardly. To the other panditas, he seemed to be the laziest person. There was turn by turn teachings among the Panditas and once it was shatideva's turn. Other panditas were finding ways to embarrass him. Shantideva asked if the other Panditas wanted to hear a teaching that was heard or one that was never heard, On others request to teach the unknown, so that they could embarrass him.T he place (adjacent picture) is where he taught Bodhicharyavatara (སྤྱོད་འཇུག) containing ten chapters for the first time. It is said that when he reached ninth chapter he  levitated off the ground, and rose up higher and higher into the air until he was disappeared. 


4.The Vulture Peak (བྱ་་རྒོད་ཕུང་པའི་རིས):
 Buddha delivered his first teaching at Sarnath, Varanasi to his five main disciples (འཁོར་ལྔ་སྡེ་བཟང་པོ) on Four Noble Truths. Then Buddha delivered his teaching for the second time to five hundred Panditas at the Vulture's park on Prajnaparamita ( ཤེས་རབ་ཀྱི་ཕ་རོ་ཏུ་ཕྱིན་པ་). Behind the peak also lies the meditation cave of Sariputra and Moggalana.


4. Saptaparni stone house (རྒྱལ་པོའི་ཁབ):
This is a place in Rajgir where the first Buddhist council took place among the Panditas with regards to the  continuity of Buddha's teachings. It is said that the teachings of Buddha are sealed in a rock so that when the time for revival comes in future it can be easily assessed. 



5. Hsing ta Khorlo (ཤིང་རྟ་འཁོར་ལོ):
It is believed that  Buddha has taken the five hundred good births and five hundred bad births before enlightenment (དག་པའི་སྐྱེས་བ་ལྔ་བརྒྱ་དང་མ་དག་པའི་སྐྱེས་བ་ལྔ་བརྒྱ) and this hsing ta Khorlo is when Buddha was born as a horse. When his partner wasn't doing the work sincerely and when the owner was striking with stick, the Buddha (in horse body) couldn't resist out of compassion and therefore is said to have told the owner that he was the one who wasn't obeying him. So the owner is then said to have freed the partner and stroked the Buddha violently and made him carry the rest of work. It is said that Buddha Felt the first Compassion in this place.We can still see the prints of the wheel today in Rajgir.