pilgrimage in Bodh Gaya

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pilgrimage in Bodh Gaya

Postby KonchokZoepa » Thu Oct 31, 2013 8:42 pm

is there a place in Bodh Gaya where you can do the 100,000 prostrations in front of a stupa. ive seen somewhere that that is done in india but i dont remember if it is in Bodh Gaya.

thanks
If the thought of demons
Never rises in your mind,
You need not fear the demon hosts around you.
It is most important to tame your mind within....

In so far as the Ultimate, or the true nature of being is concerned,
there are neither buddhas or demons.
He who frees himself from fear and hope, evil and virtue,
will realize the insubstantial and groundless nature of confusion.
Samsara will then appear as the mahamudra itself….

-Milarepa

OMMANIPADMEHUNG

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ls6P9tOYmdo
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Re: pilgrimage in Bodh Gaya

Postby conebeckham » Thu Oct 31, 2013 8:57 pm

You can certainly do prostrations at the Mahabodhi Temple. There are prostration boards set out there for public use.

Also in Nepal, at Boudha, you can find the same arrangements.
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Re: pilgrimage in Bodh Gaya

Postby KonchokZoepa » Thu Oct 31, 2013 9:04 pm

are there some monasteries in both places where you can stay for extended periods while you complete 100,000 prostrations and make some donation at the end of the stay?
If the thought of demons
Never rises in your mind,
You need not fear the demon hosts around you.
It is most important to tame your mind within....

In so far as the Ultimate, or the true nature of being is concerned,
there are neither buddhas or demons.
He who frees himself from fear and hope, evil and virtue,
will realize the insubstantial and groundless nature of confusion.
Samsara will then appear as the mahamudra itself….

-Milarepa

OMMANIPADMEHUNG

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ls6P9tOYmdo
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Re: pilgrimage in Bodh Gaya

Postby conebeckham » Thu Oct 31, 2013 10:36 pm

Lots of hotels and guest houses in both areas...and lots of monasteries too, though I don't know about accommodation at those, if you don't have a teacher to vouch for you......
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Re: pilgrimage in Bodh Gaya

Postby Alfredo » Thu Oct 31, 2013 10:45 pm

Many of the temples have guest houses which effectively function as hostels. (This would be for laypeople; I have no idea what arrangements would apply to monks and nuns.)
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Re: pilgrimage in Bodh Gaya

Postby Indrajala » Fri Nov 01, 2013 2:49 am

conebeckham wrote:You can certainly do prostrations at the Mahabodhi Temple. There are prostration boards set out there for public use.

Also in Nepal, at Boudha, you can find the same arrangements.



I heard that after the bombings they removed the prostration boards at Bodhgaya.

Boudha in Kathmandu is probably more sensible. Far cleaner and hygienic.
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Re: pilgrimage in Bodh Gaya

Postby KonchokZoepa » Fri Nov 01, 2013 3:46 am

are you sure, i really want to go to Bodh Gaya to do 100,000 prostrations.
If the thought of demons
Never rises in your mind,
You need not fear the demon hosts around you.
It is most important to tame your mind within....

In so far as the Ultimate, or the true nature of being is concerned,
there are neither buddhas or demons.
He who frees himself from fear and hope, evil and virtue,
will realize the insubstantial and groundless nature of confusion.
Samsara will then appear as the mahamudra itself….

-Milarepa

OMMANIPADMEHUNG

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ls6P9tOYmdo
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Re: pilgrimage in Bodh Gaya

Postby Indrajala » Fri Nov 01, 2013 4:20 am

KonchokZoepa wrote:are you sure, i really want to go to Bodh Gaya to do 100,000 prostrations.


If you really want to go, then go during the winter otherwise it is extremely hot even just walking around outside.

Bodhgaya is in Bihar, which is the poorest and arguably most uncivilized part of India. There are feces strewn about the streets, heaps of rubbish piled up outside monastery gates (the locals' fault, not the monastics) and a sheer lack of hygiene even in restaurants catering to tourists.

Mahabodhi Temple is not kept as well as it should be. There are bird droppings all over the marble walkways which are not regularly washed. Quite often locals will come inside and try to get money off foreigners. Thieves are common too (my shoes were stolen once).

In general, Buddhist sites are ruined and not enhanced by locals in India. They will vandalize stupas and disrupt pilgrims. You will often get approached by boys claiming to 'want to practice English', but really they want to take you to a merchant and get a cut.

In Nepal it is different. Locals enhance Buddhist sites. Lumbini is well maintained and the locals are helpful, not trying to squeeze money out of you. The same goes for Boudhanath here in Kathmandu. The local merchants organize for the stupa area to be tidy and washed. The restaurants in Boudha are generally clean and hygienic, and they serve a variety of things rather than Indian "multi-cuisine". In Bodhgaya most places are swarming with flies and the food generally sucks.

In general, I find Nepalis to have a sense of dignity and basic ideas of cleanliness, whereas in India it is the opposite. You can't trust anyone especially in places where tourists are common.

It is telling that most of the beggars harassing people in Boudha here in Kathmandu are from India, not Nepal.
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Re: pilgrimage in Bodh Gaya

Postby KonchokZoepa » Fri Nov 01, 2013 4:30 am

:?

hmmm....
If the thought of demons
Never rises in your mind,
You need not fear the demon hosts around you.
It is most important to tame your mind within....

In so far as the Ultimate, or the true nature of being is concerned,
there are neither buddhas or demons.
He who frees himself from fear and hope, evil and virtue,
will realize the insubstantial and groundless nature of confusion.
Samsara will then appear as the mahamudra itself….

-Milarepa

OMMANIPADMEHUNG

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ls6P9tOYmdo
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Re: pilgrimage in Bodh Gaya

Postby futerko » Fri Nov 01, 2013 4:40 am

That reminds me of a story of someone travelling by road from Nepal to India.

At first he didn't immediately notice any great change until a truck came along with two young boys hanging off the front - one was collecting the leaking water from the radiator in a can and then passing it up to the other boy who then refilled it - and that symbolised exactly his experience of India throughout.
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Re: pilgrimage in Bodh Gaya

Postby Indrajala » Fri Nov 01, 2013 4:43 am

By all means visit the sites in India, but if you want to do 100,000 prostrations I recommend Nepal.

I'm not even sure you can have those prostration boards inside Mahabodhi temple any longer after the bombings.
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Re: pilgrimage in Bodh Gaya

Postby David N. Snyder » Fri Nov 01, 2013 4:58 am

If you've got your heart set on Bodh Gaya, I'd go with that and that would probably be my choice too. Ven. Indrajala has lived for extended periods throughout Asia, so may be thinking of the long-term issues. If you are there for a not too long stay you can ignore those inconveniences or rather use it for placing equanimity to in your practice. I think you can still use the prostration boards in the Maha Bodhi Temple complex, just not directly inside the temple.

I noticed the things Ven. Indrajala is referring too, but it didn't bother me since I spent most of my time in Bodh Gaya at the temple complex.

It's very inspiring reading of the hundreds of thousands of pilgrims who made it to Bodh Gaya and the many who died trying to reach there over the last 2,500 years:
http://www.buddhanet.net/bodh_gaya/
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Re: pilgrimage in Bodh Gaya

Postby KonchokZoepa » Fri Nov 01, 2013 5:07 am

how long approximately does it take in time to do 100,000 prostrations? like how many weeks or months? i need to know this approximately to know how to plan the journey.
If the thought of demons
Never rises in your mind,
You need not fear the demon hosts around you.
It is most important to tame your mind within....

In so far as the Ultimate, or the true nature of being is concerned,
there are neither buddhas or demons.
He who frees himself from fear and hope, evil and virtue,
will realize the insubstantial and groundless nature of confusion.
Samsara will then appear as the mahamudra itself….

-Milarepa

OMMANIPADMEHUNG

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ls6P9tOYmdo
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Re: pilgrimage in Bodh Gaya

Postby David N. Snyder » Fri Nov 01, 2013 5:13 am

If you do 1,000 per day it would take 100 days or about 3 months. But you'd have to be in great shape to be able to do 1,000 per day.

I did 1,000 once over a 3 day period during a Korean Zen retreat and that was pretty exhausting. And I was only in my 20s at the time.
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Re: pilgrimage in Bodh Gaya

Postby futerko » Fri Nov 01, 2013 5:18 am

David N. Snyder wrote:If you do 1,000 per day it would take 100 days or about 3 months. But you'd have to be in great shape to be able to do 1,000 per day.

I did 1,000 once over a 3 day period during a Korean Zen retreat and that was pretty exhausting. And I was only in my 20s at the time.


How many hours a day was that taking?
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Re: pilgrimage in Bodh Gaya

Postby David N. Snyder » Fri Nov 01, 2013 5:24 am

futerko wrote:How many hours a day was that taking?


About 333 full prostrations per day; approximately two hours or a little more per day, if I recall correctly. You could feel the leg muscles tightening up and getting stronger; the nearest thing I could compare it to is perhaps after a 10 km run or other equivalent long cycling event.
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Re: pilgrimage in Bodh Gaya

Postby rory » Fri Nov 01, 2013 5:32 am

Full body prostrations are hard work, if you're going to do all those, think about how hard it will be if you have diarrhea and/or vomiting. Hygiene is important. Factor it in....
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Re: pilgrimage in Bodh Gaya

Postby Indrajala » Fri Nov 01, 2013 5:58 am

rory wrote:Full body prostrations are hard work, if you're going to do all those, think about how hard it will be if you have diarrhea and/or vomiting. Hygiene is important. Factor it in....
gassho
rory


Yeah, a lot of people go to India and get digestive problems they never thought possible.
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Re: pilgrimage in Bodh Gaya

Postby smcj » Fri Nov 01, 2013 6:18 am

how long approximately does it take in time to do 100,000 prostrations? like how many weeks or months? i need to know this approximately to know how to plan the journey.

If you average 200/hr. it takes over 555 hours. So if you put in 55 hours a week (about 8 hours a day) it will take you about 2.5 months with no days off. That is like doing a prostration retreat. However not many people are capable of that kind of exercise for 8 hours a day. (Think of the kind of schedule people have for training for a marathon.) That doesn't include breaks, so basically if you do all day every day for 10 weeks you might get through it. That is if you don't have either a physical or mental breakdown first!

Wanting to do prostrations at the Mahabodhi Temple is a worthwhile aspiration. But if you intend on doing a prostration retreat it is good to have a supportive environment. I haven't been to Bodhgaya in decades, but they do have Tibetan temples there. If you have a teacher that will vouch for you it may be possible to do it at a monastery.

But best to cut your teeth in the practice before you leave home, where you have a support network. Try it for an hour a day and see how good a shape you are in. Like any exercise you shouldn't overdo it when you are starting out. You can build up to it.

And don't start without getting a teacher's instructions and permission!
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Re: pilgrimage in Bodh Gaya

Postby JKhedrup » Fri Nov 01, 2013 8:40 am

What Ven. Indrajala says is true though once you are through the temple gates and in the vicinity of the stupa, there is a palpable change from frenetic to peaceful, and I have never been harassed by beggars within the compound.
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A wise man keeps them secret within.
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But a precious gem placed upon it sinks to the depths
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