Unlike last year, this time I didn't lose any photo's, but... I now have so many photo's that I decided to just put a selection. The next three pages are taken from my website where I am keeping photo logs of my travels... If you like to see photo's from Africa and beyond click here, but... keep focus... first have a look at the ones related to the India tour:-)
Namaskar and Happy 2002!
|If I could only add the fragrance as well...|
Hope you are all well and looking forward to what this year will bring.
04 Jan 2002: I am writing (or at least making a start) from Patna, India. We spend some inspiring hours with Dada Chandranath yesterday, he is one of the first Acrayas (teachers) Baba (affectionate name for our Guru) trained to give initiation to others. Those days all the Acaryas were family people but later, as the work was getting too much, Baba introduced the Monks and Nuns who could dedicate all their time and without bondage to spouse or children. Still family people can become Acarya and work in their local vicinity.
|Waiting for the train in Bokaro||Mainjuri in the flower garden of SDM in AN|
5 April 2002 Well as you see above I did put some photo's but that was it... An other two weeks gone! To sort the photo's is actually quite a bit of work and after they have to be reduced to a size more appropriate for this message. Back to Delhi... Not so much to say about it, all the margiis for the India tour met up and we jumped on the train to Ananda Nagar the next day. It's an overnight journey which was quite a new experience for many. In Bokaro we had to wait for the train which would bring us the last 30Km, in the west we are used to have trains quite regularly and long waits are rare... Here it's quite normal to have to wait hours. After a while you get used to it though:-)
|Didi Ananda Gunamrita who took care of the
group while I was a bit sick in Ananda Nagar
|Class on the roof during the Sadhana Shiviir|
Once we arrived in Ananda Nagar I found that the Sadhana Shiviir program we came for had been cancelled because few had registered. I expressed to the Dada in charge that our group had come early especially for this program and they had been looking forward to it. I suggested we could do it just a bit smaller size and surely some of the other margiis who came early would like to join. Actually Dada was very happy to make it possible, the program had been going for years and always very inspiring. So few hours later we decided we could go ahead. We were about 20 margiis, few Workers and indeed we had a very inspiring time!
|Baba's memorial where the three day
Sadhana Shiviircamp was held
|Cultural program at Uma Nivas|
Immediately after the Sadhana Shiviir the Didi's invited all the overseas margiis to visit their Masterunit. They have a place about 5Km away from Central Ananda Nagar called Uma Niivas. There are schools, childrens homes, college, and many other projects. As it's a bit out of the busy area, they don't get so much exposure for all the hard (and good!) work done there. Every year they organise an open day and organise transport to get there. On arrival there is a guided tour of many of the projects a delicious meal. The day ends with a cultural program of song and dance by the girls from the children's home.
Unfortunately no photo's this year as one Dada borrowed the camera... One older photo above. The next day DMS started, a three day program attended by 10,000s of margiis from all over India and the world.
|Preparing the site for DMS, all the straw is
put under the floor/blankets to keep warm
|One of the places where there was
Akandha Kiirtan during the DMS program
Well this brings us only up to the end of 2001... More in next instalment otherwise the e-mail will get too big.
Actually I like to put one more photo:
So many Didi's and Dada's!
From Ananda Nagar we went to Bodhgaya, the place where Buddha got enlightenment. We stayed in the International meditation centre, a Vipasana place who welcomes people from other paths as well. The monk in charge is always very hospitable and likes us to join the meals... unfortunately they use onion.
Bodhgaya has a very different feel of other Indian towns as it's predominantly Buddhist, many Tibetan people are there and often in December the Diala Lama visits for a while. At that time there are hundreds of monks and nuns as well as Buddhists from all over the world.
|Bhuddist monks under the Bo tree||Prayer wheel used while studying|
A short walk away is the place where the descendant of the Bo tree stands. It is thought that under this tree Buddha took the determination not to move until he would reach the Goal. He sat for 40+ days and finally his mind merged with the infinite. After this he came to Sarnath where he gave his first Sermon on the three noble truths. Actually Baba told the, real Bo tree was indeed in that area but not quite there, it had been few hundred meters away but no descendants are there. Who knows this tree has still some relation with the original... maybe not as great grand child but ate great grand cousin or so:-) However, The tree or a tree, it's the focus point for the Buddhist pilgrims and many other visitors and there is a sentient environment good for meditation. When there is any special occasion the whole place is light up with 10,000 of little oil lamps creating a beautiful atmosphere.
|More study, reading scriptures on palm leaves||Tara, Mayatiita and Kamala
enjoying the tour.
|Street kids with great smiles||Japanese temple|
This time one Didi joined us for few days to the delight of the group. I am not really a fan of temples and never really took the effort of checking them out. Many countries have put up their temple and thanks to Didi pushing us (me) to them I had the chance to have a look. And I didn't regret! It's so interesting to see how each country has a complete different idea of how the temple should look like. The Japanese, austere and, in my opinion, a bit cold. The Burmese? very colourful and bold paintings, the Tibetan one again different and so on, I think we saw about 10 different ones.
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