Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Introduction to Griddhkuta

When you start you journey at the base of Griddhkuta hill, it’s a very unassuming journey, wide brick cobbled path with varying slopes, perfectly swept clean by a lady hunched over totally engrossed in her task at hand, unaware of the passersby. Footsteps of barefoot monks, inaudible chants of saints, business seeking vendors all exists without noticing the presence of the other. The serenity of the place and the objective of each individual make it possible to coexist without invading the boundaries of the other.

On an early winter morning, these steps become very mysterious as the deep set fog in the valley wraps around the hill hiding the peak from plain view and playing with the anticipation of a new visitor; thoughts randomly running in all directions with wonderment and excitement.
This is the place that Buddha chose this place for meditation and imparting wisdom to many of his followers including king Bimbisara. As per Pali commentaries even celestial beings like the Yakkha Inda (Indra) (S.i.206) and Sakka (chief of devas) (S.i.233; iv.102) visited Buddha here and discussed religious philosophies.

The path that takes the common visitors to the top of the Griddhkuta hill is very same one that was taken by Bimbisara several centuries ago. King Bimbisara was very fond of the Buddha and enjoyed his company, he frequently visited Griddhkuta for the Buddha’s teachings and to discuss matters related to fair governance. His counsel built a wide road from the bottom of the hill to the summit and the present concrete pathway is paved over the Old “Bimbisara Path”. This path had two stupas, one to mark the place where Bimbisara dismounted from the horse and another for the spot from where he used to summon his ministers and body guards to stay back and moved alone to the solitary hill. He was deeply inspired by Buddha’s teaching and it was a sign of great respect for a king to dismount from his horse and leave his status symbols behind when visiting a religious teacher.

The remains of Bimbisara's Stupa

Next Post: Etymology of Griddhkuta

1 comment:

नारायण प्रसाद said...

Please highlight the references in blue instead of green color, because the characters are not properly visible in green color.