Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Reference in Pali Commentaries

Griddhkuta is a serene peak amidst dense valley of greenery that cut out the hustle and bustle of a city life just few miles away making it ideal for concentration and deep meditation. This vulture peak with the nearby hills and the lush valleys is said to be the origin of River Sappini. (Vin.Texts i.254, n.20). Even as late as the 12th century Dharmaswamin found water flowing through some of its gullies. As per the Pali commentaries river Sappini could have been long enough travel beyond the hills further east. We see many rivulets around the Griddhkuta peak moving further east and pouring into the Ghoda Katora (now a Dam). The outlet of this dam is connected to Panchane River.

Early in the mornings on this hill is a time of fervent activities, pilgrims start the climb much before the initial rays of sun hit the top of the hill, sometimes there is an echo of the murmur of sutta chanted under the breath and at other time the rhythmic beating of drums dominates the vibrations but the sight is all too familiar just like it must have been centuries ago when the Buddha was here or very much like the description that Dharmaswamin left from the 12th century. “In order to frighten away the wild animals, some beat the drums, some cymbals and trumpet. Some came carrying bunches of fresh bamboos which emitted great sparks”.

At the top of the hill, organized chanting takes over the initial murmurs and if you close your eyes and listen to the waves of sound they transform the experience of even a non-believer. As the devotees end their prayers, the first rays of sun bask them in warmth sending the blessings of the universe to this scared place first. The thin veil between the past and present is breached atop this hill as you meditate deeper and feel the vibrations of the suttas that the Buddha delivered two millennia ago.

Next Post: Buddha’s Teachings at Griddhkuta

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