From Bohdgaya

 

Jan 4, 2014

I arrived in Bohdgaya yesterday and was met at the plane by a smiling Deepak. I am staying at his house with his wife and 3 children. The accommodations are better than most of the hotels I have stayed at recently.  We went  for a drive last night through the town and saw some temples by night. I saw Buddhist monks, shaved heads, red robes, riding in richshaws, wearing dust masks. a surreal sight to be sure.  There is a 22 year old lama here, the Karmappa,  whose presence these thousands of monks have pilgrimmaged to Bohdgaya to be near. Its like a cult of some kind.  Karmappa has a big throne, where he grants 3 seconds to people who make an appointment, He spent millions for a gold spire on top of his temple. And there is so much poverty surrounding him.

Today, I went to Rescue Junction in Gaya, the next town,  to meet the children who live there. There are about 40 in all, who have been rescued from traffikers or lost or run away or even thrown away. I taught an art lesson to them. I will finish it and make another one on next Tuesday.  It was heart wrenching to look at all those lovely faces. One little girl was only 4 years old. The staff reunites them with their families or gets them to school or a job training. Apparently they have a 99 percent success rate.  They are doing so much for the people in this area.

I am using Deepak’s computer to write the blog so I will not be able to keep up as well. My ipad depends on wifi  so there will not be pictures unless I can get to an internet cafe. Namaste and su vra tri (good night in Hindi).

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