It has been quite a long time that this journey was once caught my interest since December 2007. I cannot believe that this Bodgaya journey can be the unforgettable memory which is very important to my rest life in Buddhism way. Firstly, when i recalled this short-time journey in India, I felt I was of great luck, because I had 3 true friends (กัลยาณมิตร in Thai). The first one named Niphon who suggested and lent me the book ” ท่องเที่ยวทางธรรม: ตามรอยบาทพุทธศาสดา”, the second one, Myanmar lady, roomate of mine in IIPM domitory, was inspired by Bodgaya place that she must visit there if she can have an opportunity to study in India. She kept on telling me her plan during our relaxing time. And the last one is my Vietnamese friend, Luan, seeking to the meaing of Buddhism and searching the Buddha history. He was ready to head towards there if I can be his Buddhism trip partner.
Secondly, I felt up to travelling out of Kolkata city, so I and my Vietnamese friend started discussing our plan with the Head officer earlier. I saw no alternative to taking a rest on trains during the trip because of only 3-day off in the beginning of December. Even it was short, i thought it’s “Better than Nothing”; however, i found it is the precious duration for my life later. In the same time, IIPM officer gave me the best service for my travel such as booking the ticket, arranging the ride to Rourkela railway station, preparing our food boxes etc. After that I had just known that it was tough to take line in booking the ticket among crowed Indian people. This is only one examples that they offerred, so I can say this is the best service.
Next, my place to take rest over there was booked by one monk. Initially, i was surprised that the voice over the phone was monk’s. It seemed strange for Thai people like me that i also can stay in “Wat Thai Bodgaya” Temple and asked them to prepare 3-meal during my stay.
Then, I was really excited to be there although i had to take more than 13 hours by 2 trains and another 7 hours to wait for transit train at Howrah station. However, i realized that along the way on the train i could be touched the real Indian lives. Many times i wanted to buy small snacks next to the stations , but i was afraid i might feel stomach-ache on the train. It was not a good idea to go to the toilet on SL class compared to 3rd class of the train in Thailand. This class is allowed all people get in , and also passengers were so crowed that an officer hardly checked all. India is still have a plenty of slaves to carry the luggages on their head. That some of Indians took a bath in the river had been always seen during my stay here. The family beside me prepared the home-style food to eat by hand and threw all litters out of window. It seems like this is the culture and I was not wondering why everywhere cannot be kept clean. I suddenly recognized the Bhudhism history how Bhudha had been enlighten here. The story tells me that Sithata Prince had an opportunity to see Birth, Oldness, Suffering, and Death, so he found the way which makes happiness in lives. If this is the reason that people wanted to come back to India again, reserving these cultures will help people around the world heal their minds.
Before i reached Gaya city, i met one Thai monk at railway station. He was equipped with completed travelling accessories, so i could call him ” พระนักเดินทาง”. I cannot wait to greet him right away ’cause this is the first time here and i was wondering to catch the wrong train. It would be thankful he was not mind to guide me somehow. Once we got in the train, it would take around 7-8 hours to be in Gaya city. The best way to know whether we reach yet is to ask other indians passengers since it is too dark to see outside at 4PM. At the station, I saw many homeless people there, and they tried to ask some food and money. We took the rickshaw to the Bodgaya pagoda. Since we stepped on the place, i felt that everybody here came to bless Bhuddha. They purposely made their plan and travelled a long way from their home to come here to bless and kept on doing meditation. Therefore, this is the happiness , lightending, empowering place of Bhuddism. I also met many Thai people who really wanted to come to do activities here. I felt it is worth for my life that i had a great opportunity to visit here.
Finally, I only had 1 day until 10PM to go sight-seeing this place. And I felt so lucky again when the group of Thai people invited me to go blessing with them at 6PM. I had done some Buddhism activities with them and prepared my heavy luggage to catch the train later then. 🙂