In SACRED JOURNEYS by Erik Pema Kunsang

The Diamond Throne of India is situated on the vast plains of present day Bihar in northern India, one of the poorest states, famous for robbers, beggars and fat bandits priests, but also abundant with bodhi trees and green parks. Like a lotus flower rising from a muddy swamp, there is a reason why millions of pilgrims regard Bodh Gaya as the most sacred Buddhist shrine in the world.
Bhadra Kalpa Sutra explains that not only the historical buddha Sakyamuni, but one thousand buddhas will awaken to true and complete enlightenment under the peaceful shade of a bodhi tree on the exact same location. Some with thousands of years in between. This site is known as the Diamond Throne, the indestructible seat of awakening.

Every visitor coming here is on the same journey: to discover the inner diamond throne of awakened mind. Visiting Bodh Gaya forms the auspicious coincidence for realizing this indestructible nature of mind. This is also the place where you cannot avoid meeting a Buddhist teacher or master, one after the other. Some masters have famous names and easy to recognize, some are hidden yogis and some simple meditators on the verge of realization, perhaps looking like a poor beggar. You never know, so why not regard everyone with respect.

Around the main temple, some people sit and meditate, some are chanting or reciting ancient texts, some prostrating or circumambulating, making prayers with innocent open minds. Here you find people from all traditions, wearing their costumes in saffron, maroon, white, gray and black colors. Mostly they are from India, Burma, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Japan, China, Korea, Bhutan, Nepal and Tibet. Here and there you see Russians, Europeans, Americans and many others.

A look into the area around the main temple, where people are sitting, chanting and circumambulating around the holy seat and the tree of enlightenment.

Pilgrims bring gifts and flower garlands out of devotion. Sometimes you can see a mile-long procession with people dressed up in magnificent garments, like a drama from ancients times, playing music, singing and chanting the refuge prayer in Pali or Sanskrit.

Bodh Gaya also plays an important an role in the transmission of the Dzogchen teachings, because it was here the enlightened master Sri Singha gave the complete explanation on how to realize awakened mind in a single lifetime, to the Tibetan translator Vairotsana.
Many people have mentioned that an unusual state of mind, with peace and clarity, comes almost without effort while just sitting near the Diamond Throne. Lucid dreaming, deep understanding of reality, old trauma and psychological baggage comes forth to be solved and worked through, leaving you carefree and more compassionate.

About the Author
Erik Pema Kunsang

Erik Pema Kunsang

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Translator of ancient Buddhist scriptures, author, bridge-builder to modern life, Buddhist teacher & meditation instructor. Board of director at 84000: Translating the Words of the Buddha. Founder of Rangjung Yeshe Publications and LEVEKUNST art of life. Other LEVEKUNST articles by the same author. Erik's website & retreats.

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