Sunday, 2 October 2011
THE CITY OF MONKS
Setting off in a train, i was ready to explore the forests and greens of Coorg, I hadn't heard much about the place and i was obviously unaware of what i was going to be experiencing. But i do believe with all my heart that we meet people when we need to and we experience life when we are meant to.
Ambling around the forest with a bottle of water and a cam, i decide to to plan the next day trip, the guides were helpful and we decided to leave for the Tibetan settlement Bylakuppe, Indias second largest Monk city.
A pair of Jeans, a white tee and i explored one of the most prettiest places i had been to. I realised that it wasn't pretty in the conventional sense of the word where everything is picture perfect, but just the essence of the place, the scent of incense in the air, the red robes and shaven heads, temples in all their architectural glory, and the smiles, oh the smiles and peace on every individuals face was something i hadn't seen in a city like Mumbai for a very very long time.
It was truly a City of Monks, as they started their day at 4am , with the chants of OM MANI PADME HUM. The drumming, the energy was pulsating as i stood outside and watched in silence, in reverence in front of the tall beautiful statues of Buddha and his Avatars. A moment of peace swept all over me as i realized how simple life can be, when the monks quietly go around for offerings around the city with a little bowl in their hand, collect and eat whatever is given, together in harmony.
Tibetans from all over the world came to be a part of this settlement in India, it was indeed their true home. Basic education, degrees in science art and commerce were given along with food shelter basic clothing, medical facilities and every basic convenience. The monks further chose to study and serve for 18-20 yrs thereafter or set forth to explore a different world, it was their choice , their right and they were free to exercise it.
Just a day, was all i had to experience a serenity which we usually try to find in cities but the efforts go in vain. I do agree that peace comes from within, but i also believe that the surrounding, the life around you, influences man at the stage we are in today. We are yet not 'The Buddha' and yet we all will be following the path one day sooner or later is for us to decide.
I end this little note, with a writing that i was compelled to jot down on my way back to the forest of Coorg.
The flame of candles lights the stair,
With every climb towards our path,
With love, faith and hope bound in our heart.
The beat of drumming in sacred time,
The prayer sang in harmony and rhyme,
Maroon cloth draped in modesty around,
Simplicity of life, still to be found."
-- Bylakuppe (Coorg, India)