It is unlikely that 25 centuries ago Guatum, The Buddha, would have conceived of a lassi shop across from the spot he attained Enlightenment, sporting his name. But here it is nonetheless.
I believe oppressive was the word the guidebook used to describe this holy desert in the month of June. Devoid of rain and tourists, my parched pilgrimage to the Divine One was short-lived and after a six-moth detour, Bodh Gaya has once again found its way into my plan of plans.
Monks donning maroon, yellow and orange robes far outnumber the vendors, beggars and touts competing for tourist rupees. Cool temperatures have propagated an ideal environment by which those seeking vibrations of peace, love & compassion can comfortably collect under the infamous Bodhi tree to chant, pray and meditate for salvation.
The journey isn’t complete, however, without a sentimental reminder. Luckily, a person need only turn around to find such a treasure. Pendants, clocks, playing cards and plastic trinkets, all for sale, commemorate Buddha’s relentless pursuit of Truth. 'Get your Guatam shoe-horn here…’ Only slightly more disturbing is the much larger-than-life, 80-foot Buddha statue down the street.
What The Buddha would truly think, I cannot be certain, but I have to believe it would be along the lines of, “find your own tree.”
~ by Christine Fowle