Monday, May 09, 2011


Manidhamma in Sarnath
Manidhamma sends us this dispatch from Sarnath in India, historic site of the Buddha’s first teaching.  Triratna has for some years owned a beautiful piece of land there,  managed by a small team headed by Manidhamma.  They are currently fundraising for a beautiful stone Buddha statue, now being sculpted by a mitra in Bodh Gaya.  In aid of this, he’s about to begin an epic hundred-mile walk, tracing one made by Sangharakshita over 60 years ago.  He says -

“I am writing now about a walking tour from 9th to 14th May from Sarnath to Kusinara.  We have organised a 'Padayatra: a Walking Tour through the Curtain of Fire' to recreate the experience Bhante had according to his memoirs 'The Rainbow Road' . We are a bunch of ten inspired Order Members and Mitras from Vidharbha.  Right now I am at Sarnath and we are all set to begin our walk tomorrow (10th May) morning.  Like Sangharakshita, we intend to reach Kusinara on the full moon of Wesak.

We are undertaking this journey partly to practice walking and using the traditional robe and bowl of the Anagarika to deepen our going for refuge and partly to raise funds for the installation of a Buddha statue on our land at Sarnath.   Also, on our way we will benefit people by studying and teaching the Dhamma. We would like to take the vows of anagarikas for our journey. We would very much appreciate your thoughts and good wishes to accompany us for this journey.

Sangharakshita after his ordination
Here is a little of Sangharakshita’s story - In May 1949, two young wanderers wearing ragged robes, Dharmapriya and Satyapriya, set out on foot to cover the 180km from Sarnath to Kusinara in order to meet the Burmese monk U Chandramani. It was the hottest time of year with temperatures rising relentlessly every day and scorching hot winds gusting across the plains. Despite the dangers, the two young men were not to be dissuaded.  “So great was our desire for ordination that if necessary we would have prostrated ourselves the whole distance”. Following the railway tracks, wearing wet towels as turbans, sheltering in mango groves and ashrams and depending on the generosity of those they encountered, the wanderers completed the epic journey in 8 days. Shortly after arriving in Kusinara, Dharmapriya was ordained as the novice called Sangharakshita.

For more information on Bhante’s original journey, read the chapter called “Through the Curtain of Fire” in The Rainbow Road.  To contact Manidhamma email him here; to contact the Dhammaloka Trust, Sarnath please visit or

For our fundraising, any contributions are welcome from you or your friends.  We have created a special JustGiving page at .  Thanking you, and we are looking forward to hearing from you.

With metta,

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