Aloka Foundation made its presence at the Kalachakra for World Peace – a major Buddhist event in Bodhgaya, India where the Buddha attained enlightenment 2,600 years ago.
Sis Than Lai Har and Sis Lim Guat Cheng were sent to Bohdgaya to see to the operations of a Medical Camp initiated by Bhante Mahinda and supported by Friends of Aloka for the benefit of over 200,000 participants of the Kalachakra, attracted by the conferment of Kalachakra initiation by His Holiness, the Dalai Lama.
They were also our Metta Round The World Ambassadors to the Kalachakra, tasked with promoting Metta Round The World to the many from around the world that had descended on Bodhgaya.
Sis Guat Cheng’s Have Metta Will Travel log entries are reproduced here:
Day One: Arrival
It was New Year’s Eve. We arrived on a hot, sunny winter day in Gaya Airport and got a 4-wheel drive to take up to Sechen Monastery, which is on the main road leading to the Mahabodhi Mahavihara. However, two kilometres from our destination, he asked us to alight as the roads leading to the Kalachakra teaching tent next to the Mahavihara was closed to motorized vehicles.
Well, we got ourselves two rickshaws and the rest of the journey was a challenge. Two bodies. Two big luggage bags. Two hand-carry bags. Two back packs. Three boxes. One long rolled up banner. All to fit into the space-limited rickety rickshaws, which felt like throwing something overboard each time it went over a bump or hit a pothole.
Bodhgaya was not what I knew it to be. It was so crowded with people. Over 200,000 people, we were told were attending the Kalachakra event. Add the many street vendors, the rickshaws, the beggars, motor cycles and permitted vehicles, it was jam-packed and at times, traffic came to a stand-still. And we thought we have left that behind in KL!
Day Two: Rain
It rained on New Year’s Day! We woke up to find it drizzling in Bodhgaya which is unusual . It drizzled throughout the day — just light drizzle and intermittently, a little heavier. A Kalachakra participant whom we met believed it was blessings from the devas.