Classroom learning and visits to Stupas and Temples… I now have more compassion for my students

Had three lectures today that were fascinating and very well done by faculty at the University in Sarnath. However, four and a half hours of lecture definitely made me develop more compassion for my students. World Cultures students…remind me when I am talking too long 🙂

The talks today were about The Four Noble Truths ( Buddha’s Teachings), Buddhist Meditation, and Two Truths of Buddhist Philosophy. The Four Noble Truths are…1. All life contains suffering 2. It is our craving and attachments that cause suffering 3. Ceasing our craving and attachment is the way to end suffering 4. following The Eightfold Path is the way to achieve this and reach Nirvana.

We learned about and participated in Buddhist meditation. At home I always say I am going to put aside time for it and I never do! In one of the lectures the Professor veered off topic and told us how he thinks that teaching is the most noble profession because teachers teach so many students. I was touched by that.

We visited the site where Buddha gave his first teaching to 5 disciples which is why Sarnath is an important and religious city for Buddhists. His first 5 disciples made up the first “Sangha” or Buddhist Community. There is a “stupa” (a dome like structure that either contains relics of the Buddha or marks and important place in the Buddhist religion) there as well as many other ruins dating all the way back to the time of King Ashoka dating back to the 3rd century BCE!!

While we were there, a big group of young men were becoming Buddhist monks for a 10 day program. You can see them turning their white robes in for the saffron color ones.

We then went to nearby park called “Deer Park” to visit a Buddhist temple. It has a Buddha statue and the murals on the walls tell the story of the life of the Buddha.

It was very beautiful and the story was well told by the illustrations.

Buddhism has always been an area of interest for me and I am enjoying learning from experts and experiencing these holy sites first-hand.

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