Yesterday’s adventures are on hold – because today, I experienced something that was overwhelming.
The Dhurgeshwari Cave, hidden high on a hilltop in the Dhurgeshwari Forest (formerly known as the Uruwela Forest) is where the Buddha who was then still Siddhartha, tested the theory of giving his body utmost pain and suffering while on his search for the Dhamma.
From the sandy road that leads visitors to the entrance-way the 4km hike up the hill was a little difficult. The sun was strong, yet the wind was chilly. It was like our backs were burning and fingertips were freezing.
And we thought, Buddha must have done this. Alone, in a mere robe, on the rocks and thorns. With insects, snakes and animals. Perhaps in the dark, in the midst of the night. And by then, we had reached the cave.
The feeling was explainable Creeping in through the small door, the cave was dark, it had a golden statue of the Buddha in his state of giving utmost suffering to the body. Lamps were lit, giving the cave a glow that added to the ambiance. Kneeling is the maximum height a person can be in, and the cave can comfortable accommodate only about 5 or 6 people at a time.
I sat towards the end of the cave, a small corner that didn’t block the entrance nor disturb anyone else. I meditated for a few minutes, as a monk stepped inside and started the Namaskarata followed by the Ithipiso. I chimed in, together with three others who sat down beside the monk. Our voices echoed in the cave, the low deep enunciation of the words and Gaatha adding to the already strong vibe that split through the air.
It was overwhelming. It seemed like I was zoned out for a while. My brother and I start our descent, with beautiful panoramic views of the hills to complete our leg of the journey.
The Dhamma, is very much alive.
**Await – Travel tips and location info…