A Buddhist Sunday – Nālandā

Nālandā (नालन्दा) was a huge Buddhist Monastery complex (a mahāvihāra) in what is now Bihar, India. It was also known as a centre of learning and is by some historians called a university. It predates European universities like Oxford by at least 500 years. Nālandā attracted people from all over India, Nepal, Tibet, China and even as…

A Buddhist Sunday – The Shamarpa

The Shamarpa (Zhwa dmar pa – The one with the red hat/crown) is the second highest lama in the Karma Kagyu (Bka’ brgyud) lineage and is generally seen as another emanation of the Karmapa. The first Shamar Rinpoche Khedrup Drakpa Senge (1283–1349) was recognised by the third Karmapa Rangjung Dorje (Rang ‘byung rdo rje). Khedrup Dragpa Senge…

A Buddhist Sunday – A Lecture in Sārnāth

The Buddha needed some (divine) convincing to share what he learned underneath the Bodhi Tree. After reaching enlightenment he wandered to Sārnāth. A group of ascetics saw him there and although the Buddha used to travel with them they did not recognise him at first. They did however feel very much a strong fascination towards…

A Buddhist Sunday

It is said that the Buddha had two eminent gurus after he had left his home and after a while he surpassed them both. After that he followed a path of extreme asceticism. A popular belief was that the body gets in the way of spiritual development and that by starving the body the mind is able to…

Animals in India and Nepal

Monkeys in Rajgir (Bihar, India) and Svayambhu (Kathmandu, Nepal). Water buffaloes and a kingfisher in Lumbini (Nepal)