Walking down the footsteps of the Buddha—An invitation by Debajyoti Gangopadhyay

Nalanda Dialog Mission, Hazaribag, in collaboration with INTACH, Hazaribag chapter, is going to conduct a Walk (Padyatra) down the River Mohani from Itkhori Chatra (Jharkhand) to Bodhgaya (Bihar) during 13th–15th of January 2018. A discussion Seminar will be held on the 2nd day.

This Padyatra is intended to commemorate Prince Siddhartha’s journey down this river as the local myths claim. Local myths corroborate the Sakya Prince Siddhartha’s extensive journey through the today’s Jharkhand before he was enlightened in Urubela village near Gaya.

5th Century B. C. is famously known as the embryonic phases of developments of Indian Philosophy as well as many of our cultural hallmarks – a vibrant period incubating different belief systems of diverse metaphysical origins geographically located mostly in today’s Bihar. The entire region, extending all the way from the southern bank of the river Ganga to present Chotanagpur plateau, was actually a hub of parallel cultures of so called non-Vedic origins.

The nomadic people here of different diasporic as well as ethnic origins including the tribal like Santhal, Munda, Oraon, Asura were something like bulk of floating masses with belief and practices incompatible with those prevalent in North Bihar.
Though Buddha and Mahavīra’s fundamental teaching were outgrowth, in one way or other, of these all incompatibilities, our later mainstream history of philosophy is mostly depleted off these early pre-enlightment accounts of mutual rejection and assimilation took place specifically in South Bihar. However, sporadic remains of these early conflicts are still visible in Hazaribag and surroundings though masked in many different ways by mist of time.

Please treat this post as intimation as well as invitation to take part in this Padyatra. Detailed Program as well as the Registration procedure soon follows with further relevant information.

For any further update please follow our website www.nalandadialogmission.wordpress.com (see the “Events” section)

D Gangopadhyay (Convener, Nalanda Dialog Mission)
Bulu Imam (Convener, INTACH, Hazaribag Chapter)

(The post has been only minimally edited by EF)

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2 Replies to “Walking down the footsteps of the Buddha—An invitation by Debajyoti Gangopadhyay”

    • The sacred motifs in the ethnic art forms of contemporary Jharkhand are found in the sacred motifs of Buddhism. The art forms of Jharkhand in question have been subjected to extensive research and found to be a continuation of the prehistoric rock paintings of Jharkhand. This would be the basis of an immediate connection between the ethnic in Jharkhand and symbols in Buddhism. Further, there are many ethnic customs connected with Buddhism such as the Santal Sabha or council which takes place on the night of the Buddh Purnima in May. Also, there is a living ethnic folkloric tradition that the Buddha was in a place named now Itkhouri when his Mousi or mother’s sister who brought him up came searching for him and not finding him exclaimed ‘I have lost him here’ which has come to be the name of the place Itkhouri or Iti Khoi which has been chosen for starting the Padyatra in question because tradition holds that the Buddha walked down the river (Mohani) to Bodhgaya where he meditated and reached enlightenment.

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