“A Foot Journey to Explore the Sublime Wanderings of the Buddha” is Part I of the “Retracing Bodhisattva Xuanzang Project.” This part of the project has a number of components, out of which the first two components are under implementation, as off now. The details are as under:
Deepak Anand is on a historic mission to create awareness about the footsteps of the Buddha by walking the journey of nearly 2000 kms undertaken by Bodhisattva Xuanzang in the Indo-Gangetic Plains, 14 Centuries ago. The foot journey of Deepak started from Adi Badri in Haryana (part of ancient Kingdom of Kuru), as scheduled on Feb. 20, 2020 and he reached Sankissa (ancient Sankasya, which is one among the Eight Great Places of Buddhist Pilgrimage) in Uttar Pradesh in the evening of March 20, 2020, as scheduled. But unfortunately, he got caught there in Covid 19 lockdown and restarted his onward journey on May 20, 2020, which is exactly after a gap of two months.
Therefore, the whole process of his Explorative Pilgrimage Foot Journey went behind schedule by two months. The delay and the Covid 19 situation posed a number of challenges and therefore, Deepak was advised to postpone his journey and restart once the Covid 19 situation improved. But, in tandem with the Xuanzang spirit and his commitment towards highlighting the Buddhist Pilgrimage, Deepak decided to face the numerous challenges before him and thus continued with his Foot Journey.
Thereafter, he walked and covered the Buddhist Pilgrimage and Heritage sites as planned, but unfortunately was not allowed to enter Nepal. The Nepal leg will be taken up in the near future, or as the situation allows. Bypassing Nepal, he covered other sites and locations as planned, despite facing numerous problems due to COVID 19 and inclement weather in shape of scorching heat, torrential rains and lightning strikes. He reached Vaishali in Bihar on June 30, 2020 after completing a distance of 1250 kms on foot, which is a big achievement in the present situation. We salute him for his Grit, Determination and Sincerity of Purpose.
Twenty four blog stories pertaining to the Explorative Pilgrimage Foot Journey of Deepak have come out till now. The first Webinar on the Project took place on June 02, 2020 with Buddhist Gem Fellowship. Two Webinars on project were held on July 05, 2020 with Dhammadharini Monastery and with Lumbini Development Authority/Trust, respectively. A very important webinar pertaining to the project was held on August 10, with Buddhist Gem Fellowship. For more details please visit the Project Face Book page - Retracing Bodhisattva Xuanzang.
The Covid 19 situation has posed more challenges for Deepak, as compared to the extreme weather condition. People in a number of areas have not been very keen to welcome him and therefore, it became an uphill task to organize food and stay at many places. Keeping all this in mind and the monsoon, further part of the Explorative Pilgrimage Foot Journey has been postponed till Sep. 2020. Date of the resumption of the Journey will be conveyed on this website as well as the Face Book page of Retracing Bodhisattva Xuanzang.
Component II: Documentary Series based on Explorative Pilgrimage Foot Journey of Deepak Anand
The filming process of the documentary series also started on schedule, from Feb. 20, 2020, at Adi Badri, an important heritage Site, which was a part of the Kuru Kingdom in the ancient times. Thereafter, shooting for the other segments in Haryana and the Sankissa in Uttar Pradesh were also completed despite the Covid 19 situation. In fact, the filming crew was also caught up along with the explorer & walker, at Sankissa for a period of 53 days, because of the Covid 19 lockdown in India.
The delay in the release of the episodes of the documentary series is due to the fact that certain portions of the introductory episode of the series are yet to be filmed, thanks to Covid 19. Barring this, we have already completed filming for first five episodes of the documentary series, despite Covid 19 and the fact that we have only been able to collect a meager amount of funds for making the documentary series, through crowd funding.
Non availability of editing facilities and sound recording facilities due to the Covid 19 lockdown has created further road blocks in the process of editing and music recording for the series. We are committed to bring the epic Pilgrimage Journey of Master Xuanzang, on the Footsteps of Buddha before the World, and therefore will not leave any stone unturned despite the difficulties and numerous challenges, including extreme financial crunch.
We are trying our best to start releasing the episodes of the documentary series as soon as possible. Therefore, we appeal to all Buddhist Organisations, Venerables, lay devotees and all likeminded people interested in Buddhism and Buddhist Pilgrimage, to kindly extend generous financial support to the project, so that we are able to take this universally important Project to its logical culmination, for the benefit of the entire mankind.
We would also like to thank all the people who have financially and otherwise supported the project till now.