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42 monks arrive in Central Java to warm reception
Published on: Sunday, May 19, 2024
By: Jakarta Post
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42 monks arrive in Central Java to warm reception
The monks being welcomed by local residents.
TEMANGGUNG: The spiritual journey of 42 Thudong monks from various Southeast Asian countries has reached Temanggung Regency, Central Java. The monks, hailing from countries such as Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia, were warmly welcomed by the local residents during their pilgrimage and at the local temple.

Thudong is a traditional spiritual journey undertaken by Buddhist monks, or Bhantes, involving traveling on foot.

This practice not only embodies the teachings of Buddha but also serves as a means to renounce worldly attachments.

The Thudong pilgrimage is part of the celebration leading up to the Holy Vesak Day. The distance they covered can reach up to 4,000 kilometers.

As the group of monks made their way to a temporary resting place at a vihara in Kalimanggis Village in Temanggung, they were greeted with warm smiles and greetings from the villagers. Residents even scattered rose petals along the monks’ path.

Upon their arrival at Vihara Satya Dharma Virya, the Thudong monks were welcomed with traditional Buddhist dances performed by the local Buddhist community.

One of the Thudong participants, Bhikkhu Kamsai Sumano Mahathera, shared his experience, saying that the journey from Semarang to Temanggung was smooth and memorable. He was particularly impressed by the warm reception from the locals and the beautiful scenery in Temanggung.

“We often train for this, and walking is a hobby for us. As the day went on, more and more people gathered along the roadside, which boosted our spirits and made us forget about our fatigue,” said Sumano Mahathera at Vihara Satya Dharma Virya on Friday.

Sumano added that this year’s Thudong pilgrimage involves 42 monks from four Southeast Asian countries.

Meanwhile, the Acting Regent of Temanggung, Hari Agung Prabowo, said the Thudong monks will stay in Temanggung and continue their journey to Magelang on Sunday.

The monks are expected to engage in activities around Kaloran District during their stay.

“We welcomed the Thudong monks. Their journey has been extraordinary, and we hope they stay healthy and have a smooth journey until they reach Magelang,” said Agung.

He also noted that nearly 12,000 residents in Temanggung practice Buddhism, with the largest communities located in the Kaloran and Jumo areas.  

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