JINASIRI, the mysterious barefooted monk, whose only worldly possession is a brown robe and a small bowl for food offerings, is on a journey between Townsville and Sydney to spread enlightenment to the strangers he meets.
The Chinese native, in his early 30s, was a one-time Sydney-based solicitor known as "Jason", who decided to leave the trappings of modern society behind to train as a monk at a monastery in Canberra, and eventually Sri Lanka.Jinasiri walked north from Coolangatta to Townsville earlier this year, arriving in May.
He has been staying in the homes of Townsville's Sri Lankan community for two months, before heading to Magnetic Island to meditate for the traditional Buddhist "Rain Retreat".During the religious period, usually between July and September, monks aren't allowed to sleep outside their temple and cannot defrock.The tradition originates from the old times when Buddha stayed in temples during the rainy season to avoid killing insects or growing seeds.
A period for study, meditation, and to teach new months, monks are allowed to go out during the day but they must sleep in the same temple every night during three months.It is believed Jinasiri spent his time on the island in a cave.
The enigmatic man, who prefers not to be interviewed, began his 1500km trip about two weeks ago, and has become a regular sight for motorists travelling south. He stayed with a friend in Bowen yesterday, before stepping back on the Bruce Highway this morning. It is understood he is bound for Sydney to visit his father.
Shirley Manatunga opened her Annandale home to Jinasiri for a week, before he travelled to the island for his three-month retreat. She said he insisted on staying in a tent in her backyard. "This is how the Buddha lived thousands of years ago," she said."This is how he went from town to town teaching the Dharma. "This is why he's doing the same thing - he's following in the Buddha's footsteps, doing things the way the Buddha did. "He doesn't touch money, and he doesn't sleep in a bed," she said.
Walking between towns, averaging about 30km a day, the monk has been spending his nights camped out underneath trees by the side of the highway. Ms Manatunga said motorists frequently stopped to provide him with more food, water and shelter. "He walks completely barefoot, no hat, no nothing," she said. "He relies on the generosity of the travelling public, it's a real inspiration. "He is free from everything, no attachments, not a thing."http://www.townsvillebulletin.com.au/ar ... bject_map=
an older articlehttp://www.whitsundaytimes.com.au/news/ ... h/1194870/https://www.facebook.com/JinasiriTheWalkingMonk?fref=ts
As at May 2013, he was in Burbank, Qld