Sacred venues linked to Buddha's life
The Buddha discovered the absolute truth of life and delivered this
supreme gift of Dhamma. His words of compassion comforted thousands who
listened to his Dhamma. Wherever, the Buddha's feet touched the soil of
India Buddhism gained ground rapidly. To propagate the Dhamma the Buddha
walked through the streets and enlightened millions of his ardent
devotees. For 45 long years he accomplished this noble task. Hence the
history of Buddhism is said to be back to the time of the living Buddha.
A view of Lumbini
India is the birth place of Buddhism. Not only of Gauthama Buddha,
but also all the previous Buddhas were born there. The noblest figure
gifted to the world by India. Nearly 25 centuries ago was Gauthama
Buddha and the new phase in this Kalpa begins with him.
As the Buddha himself had expressed in Maha Parinibbana Sutta every
Buddhist must visit the four main sacred venues linked to the Buddhas
life. They are Lumbini, Bodhgaya, Isipatana and Kusinara known to every
Ever since these sanctified places had become the most venerated
sites of pilgrimage for devotees from Buddhist countries in the globe.
These are places of serenity and sanctify filled with exceptional
historic value. Vision of Emperor Asoka led to the restoration of many a
sacred venue to honour the Buddha.
Places to worship
Jambuddweepa was blessed with Buddhism in the state of Bihar in the
Magadha Empire which reached it's greatest glory under Emperor Asoka.
Pataliputra was the capital and the centre of the Mauryan Empire. Most
of the sacred venues are located in the states of Bihar and Uttara
Pradesh which have become the land of pilgrimage to the Buddhists. To
explain full the trend of events from renunciation of Prince Siddhartha,
the most appropriate to start with, is Durgeshwari Rock located in Bihar
where he underwent severe suffering (Dushkarakkriya) in his quest for
spiritual liberation. Where the beginning was made to understand the
realities of life.
The site is a hilly, rocky patch of land where are has to make a
strenuous effort to visit to respect the great Master. The stone cave
utilised for his meditation found in a serene atmosphere is filled with
peace and tranquillity reminding pilgrims of the vigorous life faced,
presently covered by lush green trees with cool breeze blowing from
Senanigama situated in close proximity to Uruwela one of the
important localities occupying a unique place in religious history, with
the episode of Princess Sujatha. She was the daughter of a wealthy land
owner in Senani who offered milk rice to the Buddha, meditating under
the Nuga tree wishing him “Just as my wish had come true your wish too
may come true.” While being very grateful to her, he sent the bowl
afloat in the river with the firm determination “Let the bowl go
upstream if I am to attain Buddha hood” and his wish was fulfilled.
Other than the earlier mentioned four main places, other sites of
religious significance found in the holy region of Rajagaha are
Gijjakuta Isigili, Vepulla and King Bimbisara's jail then, a little
distance away are Sapthaparihani caves and also Vaishali the kingdom of
Lichchavis the place where Ratana Sutta was recited by the Buddha to
avoid a great disaster – the three fold terror.
Gijjakuta hill top, from where you could get a nice crew of the
surrounding farming villages stretching in all directions remind one of
the most repulsive figure in Buddhist history widely known, for his
enmity with the Buddha. A little beyond is the historic Bimbisara jail
the place where he had been jailed by his son Ajasatta and the exact
spot where 500 carts had sunk with strong land marks of wheels.
Saptaparni cave is where the first Dhamma Sangayana was held to settle
the Buddhist cannon three months after Maha Parinibbana. There are also
caves said to have been occupied by Theras Moggallana and Ananda. It was
also in Rajagaha that you find sacred venues where Buddha had performed
twin miracles on various occasions. Nalagiri Damanaya is an outstanding
example. These cities – Rajagaha etc. which remain best located in North
India standing testimony to the greatness of the Buddha and the royalty
still retain there traditional charm and grandeur and serenity due to
their maintenance by the State Government of India.