A visit to Sarnath India.
Buddha spent most of his life in what is now India. Buddists revere four historical sites associated with Budda’s life – the place of his birth, the place where he achieved enlightenment, the site where he preached his first “sermon” following enlightenment, and the location of his death. Sarnath India, located on the outskirts of Varanasi India is the site where Buddha first shared his teachings with others following his enlightenment.
A visit to Sarnath is well worth the effort for anyone, especially so for Buddhists or those interested in Buddism. The Archeological Museum in Sarnath provides a wonderful overview of the history of Buddism in the vicinity as well as some remarkable artifacts which have been unearthed in the area where Buddha first preached – an area now referrred to as the “Deer Park.”
The site of Buddha’s first teaching is marked by a gigantice “Stupa”. It is a site of pilgramage for Buddhists from around the world who can be seen walking around the base in traditional counter-clockwise fashion.
The Stupa as well as foundations for other smaller buildings and memorials which have been discovered on this site.
Buddist prayer flags left by visitors.
A Buddist traveler in meditation. The golden flecks on the Stupa wall are from patches of gold foil, rubbed onto the stupa, as well as other significant Buddists sites, by pilgrims.
Buddha was born Hindu but moved away from the religion in search of enlightenment. Thus Buddhism was born and grew up in India. It has now migrated around the world. For a time, Buddism was a major religion in India. Yet, interestingly, only 2 percent of Indians today are Buddist. The majority of Indians are Hindu. For various reasons they have returned to the Hindu focus. Even so, today Hindus have incorporated Buddha into their own religion as one who holds a special positon and who is honored and reverred.
The Journey to India continues ………
Enjoy the Adventure!
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