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Buddhism & Pilgrimage

By Ven. S. M. Sujano

Buddhism is a religion to about 5 million people around the world. It has its origins about 2600 years ago when Prince Siddharth of Kapilavatthu in present Nepal enlightened at the age of 35 and known as the ‘Buddha’ one who awakened. Buddhism is becoming popular for a number of reasons. It has answers to many of the problems in modern materialistic societies and includes a deep understanding of the human mind and liberation from the cycle of (re)birth and death. Its main teachings is Four Noble Truth; analysis the nature of problem, its cause, its solutions and the way to effect that solution.

The idea of a pilgrimage came from the Buddha himself. Before He entered Mahaparinibbana, He advised pious dis­ciples to visit four places for their inspiration after He was gone. The pious disciple should visit these places and look upon them with feelings of reverence, reflecting on the particular event of the Buddha’s life connected with each place and one is able to purify one’s thought, speech and action. Since the Mahaparinibbana of the Buddha, these four shrines of Buddhism have become the focal points for pious disciples to rally around and seek inspiration.

a) Lumbini: “Here the Buddha was born! Currently in Nepal,

b) Buddhagaya: “Here the Buddha became fully enlightened, Supreme Enlightenment!,

c) Sarnath: “Here the Buddha set rolling Wheel of the Law!,

d) Kusinara: “Here the Buddha passed away into Nibbana wherein the elements of clinging do not arise!


This is a place that a pious man should visit and look upon with feel­ings of reverence.” (Mahaparinibbana Sutta).



Apart from these four places, other sacred sites are the places sanctified by the Buddha and related to Buddhist history:

e) Savatthi, where the Buddha performed the Twin Miracle to silence the heretics,

f) Sankasia, where the Buddha descended from Tavatimsa.

g) Rajagaha, where the Buddha stayed for a long time.

h) Vesali, Lord Buddha announced the imminence of his Mahaparinirvana.

I) Nalanda, one of the oldest and largest Buddhist universities.

J) Ajanta & Allora Cave etc.

Therefore in Buddhism, a pilgrimage is a jour­ney to sacred places related Buddha’s life as an act of devotion and faith or saddha. It is not simply visiting as a tourist but sensual delights, the sight of the holy shrines acts as a condition for wholesome mental states to arise in the pilgrim’s mind. The holy shrines are also conducive places for pilgrims to reflect on the Buddha’s virtues and practise mind­fulness to develop wisdom.


Similarly, Takshila Maha Buddha Vihara at Ludhiana, Punjab is established with the help of Buddhist from around the world, which is initiated by the Punjab Buddhist Society UK under the leadership of Ven. Chander Bodhi. This centre was inaugurated on the month of October 2006 to celebrate Jubilee Year of Baba Saheb Ambedkar’s Conversion into Buddhism. It is one of the newly pilgrimage in terms of creating new Buddhist culture and way of fulfilling Baba Saheb’s desire to make India into Buddhamaya. To fulfilling his desire, we as a followers of Baba Saheb have to live and practice according to his advice and follow the Buddhist path for the good and happiness of us and to the others.


Therefore, taking this opportunity let’s develop this Takshila Maha Buddha Vihara into our main basement for the propagation and development of Buddhism and spread of Baba Saheb’s wishes around the country and surely in the world.


Each and every drop of water can fill the big ocean, so, come and share some of your parts for the good and benefit many years to come.

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