Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Dhamma Pilgrimage in and around Nalanda for Vipassana meditationers

Nava Nalanda Mahavihara (NNM) is a research institute that specialises in the field of Pali and Buddhist studies. It integrates and unfolds knowledge in threefold manner as per the Buddhist tradition namely: Pariyatti (Theoretical Knowledge), Patipatti (Practice) and Pativeda (Experience). 
NNM has started 10-day courses of Vipassana at Nalanda. The objective is to facilitate opportunity to the Vipassana meditationers worldwide to practice at Nalanda, the place where the Buddha made his sublime wandering and gave important discourses. 
Many Vipassana meditators visiting Nalanda centre have expressed their desire to visit and meditate at the places associated with the Buddha’s sublime wandering in and around Nalanda. NNM has developed a small itinerary to most sacred places associated with the Buddha in vicinity of Nalanda for the interested participants on the 12th and 13th Day of the 10-day course.

Dhamma Pilgrimage on 12th Day
1. Parwati (ancient Indraśailaguhā)- Ancient cave where the Buddha had discourse with Lord Indra.
Aerial view of Parwati hill and the Buddha cave.
2. Ayer-pathri (ancient Budhavana) - Rock shelter where the Buddha spent one night.
A view from the rock shelter where the Buddha spent a night.
    3. Jeṭhian (ancient Laṭṭhivana) - The place where Buddha after his enlightenment, on his maiden visit to Rajagriha was received by king Bimibsara.
New temple near the ancient Buddhist remains at Jethian

Silao- Ancient remains at place where the Buddha exchanged robes with Buddha.
4. Silāo (Ancient Ambalatthikā)- the place where the Buddha exchanged robes with Mahakassapa.

Dhamma Pilgrimage on 13th Day
   1.Griddhakūṭa (Vulture’s Peak) -Place where the Buddha gave very important sermons.
Griddhakuta (vulture's peak)
    2. Veḷuvana- Place where the Buddha spent many rainy seasons and also delivered many sermons. 
Veluvana (Bamboo grove)
    3. Nālandā monastic site- Ancient monastic site and place where Buddha did his 11th rainy season retreat.
Mulagandhakuti (Temple no.3) at Nalanda
   NNM is encouraging the communities of villages like Parwati (ancient Indraśailaguhā), Ayer-pathri (Budhavana), Jeṭhian (ancient Laṭṭhivana), Silāo (Ancient Ambalatthikā) etc to do Vipassana courses. We hope the interaction of visiting Vipassana meditationers with the community of   these sacred places will encourage the local people to do Vipassana. Eventually it may help us in facilitating small meditation places at all these places associated with the Buddha. 

Many such sacred places associated with the Buddha and his prominent disciples Sāriputta, Mahā Kassapa, Mahā Moggallāna and Ānanda are in a deplorable condition.
Vipassana/ Meditation facility at all these sacred places will allow devout followers and practitioners to practice at these sacred places. This will not only benefit the local community but also facilitate revitalization of sacred traces of the Buddha.

A group of Meditationer with the community of Parwati.

A group of Meditationers at Buddhavana.

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