International Buddhist Confederation (IBC) with support of Nava Nalanda Mahavihara (Deemed University), Nalanda and Bodhgaya Temple Management Committee (BTMC) successfully organized 7th Sāriputta World Peace Walk at the base of Giriyak Hill, Rajgir on 14th November, 2016. Venerable Bhikkhu Saṅgha, important dignitaries, community of Nalanda and staff and students of NNM assembled at the start point of the Walk at 2.30 pm. Following the walk to the base of the hill, Venerable Bhikkhu Saṅgha chanted Sammaditthi Sutta. The chanting was followed by the speeches by the distinguished guests who spoke about contributions of Arhat Sāriputta. Objective of the event was to pay rich tributes and to generate awareness towards the legacy of Sāriputta on occasion of his parinirvāṇa anniversary on Kartikā Pūrṇimā (full moon day of Oct-Nov).
Venerable Sāriputta is one of the most prominent disciples of the Buddha who is considered to be the right hand of the Buddha. For centuries, the followers of the teachings of the Buddha inspired by the contributions of Sāriputta to the Buddha, the Dhamma and the Saṅgha paid tribute to the stūpas built in his native village.
Tradition maintains that Sāriputta attained parinirvāṇa six months before the Mahāparinirvāṇa of the Buddha. Sāriputta was born and he attained parinirvāṇa in a village near Rajgir and Nālandā. Pāli literature mentions the village Nālaka (also Nāla, Nālaka, Upatissagāma and Nālagāmaka) (SA.ii.172; ThagA.i.108; ii.93; ThigA.162), where Sāriputta attained parinirvāṇa. 5th CE Chinese monk-scholar Faxian (Fahein) corroborates this by mentioning the name of the village Nāla (Beal 2005), while 7th CE Chinese monk Xuanzang (Hsüan-tsang) mentions the name, Kālapinaka (Beal 1969). Identification of Sāriputta’s village based on Xuanzang and Faxian’s descriptions has led to village Naṇand (Prasad 1988: 175) and Chaṇdimau (Broadley 1979: 51), both in the proximity of Giriyak Hill. Our effort is to promote the whole area consisting of Chaṇdimau, Naṇand and Giriyak as Sāriputta Parinirvāṇa Zone.
Large stūpas were built at the native village of Sāriputta by King Ashoka and the place was part of the Buddhist pilgrimage as mentioned by Faxian and Xuanzang. Illustrations from life and contributions of Sāriputta were discovered in numerous frescos from the Tang Period (7th -9th CE) at Dunhuang Caves in China. Sāriputta is also depicted in ancient Thangka paintings from Tibet. Sāriputta is often seen flanking the right of the Buddha in many Buddhist temples around the world.
The government of Bihar has marked the day of the parinirvāṇa of Sāriputta as "Sāriputta Divas”. This Day is in line with the Vesak Purnima, celebrated as “Vesak”, to mark the day on which the Buddha attained enlightenment and also his Mahāparinirvāṇa. Speaking on the occasion, Ven. Lama Lobzang eminent monk and the founder of the IBC thanked Government of Bihar for declaring the nirvāṇa day of Sāriputta as State day. He said he will now urge the Government of India and Government of other Buddhist countries like Sri Lanka, Burma, and Thailand etc to mark the nirvāṇa days of Sāriputta and Mahāmoggallāna as National Days. He further added that from coming year the event should also take place in the probable villages of Sāriputta i.e. Nānand and Chaṇḍimāu.
Dignitaries present on the occasion,
1. Venerable Lama Lobzang, Secretary General, International Buddhist Confederation.
2. Shri. Chandrasen Kumar, Hon’ble MLA, Islampur.
3. Shri. Nanzgey Dorjee, IAS (Retd.), Member Secretary, BTMC.
4. Shri. S P Sinha, Registrar, NNM.
5. Ms. Wangmo Dixey, Executive Director, LBDFI.
6. Shri. Subodh Kumar, DCLR, Nalanda.
7. Shri Rajiv Ranjan, Dy Collector, Rajgir.
|Ven Lama Lobzang , Shri Nanzgey Dorjee, Ven Dhammajyoti and others|
|Ven. Lama Lobzang leading the Walk.|
|The Assembly after the Walk at the base of Giriyak Hill.|
|Venerable Monks reciting Sutta|
|Dr Sunil Sinha, Registrar, NNM giving the Welcome Address|
|Ms. Wangmo Dixey sharing her views|
|Shri Chandrasen ji, Hon'ble MLA sharing his views.|
|Shri Raj Kumar Singh a heritage volunteer from a local villager sharing his views|
|Ven. Lama Lobzang sharing his views|
|Dr. Rana Purrushottam, Assistant Professor, NNM|
|Dr Vishwajeet Kumar, Associate Professor, NNM giving the Vote of Thanks.|
|A group picture of the participants|
|Message of Hon'ble Chief Minister published in all the leading Newspapers of Bihar|
Beal, S. 1969. Si-yu-ki: Buddhist Records of the Western World, Translated from the Chinese Of Hiuen Tsiang, New Delhi: Oriental Books Reprint Corporation.
Beal, S. 2005. Travels of Fah-hian and Sung-Yun, Buddhist Pilgrims from China to India, New Delhi: Low Price.
Broadley, A. M. 1979. The Buddhistic Remains of Bihar. Varanasi: Bharti Prakashan.
Prasad, Chandra Shekhar. 1988. “Nalanda vis-à-vis the Birthplace of Śāriputra”. East And West. Vol. 38. No. 1-4. Rome: Istituto Italiano Per Il Medio Ed Estremo Oriente.
Abbreviations of Bibliography:
P.T.S. Means published by the Pāli Text Society.
SA. Sāratthappakāsinī, Saṃyutta Commentary.
ThagA. Theragāthā Commentary, 2 vols. (S.H.B.).
ThigA Therīgāhā Commentary (P.T.S.).