Where the Buddha Walked: A Companion to Buddhist Places in India
This book is the first attempt to describe all the fifteen places with which the Buddha had direct association. Narration of each of these places accounts the mythology, legend, Jataka tales, cultural history, archaeology, field studies and general information. The book is illustrated with 55 photographs and 55 maps and figures, and also contains a description of the main link stations like Varanasi, Allahabad and Gorakhpur. Nearby sites for excursion are also described in the context.
The sequence of the fifteen Buddhist places follows the life cycle and the journeys performed by the Buddha as narrated in the Jatakas and the Tripitaka. Accordingly, the Buddha was born (563 bce) in the garden of Lumbini (1), passed his first 29 years (563-533 bce) in the royal palaces of Kapilavastu (2) and, after abandoning his home and family he ultimately reached Bodh-Gaya (3), where he achieved enlightenment at the age of 35 (528 bce). He did arduous austerities in Gaya (4), then he proceeded to give his first preaching at Sarnath (5) in 529 bce. After this important event, known as “the turning of the wheel of Dharma”, he returned to Bodh-Gaya. After visiting Rajagriha and Nalanda, he very frequently visited Shravasti (6), where he stayed during 24 rainy seasons, performing miracles and gaving sermons. During the 6th (522 bce) and 9th years (519 bce) after enlightenment he stayed at Kaushambi (7). While returning to Bodh-Gaya, to fulfil his promise to King Bimbisara (c. 543-491 bce) he paid a visit to Rajagriha (8) together with a thousand monks of his new order, and gave sermons there. On the request of his two chief disciples Sariputta and Moggallana, the Buddha visited Nalanda (9) several times. Thereafter, the Lord proceeded to Vaishali (10), the capital city of the Lichchhavis, where he gave his last detailed sermons and re-interpreted several of his teachings. Before his final march he stopped at the bank of the Ganga River in Patna (11), in a place called today as Gautama Ghat. While making his final march he stayed a couple of nights at Kesariya (12), followed by his final arrival at Kushinagar (13) where he passed away at the age of eighty (c. 483 bce). In the same year he descended from heaven at Sankisa (14) and gave his final preaching there. Mathura (15) was also visited by the Buddha occasionally, and later developed as the major centre of the Buddhist art and sculpture in the Maurya period.
About the Author
The author, Rana P.B. Singh is Professor of Cultural Geography at the Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, India, and Founding President of the Society of Heritage Planning and Environmental Health, and also of the Society of Pilgrimage Studies. He has been involved in studying, performing and promoting pilgrimages and eco-tourism for the last two decades as a consultant, project director, collaborator, pilgrimage organiser and a wanderer.
- Product Code: BK14273
- Publisher : Indica Books
- Edition : June 15, 2003
- Pages : 303
- Weight : 550 g.
- Size : 8.5 x 5.8 x 0.9 inches
- Binding : Paperback
- Author : Rana P.B. Singh
- Language : English
- ISBN-10: 8186569367