The most important places of pilgrimage in Buddhism are located in the Gangetic plains of Northern India and Southern Nepal, in the area between New Delhi and Rajgir. This is the area where Lord Buddha lived and taught, and the main sites connected to his life are now important places of pilgrimage for both Buddhists and Hindus.
Since the Mahaparinirvana of the Buddha, these four holy sites of Buddhism have become the focal points for pious disciples to rally around and seek inspiration. By the time of King Ashoka, four more places, namely: Shravasti, Sankasya, Rajgir and Vaishali, that were closely associated with the Buddha and scenes of his principal miracles, were added to the pilgrimage itinerary. Together they make the Eight Great Places of pilgrimage.
More than 2,500 years ago, a prince renounced his kingdom, meditated under the Bodhi tree, discovered a path to spiritual enlightenment and started expounding the principles of the Four Noble Truth and Eightfold Path. Based on these principles, 84,000 different methods to attain perfect liberation had been introduced and grouped under the three major vehicles or yanas: Theravada, Mahayana and Vajrayana.
The prince who had come to our realm and given us so many different solutions to disentangle from samsaric existence is none other Buddha Shakyamuni, the Exalted One from the Shakya clan.
Holy places are subject to wear and tear and manmade distortion. The recent unfortunate bombings in Bodh Gaya had prompted His Holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa to lead a pad yatra to the holy places of Buddha, with Rinpoches, monks, nuns and devotees. This is a precious opportunity to pay homage to Buddha’s holy places in the company of Sangha and receiving teaching from His Holiness. Besides, we will be cleaning the environment and promoting peace, resonating the teaching of Lord Buddha and putting it into action.
His Holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa will be giving discourses on the Pad Yatra.
The total walking distance is approximately 650km over 32 days, covering the Four Great Places of Buddha Shakyamuni: Lumbini (where Buddha was born), Bodh Gaya (where Buddha attained enlightenment), Sarnath (where Buddha first taught) and Kushinagar (where Buddha entered Mahaparinirvana)
Successful registrants will receive a detail copy of the schedule, however the schedule may be subject to minor adjustments, as His Holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa may readjust the journey as the situation requires.
It is important that you register if you wish to join in the walking pilgrimage, as a respect to the participating masters, the ordained and lay practitioners and the organizers. For security reasons, the organizers will reserve the right to refuse entry and registration. Please send in your registration soon for our immediate processing.
- Next >>