A report on Bodh Gaya and Sarnath

The Bodhi Tree under which Gautama Buddha is said to have obtained Enlightenment
Gautama Buddha teaching his first sermon in the Deer Park, Sarnath. Wall painting Manali
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Gandhara Greco-Buddhist sculpture of Gautama Buddha delivering his first sermon in the deer park at Sarnath. He preached the Four Noble Truths, the middle path and the Eightfold Path. In the statue, he is seated in Padmasana with his right hand turning the Dharmachakra, resting on a Triratna symbol, flanked on either side by a deer. He is surrounded by five Bhikkhus with shaven heads. In the background, Vajrapani and other attendants, including probable princes, are seen. Statue on display at the Prince of Wales museum.
Mahabodhi temple, built under the Gupta Empire, 6th century CE.
The Bala Boddhisattva, an important statue for dating Indian art, was dedicated in "the year 3 of Kanishka" (circa 123 CE) and was discovered at Sarnath.
Buddhist monks meditating in Bodh Gaya
Shri Digambar Jain Temple, Singhpuri, Sarnath, Varanasi
Illustration of the temple built by Asoka at Bodh-Gaya around the Bodhi tree. Sculpture of the Satavahana period at Sanchi, 1st century CE.
Emblem of the Supreme Court of India: Lion Capital with Dharma-chakra
Ancient Buddhist monasteries near Dhamekh Stupa Monument Site, Sarnath. The ruins of the original main temple are to the left.
Ashoka pillar capital of Sarnath.
Dharmarajika Stupa from the pre-Ashokan Era
Ashoka's Brahmi inscription on the main pillar
Buddha image at Sarnath, a replica of the excavated Dharmachakra Pravartana Buddha at Sarnath
Mulagandhakuti fresco by Kosetsu Nosu
Interior of Sri Digamber Jain Shreyansnath Mandir
Temple of the Tibetan community in Sarnath
Mulagandhakuti Vihara, Mahabodhi Society Buddhist temple at Sarnath
Head of West Asian foreigner, Sarnath.<ref>Page 122: About the Masarh lion: "This particular example of a foreign model gets added support from the male heads of foreigners from Patna city and Sarnath since they also prove beyond doubt that a section of the elite in the Gangetic Basin was of foreign origin. However, as noted earlier, this is an example of the late Mauryan period since this is not the type adopted in any Ashoka pillar. We are, therefore, visualizing a historical situation in India in which the West Asian influence on Indian art was felt more in the late Mauryan than in the early Mauryan period. The term West Asia in this context stands for Iran and Afghanistan, where the Sakas and Pahlavas had their base-camps for eastward movement. The prelude to future inroads of the Indo-Bactrians in India had after all started in the second century B.C."... in {{cite book |last1=Gupta |first1=Swarajya Prakash |author-link=Swaraj Prakash Gupta|title=The Roots of Indian Art: A Detailed Study of the Formative Period of Indian Art and Architecture, Third and Second Centuries B.C., Mauryan and Late Mauryan |year=1980 |publisher=B.R. Publishing Corporation |isbn=978-0-391-02172-3 |pages=88, 122 |url=https://books.google.com/books?id=0lDqAAAAMAAJ |language=en}}.</ref>
Sarnath Mauryan capital.
Sarnath capital with an elephant.
Sarnath - Plan of Excavations and constructions.
View of Lord Buddha at Thai Temple Sarnath Varanasi.
Buddha statue inside a votive stupa, Sarnath

For Buddhists, Bodh Gaya is the most important of the main four pilgrimage sites related to the life of Gautama Buddha, the other three being Kushinagar, Lumbini, and Sarnath.

- Bodh Gaya

Seven weeks after his enlightenment under the Bodhi tree in Bodh Gaya, Buddha left Uruvela and travelled to Isipatana to rejoin them because, using his spiritual powers, he had seen that his five former companions would be able to understand Dharma quickly.

- Sarnath

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Statue of Gautama Buddha, preaching his first sermon at Sarnath; B(b) 181, Archaeological Museum Sarnath, Gupta period, ca. 475 CE.

Gautama Buddha

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Ascetic and spiritual teacher of South Asia who lived during the latter half of the first millennium BCE.

Ascetic and spiritual teacher of South Asia who lived during the latter half of the first millennium BCE.

Statue of Gautama Buddha, preaching his first sermon at Sarnath; B(b) 181, Archaeological Museum Sarnath, Gupta period, ca. 475 CE.
Seated Buddha from Tapa Shotor monastery in Hadda, Afghanistan, 2nd century CE
Ancient kingdoms and cities of India during the time of the Buddha (c. 500 BCE)
Inscription "The illumination of the Blessed Sakamuni" (Brahmi script: 𑀪𑀕𑀯𑀢𑁄 𑀲𑀓𑀫𑀼𑀦𑀺𑀦𑁄 𑀩𑁄𑀥𑁄, Bhagavato Sakamunino Bodho) on a relief showing the "empty" Illumination Throne of the Buddha in the early Mahabodhi Temple at Bodh Gaya. Bharhut, c. 100 BCE.
One of the earliest anthropomorphic representations of the Buddha, here surrounded by Brahma (left) and Śakra (right). Bimaran Casket, mid-1st century CE, British Museum.
Māyā miraculously giving birth to Siddhārtha. Sanskrit, palm-leaf manuscript. Nālandā, Bihar, India. Pāla period
The legendary Jataka collections depict the Buddha-to-be in a previous life prostrating before the past Buddha Dipankara, making a resolve to be a Buddha, and receiving a prediction of future Buddhahood.
Map showing Lumbini and other major Buddhist sites in India. Lumbini (present-day Nepal), is the birthplace of the Buddha, and is a holy place also for many non-Buddhists.
The Lumbini pillar contains an inscription stating that this is the Buddha's birthplace
The "Great Departure" of Siddhartha Gautama, surrounded by a halo, he is accompanied by numerous guards and devata who have come to pay homage; Gandhara, Kushan period
Prince Siddhartha shaves his hair and becomes a sramana. Borobudur, 8th century
The gilded "Emaciated Buddha statue" in Wat Suthat in Bangkok representing the stage of his asceticism
The Mahabodhi Tree at the Sri Mahabodhi Temple in Bodh Gaya
The Enlightenment Throne of the Buddha at Bodh Gaya, as recreated by Emperor Ashoka in the 3rd century BCE.
Miracle of the Buddha walking on the River Nairañjanā. The Buddha is not visible (aniconism), only represented by a path on the water, and his empty throne bottom right. Sanchi.
Dhamek Stupa in Sarnath, India, site of the first teaching of the Buddha in which he taught the Four Noble Truths to his first five disciples
The chief disciples of the Buddha, Mogallana (chief in psychic power) and Sariputta (chief in wisdom).
The remains of a section of Jetavana Monastery, just outside of ancient Savatthi, in Uttar Pradesh.
Mahāprajāpatī, the first bhikkuni and Buddha's stepmother, ordains
This East Javanese relief depicts the Buddha in his final days, and Ānanda, his chief attendant.
Mahaparinirvana, Gandhara, 3rd or 4th century CE, gray schist
Mahaparinibbana scene, from the Ajanta caves
Buddha's cremation stupa, Kushinagar (Kushinara).
Piprahwa vase with relics of the Buddha. The inscription reads: ...salilanidhane Budhasa Bhagavate... (Brahmi script: ...𑀲𑀮𑀺𑀮𑀦𑀺𑀥𑀸𑀦𑁂 𑀩𑀼𑀥𑀲 𑀪𑀕𑀯𑀢𑁂...) "Relics of the Buddha Lord".
The Bodhisattva meets with Alara Kalama, Borobudur relief.
Gandharan Buddhist birchbark scroll fragments
Buddha meets a Brahmin, at the Indian Museum, Kolkata
Schist Buddha statue with the famed Ye Dharma Hetu dhāraṇī around the head, which was used as a common summary of Dependent Origination. It states: "Of those experiences that arise from a cause, The Tathāgata has said: 'this is their cause, And this is their cessation': This is what the Great Śramaṇa teaches."
Gandharan sculpture depicting the Buddha in the full lotus seated meditation posture, 2nd-3rd century CE
Buddha Statues from Gal Vihara. The Early Buddhist texts also mention meditation practice while standing and lying down.
The Buddha on a coin of Kushan ruler Kanishka I, c. 130 CE.
Buddhist monks from Nepal. According to the earliest sources, the Buddha looked like a typical shaved man from northeast India.
Buddha depicted as the 9th avatar of god Vishnu in a traditional Hindu representation
Christ and Buddha by Paul Ranson, 1880
A Royal Couple Visits the Buddha, from railing of the Bharhut Stupa, Shunga dynasty, early 2nd century BC.
Adoration of the Diamond Throne and the Bodhi Tree, Bharhut.
Descent of the Buddha from the Trayastrimsa Heaven, Sanchi Stupa No. 1.
The Buddha's Miracle at Kapilavastu, Sanchi Stupa 1.
Bimbisara visiting the Buddha (represented as empty throne) at the Bamboo garden in Rajagriha
The great departure with riderless horse, Amaravati, 2nd century CE.
The Assault of Mara, Amaravati, 2nd century CE.
Isapur Buddha, one of the earliest physical depictions of the Buddha, c. 15 CE.<ref>{{cite book |last1=Quintanilla |first1=Sonya Rhie |title=History of Early Stone Sculpture at Mathura: Ca. 150 BCE – 100 CE |date=2007 |publisher=BRILL |isbn=9789004155374 |pages=199–206, 204 for the exact date |url=https://books.google.com/books?id=X7Cb8IkZVSMC&pg=PA204}}</ref> Art of Mathura
The Buddha attended by Indra at Indrasala Cave, Mathura 50-100 CE.
Buddha Preaching in Tushita Heaven. Amaravati, Satavahana period, 2d century CE. Indian Museum, Calcutta.
Standing Buddha from Gandhara.
Gandharan Buddha with Vajrapani-Herakles.
Kushan period Buddha Triad.
Buddha statue from Sanchi.
Birth of the Buddha, Kushan dynasty, late 2nd to early 3rd century CE.
The Infant Buddha Taking A Bath, Gandhara 2nd century CE.
6th century Gandharan Buddha.
Buddha at Cave No. 6, Ajanta Caves.
Standing Buddha, c. 5th Century CE.
Sarnath standing Buddha, 5th century CE.
Seated Buddha, Gupta period.
Seated Buddha at Gal Vihara, Sri Lanka.
Chinese Stele with Sakyamuni and Bodhisattvas, Wei period, 536 CE.
The Shakyamuni Daibutsu Bronze, c. 609, Nara, Japan.
Amaravati style Buddha of Srivijaya period, Palembang, Indonesia, 7th century.
Korean Seokguram Cave Buddha, c. 774 CE.
Seated Buddha Vairocana flanked by Avalokiteshvara and Vajrapani of Mendut temple, Central Java, Indonesia, early 9th century.
Buddha in the exposed stupa of Borobudur mandala, Central Java, Indonesia, c. 825.
Vairocana Buddha of Srivijaya style, Southern Thailand, 9th century.
Seated Buddha, Japan, Heian period, 9th-10th century.
Attack of Mara, 10th century, Dunhuang.
Cambodian Buddha with Mucalinda Nāga, c. 1100 CE, Banteay Chhmar, Cambodia
15th century Sukhothai Buddha.
15th century Sukhothai Walking Buddha.
Sakyamuni, Lao Tzu, and Confucius, c. from 1368 until 1644.
Chinese depiction of Shakyamuni, 1600.
Shakyamuni Buddha with Avadana Legend Scenes, Tibetan, 19th century
Golden Thai Buddha statue, Bodh Gaya.
Gautama statue, Shanyuan Temple, Liaoning Province, China.
Burmese style Buddha, Shwedagon pagoda, Yangon.
Large Gautama Buddha statue in Buddha Park of Ravangla.

Leading a life of begging, asceticism, and meditation, he attained enlightenment at Bodh Gaya.

MN 26 and MĀ 204 continue with the Buddha reaching the Deer Park (Sarnath) (Mrigadāva, also called Rishipatana, "site where the ashes of the ascetics fell") near Vārānasī, where he met the group of five ascetics and was able to convince them that he had indeed reached full awakening.