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Visiting the Holy Sites of Sarnath

Sarnath is one of the four most holy sites in the world and is located in the north east of Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, India. According to Buddhist tradition, Sarnath is the place where Buddha gave his first preaching to five monks (Pañcavaggiya ) and the place where he taught about Dharma. Specifically, Buddha gave his first preaching in Deer Park located in Sarnath and started “Wheel of Dharma”.

Here the Buddha delivered his first discourse, the Dhammacakka Pavattana Sutta (Setting the Wheel of Dhamma in Motion), which explains the four noble truths and the noble eightfold path. It was also in Sarnath that the Buddha appointed his first group of disciples (sangha) to propagate his new teaching. Among the most notable monuments at Sarnath are the Dhamek Stupa, originally built by Ashoka, and the Ashoka Pillar, whose inscription points out the necessity of unity within the sangha. The ruins of various stupas and monasteries at Sarnath bear witness to of the monastic tradition that flourished here for over 1,500 years; among the new temples is the Mulaghandhakuti Vihara, built in 1922 by Anagarika Dharmapala. Today, hundreds of pilgrims visit the Vihara every evening to chant the Dhammacakka Pavattana Sutta, acknowledging with their voices the wisdom and compassion that began to emanate from Sarnath with the Buddha’s first sermon.

Lord Buddha preached about Four Noble TruthNoble Eightfold Path (middle way), and various Suttas . The Four Noble Truths are: there is Suffering, Cause of Suffering, End of Suffering, and Eightfold Path to end the suffering.

The Noble Eight-Fold Path is Right View, Right Intention, Right Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood, Right Effort, Right Mindfulness, and Right Concentration

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