are eight places related to Buddha Life which are described as Atthamahathanani
or eight incidents of Buddha Life, as shown on one of the stone
slabs in the National Museum in Sarnath.
Four Sacred Places related to Gotama Buddha
"Ananda, there are four places the sight of which
will arouse strong emotion in those with faith - Which are they?
"Here the Tathagata was born" this is the first. "Here the
Tathagata attained the supreme enlightenment" – this is the second.
"Here the Tathagata set in motion the Wheel of the Dhamma" – this is
the third. "Here the Tathagata attained final Nirvana without
remainder" – this is the fourth. And the monk, the nun, the layman
or the laywoman who has faith should visit these places. And anyone who dies
while making a pilgrimage to these shrines with a devoted heart will, at the
breaking up of the body at death, be reborn in heaven."
Four sacred places for Buddhist Pilgrims usually visit at Majjhimadesa
(Middle-Land of Buddha Places) that are directly associated with Gotama Buddha
as mentioned above are:
(1) Lumbini: the
birth place of Gotama Siddhartha at Lumbini, Nepal. On the full moon day of
Kason (May or Vesaka) in the year 563 BCE, a noble prince, the Bodhisattva, was
born at this place in the Lumbini Garden Park, 16 kilometre from the Sakya city
of Kapilavattu. Emerging from the bath,
with her face looking to the east, she lean her right arm on the In-ginn
tree. The prince was born to from her
right side and immediately took seven steps in each of the four directions. In
each direction, the newly born prince Siddhartha proclaimed as, by holding his
right hand with pointing index finger upwards, with a lion’s roar: “I am the
highest in the world; I am the Foremost, the best of all beings; this is my
(2)Bodh Gaya: the
place (Mahabodhi ceti and Mahabodhi Tree and related places) for attainment of
enlightenment by Gotama Buddha that is situated in Bihar, India. Bodh Gaya or
Buddha Gaya is located at 115 km south of Patna, the capital city of Bihar,
India, and is one of the most sacred places for Buddhists and millions of
people from all over the world visited this place every year since it is the
only place where Sakyamuni or Shakyamuni (“sage of the Shakyas”) could
have become a Buddha. The Modern village of Buddha Gaya on the bank of the
Lilajan (ancient Neranjara) has grown up around the ancient Pipal tree and its
surrounding, Sambodhi, the holiest of the holy spots near the ancient village
of Uruvelā. Sambodhi later on became Mahabodhi, by which name the entire
Buddhist establishment came to be designated in later times.
(3) Migadawon: is a
place where Gautama gave his First Sermon - "Dhammacakkappavattana
Sutta" which is commonly known as "The Great Discourse on the Wheel
of Dhamma", to his five old friends, viz., Kondanna (Kondajja), Bhaddiya,
Vappa, Mahanama and Assaji. It is situated at Isipattana Migadaya (the deer
park of Sarnath) near Kashi (Varanasi), where Buddha transformed and accepted
them as his fist five disciples (Bhikkhus).
Soon after, the Buddha converted 55 noble men, including the merchant
Yasha and his relatives, who became bhikkus.
Migadawon is the place where the Buddha initiated the order of Bhikkhus,
Sangha Yadana as one of the triple gems.
(4) Kushinagar: the
place where Gotama Buddha had entered Maha Parinibbana at Kushinagar, UP State,
India. When Gotama Buddha before his entry to Parinirvana in Kushinagar, had spoken
his last words and closed his eyes, those who were not yet enlightened wept and
cried, the earth trembled, and the Sal trees blossomed and fall like rain. For
the next six days, the Malla Kings of Kushinagar prepared for the funeral rites
under the direction of Ashin Aniruddha. The last cremation rite was performed
at the presence of Ashin Mahakasyapa, the most celebrated disciple of Buddha.
The relics and ashes were collected and distributed to the representatives of
the Kingdoms presented at the ceremony. Mallas Kings also erected a stupa at
the place for the cremation of Buddha.
Four Other Sacred Places related to all Buddhas
Four other sacred
places that are associated with previous and present Buddhas and are also
linked with the great miracles performed by Gotama Buddha are:
(a) Sravasti (Savatthi):
where Gotama Buddha took his seat on a thousand petalled lotuses and created
multiple representations of himself and the conversion of Angulimala, the
robber and murderer, who killed so many people, and also a place where not only
Gotama Buddha but also all previous Buddhas and future Buddhas have to stay for
the longest years of retreats. Sravasti in modern day is called Saheth-Maheth,
near Balrampur in Sravasti District; abut 134 km north-west of Lucknow, the
capital of UP State in India. The Jetavana Park where Buddha had spent longest
years of his life had been maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India
(ASI). There are two oldest Myanmar Buddhist Viharas, one (called as Daw Dwe
Zayat) is no more used by Myanmar pilgrims, and another one being inside in the
archaeological sites have been agreed to keep as it was as a guest house and
maintained by Myanmar monk. A new Myanmar Buddhist Vihara has been constructed
(b)Sankisa (Sankasya): where Gotama Buddha, after spending the
seventh retreat and preached the Dhamma (Abhidhamma) to his mother and other
gods at Tusita (Tushita), descended to earth accompanied by the Brahma and
Indra. It is about 300 km south-east of New Delhi, and about 30 km east from
Bewa Town on Delhi-Kanpur Road, in UP State, India. There is a ruined stupa
with Ashoka’s pillar which has an elephant on top. A newly constructed Myanmar
Buddhist Vihara is situated about 5 km from the stupa maintained now by the
(c) Rajagriha (Rajgir): the capital of King Bimbisara where
Gotama Buddha spent second longest retreats (over 10 times), and also tamed the
wild and mad elephant. Present day Rajgir was a small town with many ruins
maintained by the ASI. One of the oldest Myanmar Buddhist Vihara (established
in 1936) was situated inside main city compound of Rajgir.
(d)Vesali (Vaishali): a capital of Lichchhavi, one of the first
republican states in the world, where a monkey offered honey to Gotama Buddha,
and also a place where the Lord accepted the Bikkhunis. Vesali is about 60 km
north of Patna, present day capital of Bihar State, India. A new Myanmar
Buddhist Vihara is partially built at Vesali, and pilgrims can stop over and
having lunches, dinners, or snacks at this Vihara on their way from Patna to
Kushinagar or vice-versa.