May 18, 2010
ANCIENT BUDDHIST MONASTERIES OF INDIA
IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF THE BUDDHA
Author and teacher Stephen Batchelor and expert guide Shantum Seth will be leading a four-week pilgrimage through India, visiting ancient Buddhist temples and monasteries and the historic sites connected to the Buddha. In each place Stephen will lead periods of meditation and give talks on discourses from the Pali canon, Pilgrims can join either the entire monthlong journey or one of the two-week, self-contained modules.
1. Ancient Buddhist Monasteries of India (Jan 10 – Jan 24)
This new and unusual journey will include some of the major sites where Buddhism flourished in India from the 3rd Century BCE to the 10th Century AD. We will begin at the sublime stupa of Sanchi then head southwest to Aurangabad to explore Ajanta, Ellora and Pitalikora. From here we continue to Nasik, then on to Pune and Mumbai to visit the rock-cut temples of Kanheri, Karla and Bhaja. From Mumbai we fly to Lalitagiri, Udaigiri and Ratnagiri in Orissa. The pilgrimage will culminate with the recently discovered monastic sites near Vishakapatnam in Andhra Pradesh. The experience of being in these remarkable sites enables one to recover a sense of those forgotten communities who lived and practiced in them up to two thousand years ago.
2. In the Footsteps of the Buddha (Jan 25 - Feb. 7)
This classical pilgrimage will take us to the places in North India where Siddhattha Gotama, the historical Buddha, lived and taught in the 5th century BCE. We will begin the journey in Sarnath, near Benares, where the Buddha delivered his first sermon, then proceed to Bodh Gaya, the site of his awakening, Nalanda, Rajgir, Vaishali, Kushinagar, the site of his death, Kapilavastu, where he was raised as a young man, and Sravasti where he spent 24 rain retreats. As we continue on this journey, we will seek to uncover the historical world in which the Buddha lived, and restore a sense of who this extraordinary man was.
For the entire information and registration packet please click HERE.
Image: ©Craig Morton