The Four Noble Inter-Truths
Thich Nhat Hanh at Sarnath, October 21-22, 2008
No fewer than 50 monks and nuns from Plum Village, and another 50 more monks from the local Tibetan Institute, as well as 200 lay members of his delegation, and other lucky onlookers sat on the landscaped lawn opposite the imposing Dhamek Stupa in Sarnath to hear Thich Nhat Hanh (Thay) speak about the Four Noble Truths. Over 100 feet high and delicately carved with geometrical and floral patterns, the stupa marks the area where the Buddha gave his first sermon, not coincidentally, on the Four Noble Truths.
The Dhamek Stupa has special significance to modern Buddhism as it is the site where in 1835 British archeologist Alexander Cunningham had his hunch confirmed Sarnath was a significant place in the life of the mysterious "Booda," and proceeded to uncover the many sites of Buddhaland and their significance. Built in the spot of many earlier constructions as excavations reveal ancient brickwork, the stupa was partially destroyed by Moslems in 1194, and when workmen were removing more stone from it in 1794 they broke into a casket later discovered to have contained remnants of the Buddha's remains.