“All conditioned things are impermanent. Strive on with diligence ( for your liberation)” Last words of Buddha.
Namo Tassa Bhagavato Arahato Sama Sambuddhassa
Kushinagar is one of the most important places for anyone on the path of Enlightenment following footsteps of Buddha. The best way for a backpacker to go to Kushinagar is to take a bus from Gorakhpur. It is in the state of Uttar Pradesh in India and touches Bihar. Remember you can go to Lumbini from Gorakhpur. Kushinagar is a very small place and about 2 hrs by bus from Gorakhpur. This is from my trip which I took sometime back.
Buddha while travelling with his retinue of monks had stayed at the hut of a lay disciple Citta ( not to be confused with more famous other lay disciple Citta). Buddha had mushrooms which were not cooked properly and caused dysentery which resulted in his health deteriorating and Buddha experiencing Parinirvana.
Parinirvana temple above…Actually Buddha had already predicted and decided his place for PARINIRVANA. PARINIRVANA is the final nibbana which Buddha experienced when he left his body and left the 33 planes of existence in this universe.Buddha never said what would happen to someone who experiences Nibbana after he leaves his body since it is an experiential experience and therefore cannot be experienced.
There are a number of monasteries close to the main stupa where Buddha’s relics are preserved. I had stayed in a Chinese monastery and I really liked the experience. The place was very neat, clean and very moderately priced. There was a handsome monk and a Bhikkhuni who did their own rituals early morning and it was nice to get a Chinese perspective on Buddha.
There are two most important events in Buddha’s life, one the last food Buddha partook before he became Enlightened… which is Kheer offered by Sujata in Bodhgaya and the last food which is Mushroom offered by Citta before Lord Buddha too Parinirvana.
There is also another stupa known as Ramabhar Stupa near the Parinirvana Temple and you can take a rickshaw to travel to the stupa or you can walk down there.
There are a number of monasteries as you walk to Ramabhar Stupa incl. Wat Thai Monastery ( left pic) and Indo Indo-Japan-Srilanka Temple along the way.
Also there is a small landmark where Buddha’s relics were divided by The Mallas and distributed among the major kings present at that point of time. The tree under which Buddha’s relics were distributed about 2500 years ago.
There is also the place which is a bit far off where Buddha supposedly took his last supper. You will have to catch bus or arrange for taxi to travel to that place which is amidst a village. Kushinagar is also a holy place for Jain who follow Mahavira.
Pic: Last words of Buddha. Buddha till the very end preached the concept of impermanence i.e annica core to Buddha’s teaching and urged disciples for liberation. Its very sad so many schools have come up in Buddhism and the core of Buddha’s teachings have been twisted.
I am very thankful that I attended my first Vipassana course in 2003 and came in contact with teachings of Buddha through Guru Goenkaji. I started reading words of Lord Buddha seriously in 2013 ( although I had done my first Vipassana course in 2003 and got introduced to teachings of Buddha and started reading on Buddha, I seriously started reading books on Buddha from 2013) which inspired and complemented by Mindfulness meditation or self awareness. I am fortunate to have been born with above average IQ, keen scientific inquisition and a thirst to know the truth. I have lived endless lives of saints, kings, philosophers, explorers, monks and scientists and have been able to map some of my most important births. I am very correct in my thinking that I follow Buddha, I will only follow Buddha and his words and monks or gurus who preach his words and prescribe to his path to Liberation. Time is too short, I have taken many steps towards liberation in my previous births, few in this birth, so why WASTE time on philosophies which are of no use. Buddha had said something which no one ever spoke again, he said do not blindly follow me, experience yourself and then believe. Buddha and the path of Liberation is not a philosophy or theoretical , the path to liberation is not through reading books but through Mindful meditation (self realization or self awareness), strict follow of precepts and living a moral life. Reading is very important to understand what Buddha said but his path to liberation is most important. The experiential path…Choose the path which helps you best because if you play an intellectual game on Buddha’s path then you would end up really miserable and defeat the very purpose of walking on this path..which is to come out of your impurities i.e. mental impurities. (On right tree under which Buddha’s relic were distributed).
With this I come to an end of my journey of four most important spiritual places. Thanks for following my blog…
I hope I was able to share as much information as I could with people out there who would like to travel to places of Buddha. Keep reading and please buy my book when it comes out so I could earn some money… I hope you enjoyed reading as much as I enjoyed writing..writing Mindfully with awareness to tell the truth I tired…Keep trying and so shall you succeed…
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