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2/12/2011鹿野苑 Sarnath --【遗迹公园、考古学博物馆】釋迦佛初转法轮处(Place of the Buddha’s First Sermon)

Then I, walking on tour, in time arrived in Benares, at Isipatana, the Deer Park,
and there met the five monks.

Asoka’s Pillar

Originally over 12 meters high and crowned with the magnificent lion capital now in the museum, Asoka’s pillar was a most fitting monument to the important event that took place nearby.
The inscription reads, minus the first two lines, which are fragmentary: ‘…. The Sangha cannot be splits. Whoever, whether monk or nun, splits the Sangha must be made to wear white clothes and live somewhere other than in the monastery……’
This edict may well have been issued by Asoka just after the Third Council during which, tradition says, schismatic monks and nuns were expelled from the Sangha. The same edict with minor differences is to be found on pillars in Sanchi and Allahabad. When discovered in 1904, the broken shaft of the pillar still stood in its original position, indicating that it was not shattered by falling over but rather by being hit with a tremendous force, perhaps the spire of the Mulagandhakuti collapsing on it.

Mulagandhakuti

This shrine was built at the site of the original hut in which the Buddha resided during his stay in Sarnath, hence its name, ‘The Original Fragrant Hut.’ In later centuries it evolved into a huge structure. Huien Tsiang saw it and described it thus: ‘In the great enclosure is a temple about 200 feet high; above the roof is a golden-covered figure of a mango. The foundations of the building are of stone, and stairs also, but the towers and niches are of brick. The niches are arranged on the four sides in a hundred successive lines, and in each niche is a golden figure of the Buddha. In the middle of the temple is a figure of the Buddha made of copper. It is life-size, and he is represented as turning the wheel of the Dhamma.’
Among the small votive stupas close to the west side of the Mulagandhakuti was found a fragment of a stone umbrella with part of the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta inscribed on it. It reads:
‘There are, O monks, these Four Noble Truths. What four? The Noble Truth of suffering, the Noble Truth of the cause of suffering, and the Noble Truth of the cessation of suffering, and the Noble Truth of the path leading to the cessation of suffering.’
The inscription, which dates from about the 3rd century CE, is written in Pali and indicates that the Pali Tipitaka was known and used in Sarnath at that time. This interesting inscription is now displayed in the museum.

Dharmek Stupa
It marks the site of the teaching of te Buddha’s second discourse, the Anattalakkhana Sutta.
Cunningham spent three years from 1834 excavating inside the Dharmek Stupa. He started digging a shaft from the top down and later linked it up to a tunnel he dug inwards from the top of the stonework. He discovered that the stupa was solid stone from the ground level up to 10 meters and that every stone was held together with at least eight iron clamps. But months of laborious digging and a cost of more than 500 Rupees yielded not a single relic. The Dharmek Stupa was first built during the Mauryan period, although the stone facing that the pilgrm can see today dates from the Gupta period.

Note: information extracted from ‘Middle Land Middle Way’ by Ven. S. Dhammika.

30/11/2011: 从博帕爾(BHOPAL) 乘坐印度最高級的火车[NDLS SHATABDI ] 往阿格拉(AGRA); 1/12/2011 :早上参观泰姬陵(TAJ MAHAL), 下午参观阿格拉古堡 (AGRA FORT)

The Taj Mahal, from Persian/Urdu: تاج محل "crown of palaces", pronounced [ˈt̪aːdʒ mɛˈɦɛl]; also "the Taj"[2]) is a white Marble mausoleum located in Agra, India. It was built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal. The Taj Mahal is widely recognized as "the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world's heritage."[3]

Agra Fort, is a monument, (Urdu: آگرہ قلعہ) is a UNESCO World Heritage site located in Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India. It is about 2.5 km northwest of its more famous sister monument, the Taj Mahal. The fort can be more accurately described as a walled city. After Panipat, Mughals captured the fort and a vast treasure - which included a diamond that was later named as the Koh-i-Noor diamond - was seized. Babur stayed in the fort in the palace of Ibrahim. He built a baoli (step well) in it. Humayun was crowned here in 1530. Humayun was defeated in Bilgram in 1540. Sher Shah held the fort for five years. The Mughals defeated the Afghans finally at Panipat in 1556.
Realizing the importance of its central situation, Akbar made it his capital and arrived in Agra in 1558. His historian, Abdul Fazal, recorded that this was a brick fort known as 'Badalgarh' . It was in a ruined condition and Akbar had it rebuilt with red sandstone from Barauli area in Rajasthan. Architects laid the foundation and it was built with bricks in the inner core with sandstone on external surfaces. Builders worked on it for eight years, completing it in 1573.
It was only during the reign of Akbar's grandson, Shah Jahan, that the site took on its current state. The legend is that Shah Jahan built the beautiful Taj Mahal for his wife, Mumtaz Mahal. Unlike his grandfather, Shah Jahan tended to have buildings made from white marble, often inlaid with gold or semi-precious gems. He destroyed some of the earlier buildings inside the fort in order to make his own.
At the end of his life, Shah Jahan was imprisoned by his son, Aurangzeb, in the fort. It is rumored that Shah Jahan died in Musamman Burj, a tower with a marble balcony with a view of the Taj Mahal.
The fort was the site of a battle during the Indian rebellion of 1857, which caused the end of the British East India Company's rule in India, and led to a century of direct rule of India by Britain.

29/11/2011 参觀桑奇大塔 (阿育王建的SANCHI STUPA)

Sanchi is a small village in Raisen District of the state of Madhya Pradesh, India, it is located 46 km north east of Bhopal, and 10 km from Besnagar and Vidisha in the central part of the state of Madhya Pradesh. It is the location of several Buddhist monuments dating from the 3rd century BCE to the 12th century CE and is one of the important places of Buddhist pilgrimage. It is a nagar panchayat in Raisen district in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. Toranas surround the Stupa and they each represent love, peace, trust, and courage.
The 'Great Stupa' at Sanchi is the oldest stone structure in India[1] and was originally commissioned by the emperor Ashoka the Great in the 3rd century BCE. Its nucleus was a simple hemispherical brick structure built over the relics of the Buddha. It was crowned by the chatra, a parasol-like structure symbolising high rank, which was intended to honour and shelter the relics. It has four profusely carved ornamental gateways and a balustrade encircling the whole structure.[2]

28/11/2011 埃洛拉石窟 Ellora Caves (UNESCO World Heritage Sites); 晚間从奧蘭加巴德(AUGANGABAD)往博帕爾(BHOPAL) 途中,在有冷气的旅行巴士上睡覺

Ellora is an archaeological site, 30 km (19 mi) from the city of Aurangabad in the Indian state of Maharashtra built by the Rashtrakuta dynasty. Well-known for its monumental caves, Ellora is a World Heritage Site.[1] Ellora represents the epitome of Indian rock-cut architecture. The 34 "caves" – actually structures excavated out of the vertical face of the Charanandri hills. Buddhist, Hindu and Jain rock-cut temples and viharas and mathas were built between the 5th century and 10th century. The 12 Buddhist (caves 1–12), 17 Hindu (caves 13–29) and 5 Jain (caves 30–34) caves, built in proximity, demonstrate the religious harmony prevalent during this period of Indian history.[2]

26/11/2011:晚間从孟買往奧蘭加巴德(MUMBAI – AUGANGABAD) 在有冷气的旅行巴士上睡覺; 27/11/2011 - 阿旃陀石窟Ajanta Caves (UNESCO World Heritage Sites)

第一天【11月26日】:抵達孟買(MUMBAI),晚間从孟買往奧蘭加巴德(MUMBAI – AUGANGABAD)途中,在有冷气的旅行巴士上睡覺。
第二天【11月27日】:早上抵達奧蘭加巴德(AUGANGABAD),下榻旅館。下午参觀阿旃陀石窟(AJANTA CAVE) 。在奧蘭加巴德(AUGANGABAD)旅館住宿一晚。

阿旃陀石窟Ajanta Caves (UNESCO World Heritage Sites)

The Ajanta Caves in Aurangabad district of Maharashtra, India are 29 rock-cut cave monuments which date from the 2nd century BCE. The caves include paintings and sculptures considered to be masterpieces of both Buddhist religious art (which depict the Jataka tales)[1] as well as frescos which are reminiscent of the Sigiriya paintings in Sri Lanka. The caves were built in two phases starting around 200 BCE, with the second group of caves built around 600 CE.
Since 1983, the Ajanta Caves have been a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The caves are located in the Indian state of Maharashtra, near Jalgaon, just outside the village of Ajinṭhā( 20°31′56″N 75°44′44″E20.53222°N 75.74556°E). Caves are only about 59 kilometers from Jalgaon Railway station (on Delhi - Mumbai, Rail line of the Central railways, India); and 104 kilometers from Aurangabad (from Ellora Caves 100 Kilometers).

India Pilgrimage Photos 2011

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