Because our region of India is rich in the heritage of Buddhism – with many holy places where the Buddha and his disciples resided, meditated, and taught – Root Institute offers an array of pilgrimages to these sites throughout our spiritual season.
Our pilgrimages are designed to facilitate an "inner spiritual journey" – with opportunities to practice, connect, and revive one's inspiration from places in the outer environment blessed through the realisations of accomplished beings over millenia.
The beauty of such pilgrimages is that everything is organised for you; free of practical hassles, you can relax and enjoy the time and space to receive blessings and inspiration from holy places with the company and support of warm-hearted, like-minded people.
Just once every two years we will set off on a spiritual adventure, tracing the steps of the Buddha on a 10-day pilgrimage ending at Root Institute and the Mahabodhi Stupa in Bodhgaya.
The first of these ran from the 1st to 10th of January, 2018 – 30th Anniversary Pilgrimage – PDF.
This will follow virtually the same itinerary, as follows:
The journey begins: wonders of Delhi – including the National Museum which houses the Sacred Relics of Buddha
Varanasi – considered the spiritual gateway of India and one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world
Sarnath – where the Buddha taught the Four Noble Truths, his first teachings after attaining enlightenment
Sravasti – where the Buddha spent many rainy seasons retreats teaching his disciples
Kushinagar – where the Buddha attained paranirvana after his death and where the long statue of reclining Buddha is housed
Vaishali – where 500 women were ordained by the Buddha
Nalanda Monastery – ancient ruins of what was for centuries the most renowned university in India and home to many great Buddhist scholars
Vulture's Peak mountain – most famous as the site of Lord Buddha's teaching of the Heart Sutra
Bodhgaya Mahabodhi Stupa – we complete our pilgrimage at the pure of land of Root Institute, from where we visit the Mahabodhi Stupa and finish with practices under the Bodhi tree.
This pilgrimage will be led by an experienced meditation leader integrating practices advised by Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche, spiritual director of FPMT and will raise money and awareness for Root Institute for Wisdom Culture.
As Lama Zopa Rinpoche, explains:
Normally when people go on pilgrimage, they are just like tourists; maybe they take some pictures, and that's it. They don't use the places to collect merit or to meditate or to get some benefit for their minds. If it's just like sightseeing, then it won't be that much benefit.
The point is to use the pilgrimage to purify our mind and collect as extensive merit as possible. By doing pilgrimage, we receive blessings from the holy places where enlightened beings, great yogis, and bodhisattvas, have practiced.