Mahabodhi Tree & Stupa: where the Buddha manifested enlightenment.
Vulture's Peak: where Buddha taught the Perfection of Wisdom Sutras turning the 2nd wheel of Dharma.
Mahakala Cave: said to be a place where Lord Buddha did ascetic practices.
Sujata: where Lord Buddha also did ascetic practices & was offered food before attaining enlightenment.
Gurupada Cave: renowned as the site of Asanga's 12-year retreat which led to his vision of Maitreya Buddha.
Nalanda: one of the earliest universities in the world, founded in the 5th century, where renowned Buddhist scholars such as Nagarjuna, Chandrakirti and Shantideva studied.
At each site the group will be given important information about the site and led into different meditations and practices relevant to the place. During the first day of the course there will be a Dharma talk: Being a pilgrim versus being a tourist.
Pilgrimage needs faith. More faith, more happiness. Otherwise, we are just like tourists looking at ruins. Pilgrimage is not just going to holy places and taking pictures. We go to holy places for blessing, so it's good to do practices at the different holy places.
Bodhgaya is not only the place where the Buddha showed the holy deed of achieving enlightenment under the bodhi tree but also where all the great pandits such as Nagarjuna and Asanga practiced and made so many prayers. Also many great enlightened beings and yogis from Tibet, China, Nepal and other countries came here and made many prayers to benefit us sentient beings so there would be unbelievable, unbelievable benefit for us to purify negative karma and accumulate merit as quickly as possible.
I think you are very fortunate to be able to come to Bodhgaya, where a thousand buddhas will descend, place their holy feet, display holy deeds, and achieve enlightenment. Guru Shakyamuni Buddha is the fourth of the thousand buddhas. The rest of the buddhas will descend here and will also display the twelve deeds, and the holy deed, achieving enlightenment.
Lama Zopa Rinpoche
|Tue 12 Nov||Introduction|
|2:00 pm||Welcome from Spiritual Programme Coordinator (SPC)|
Pilgrimage to seven sites of Mahabodhi Stupa complex, Bodhgaya
|Wed 13 Nov||Gurupada Cave|
|5:30 am||Pilgrimage to Gurupada (with take away breakfast)|
|2:00 pm||Lunch at Root Institute (please book at reception)|
|Thu 14 Nov||Mahakala Cave, Sujata & a surprise place with a very special person|
|8:00 am||Pilgrimage to Mahakala Cave & Sujata|
|12:30 pm||Lunch at Root Institute (please book at reception)|
|2:30 pm||Pilgrimage to a surprise place with a very special person|
|Fri 15 Nov||Vultures Peak, Rajgir and Nalanda Ruins|
|5:30 am||Depart (with take away breakfast)|
|12:30 pm||Lunch at Rajgir|
|1:30 pm||Pilgrimage to Nalanda University|
|6:00 pm||Dinner at Root Institute (please book at reception)|
|Sat 16 Nov||Local temples|
|9:00 am||Pilgrimage for local Buddhist temples|
|12:00 pm||Lunch at Root Institute (please book at reception)|
|2:00 pm||Visit to Root Institute's social projects|
Those interested in registering for one or all of the pilgrimages, kindly contact the SPC department between 10 am and 12 noon. Thank you.
Please note: This schedule is subject to change.
The span of our spiritual programme is approximately six months – the last few months of one year and the early months of the next – during the cooler season in Bodhgaya..
On the appropriate dates in the Tibetan calendar year-round, however, we observe the standard pujas of the Gelug tradition and these are drop-in sessions which anyone can attend. If you are in Bodhgaya and would like to come along, please feel welcome to join us for:
Unless otherwise indicated, registration is required for all events except:
If you wish to do a self-directed individual or group retreat separate from our spritual programme:
Root Institute is a delightful, semi-monastic meditation centre.
To maintain a conducive, spiritually harmonious atmosphere for inner reflection and meditation, we kindly ask all our students, guests and visitors to observe the following guidelines:
Respect all life: do not intentionally kill any living being, even small insects.
Respect others' property: do not steal or take anything not freely given.
Be honest and straightforward: do not lie or intentionally deceive others.
Be celibate: no sexual activity; this also includes no romantic holding hands, hugging, massages and other physical displays of affection.
Be alert and mindful*: avoid intoxicants such as alcohol, drugs and cigarettes; we encourage you to stop smoking while here, but if this is impossible, you can smoke outside the gates.
Be considerate of others' silence: keep silence in the appropriate areas and at all times during residential courses, especially in the meditation hall (gompa) and dormitories; no singing or playing music and, in general, maintain a quiet demeanour while on the property.
Be considerate of the monks and nuns: dress respectfully; please no shorts above the knee, tank-top shirts, or tight and revealing clothing.
Couples: can stay in the same room for two weeks or less under the celibacy policy.
Please be aware:
* The Bihar state government has passed laws totally prohibiting the sale and consumption of alcohol in the state, with very severe penalties! Please ensure that you do not carry any alcohol with you in Bihar.
Also, please note that those in service or teaching in FPMT centers and projects do not engage in the practice of Shugden and, due to our commitment to following His Holiness the Dalai Lama's advice and supporting his work, we do not share our materials and facilities with those who knowingly continue to practice Shugden against his advice.