A tradition focusing on personal spiritual development, Buddhists do not worship Gods but seek enlightenment following the truths told by the Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama, who lived in the sixth century BC.
The birthplace of the Buddha is subject to some debate, with sites in India and Nepal to be the place of his birth. I wonder what the Buddha would make of that. Bodhgaya in modern day Bihar is said to be where the Buddha gained Enlightment, at a deer park in Sarnath, 12 miles from Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, is where the Buddha gave his first teaching (Dharma) and at Kushinagar, also in Uttar Pradesh, is where the Buddha passed away.
Approximately 84 lakhs (8.4 million) Buddhist reside in India who makesup 0.7% of Indian Population. According to the Indian Census most of India’s Buddhists are Dalits, who converted from Hinduism due to discrimination in the Hindu Caste System. Buddhist are concentrated in state of Maharashtra which makes 75% of total Buddhist Population and 6% of total Maharashtra Population.
Places of worship
Karmapa International Buddhist Institute, South Delhi, promotes basic Buddhist learnings and teaches the wisdom of the Buddha. There are public courses, academic courses. The founder and chairman of KIBI H.H. the 14th Kunzig Shamar Rinpoche (27.10.1952-11.06.2014), the 14th Shamar Rinpoche, who was the senior lineage holder of the Karma Kagyud lineage. For information at the KIBI website.
The World Buddhist Centre is an international non-sectarian Buddhist temple founded in 1996 under the direction of Venerable Nakamura Gyomyo. A temple provides a public place for quiet reflection and prayer where everyone is welcome. Located at D – 137, East Of Kailash, Near Sapna Cinema Hall. World Buddhist Centre website for more information.
Mahabodhi Society of India, located on Mandir Marg, central Delhi, offer pilgrims a place for reflection with group puja, meditations, early morning and evening. For timings and more information visit the website.
Majnu-ka-tilla , a Tibeten colony, in north Delhi on the western bank of the Yamuna river (near to ISBT Kashmeri Gate) is home to thousands of Tibeten Refugees who were allotted the land in 1960 following the Tibetan uprising in 1959. The colony, officially known as New Aruna Nagar Colony, remains unauthorised. It is home to a small monastery and a temple.
To learn more about Buddism click on the overview provided by the BBC.
Photo Credit: KIBI