using the arrow buttons.
by clicking on the page.
the page around when zoomed in by dragging it.
the zoom using the slider when zoomed-in.
by clicking on the zoomed-in page.
by entering text in the search field, and select "This Issue" or "All Issues"
by clicking on thumbnails to select pages, and then press the print button.
displays sections with thumbnails and descriptions.
displays a slider of thumbnails. Click on a page to jump.
allows you to browse the full archive.
about your subscription?
Buddhadharma : Summer 2010
35 summer 2 01 0 buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly The ancient holy sites in India and throughout the Hima- layan region have been blessed again and again by bud- dhas and bodhisattvas throughout the ages, and have been visited by millions of pilgrims; this is what makes them so vibrantly alive and profoundly affecting. These holy sites have not been organized or controlled by anyone. No one is choreographing a “holy site experience” and there’s no seri- ous exploitation, which means that, so far, they are free from any trace of a Disneyland mentality. It’s still possible to sit by the River Ganges in the afternoon to watch the cremation cer- emonies, smell burning human flesh, and be enthralled by the continuous round of Vedic chanting, as if nothing has changed for three thousand years. Generally speaking, the environment we inhabit affects the way we think and the way we look at our surroundings. It’s worth remembering that, of all the billions of planets Shakyamuni Buddha could have been born on, he chose ours; and of the hundreds of countries that make up our world, he chose ancient India; and of all the places he could have attained enlightenment, he chose the Indian state of Bihar. At first glance, Bihar doesn’t appear to be either serene or spir- itual—quite the opposite. But once you arrive at Bodhgaya, for example, and especially when you enter the inner circle, you can immediately feel that it’s really a very special place. Or Vulture’s Peak, which is so tiny that you can walk past it in ten paces and when looked at through the eyes of a real estate developer is a social desert, yet it’s where Lord Buddha gave some of his important teachings to hundreds of monks, arhats, and bodhisattvas. Just before the Buddha passed into parinirvana, his close disciples asked him, “As Buddhists, what should we tell the world about you?” Buddha then gave them a great deal of advice, including four specific pieces of information for the benefit of his own students as well as all sentient beings. “You must tell the world that an ordinary person, Sid- dhartha, came to this Earth, achieved enlightenment, taught the path to enlightenment, and didn’t become immortal but passed into parinirvana.” To put it another way, he taught: Although sentient beings are defiled and therefore ordinary, we all have buddhanature; Our defilements are temporary rather than our ultimate nature, and are therefore removable—as a result we can become buddhas; There is a path that shows us how to remove our defilements and attain enlightenment; and By following this path we will attain liberation from all extremes. The Buddha’s teachings offer a variety of methods to help us remember these four statements, from chanting mantras to elaborate meditation practices. Remembering these teachings and putting them into practice is the backbone of the Buddhist path, and one of the traditional methods that help us do this is the practice of pilgrimage. Many spiritual traditions encourage their followers to go on pilgrimage. Since Shakyamuni Buddha is the supreme teacher in whom all Buddhists take refuge and whose teachings we do our best to follow, for us the most significant holy places are those where he taught and acted for the benefit of sentient Dzongsar Khyentse rinpoche was born in Bhutan and recognized as the main incarnation of the Khyentse lineage of tibetan Buddhism. he supervises his traditional seat of Dzongsar Monastery and its retreat centers in eastern tibet, as well as his new colleges in india and Bhutan, and has established centers in australia, north america, and the Far east. he is the author of What Makes You Not a Buddhist. this article is adapted from his new pdf book, What to do at India’s Buddhist Holy Sites, published by siddhartha’s intent, available at siddharthasintent.org. Jamesratcliffeclaudiachender (Opposite) A stone carving of the Buddha’s footprints near Mahabodhi Temple in Bodhgaya dzongsar Khyentse rinpoche explains how to get the most out of your spiritual journey to India, from generating proper motivation to the most effective practices for accumulating merit and wisdom while visiting Buddhism’s holiest sites.