Rajgir and Vulture Peak

BODHI ADMIN - Posted on February 26, 2020 - 2,844 Views

Rajgir was ancient Rajagaha during the time of the Buddha.  It was the capital of the kingdom of Magadha whose king was the fabled Bimbisara.  The city was also mentioned in the great Indian literature – the Mahabharata – and closely associated with the Buddha.

 

According to Buddhist tradition, when Prince Siddhartha renounced his worldly life, he became the ascetic Gautama and wandered North India in search of the Truth.  The ascetic came to Rajagaha where he met King Bimbisara who asked the ascetic to return after the ascetic found the Truth.

Later the Buddha returned to Rajagaha where He preached the Dharma to King Bimbisara and his people.  In gratitude, the King offered a park with a quiet bamboo grove (and thus named as Bamboo Grove) for the use by the Buddha and His disciples.  More stories of King Bimbisara can be found here: http://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/buddhism/lifebuddha/2_3lbud.htm

 

In the vicinity of Rajgir is the ruins of Nalanda – the great university that we covered in another post. Located in the town of Rajgir is the Nalanda University, a modern version that was established in 2010.

Another important spot in the vicinity of Rajgir is Vulture’s Peak.  Walking up the step to the peak, devotees can reflect on how the Vulture’s Peak is where the Buddha preached the Lotus Sutra, Prajnaparamitta Sutra and other important sutras.

 

There are also many major Buddhist stories and persons associated with Rajgir and the Vulture’s Peak such as Sariputra and Maudgalyayana, and the taming of the wild elephant.

 

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Located near Rajgir is the Saptaparni Cave where the First Buddhist Council was held after the Buddha entered Parinirvana.  The Buddha’s chief disciple, Venerable Mahakasyapa, convened the Council where 500 of the Buddha’s senior disciples compile the Buddha’s Teachings for future generations.

 

Today, Buddhist pilgrims visit Rajgir and Vulture Peak to meditate and reflect on the locations where many important sutras were first taught.

 

 

 

 

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