Sarnath Buddha Pilgrimage

Sarnath

The Buddha went from Bodh Gaya to Sarnath about 5 weeks after his enlightenment. Before Gautama attained enlightenment, he gave up his austere penances and his friends, the Pañcavaggiya monks again he met his five companions who abandoned him in Rajgriha. It is here that he delivered his first sermon. He went to them because, using his spiritual powers, he had seen that his five former companions would be able to understand Dharma quickly. While travelling to Sarnath, Gautama Buddha had to cross the Ganges. Having no money with which to pay the ferryman, he crossed the Ganges through the air. When King Bimbisāra heard of this, he abolished the toll for ascetics. When Gautama Buddha found his five former companions, he taught them, they understood and as a result they also became enlightened. Ashoka visited here in 230 BC and erected a stupa