First Sermon Of Buddha In Benares / Varanasi
The Sermon in the Deer Park by Buddha
Directly he reached the great city of Benares now more commonly known as Varanasi, the Buddha went straight to his former disciples, who were then living in a wood, called the Deer Park (Mrigadawa), which was also called Rishi-patana. They saw Siddhartha coming from afar, and all their grievances against him were stirred up ; they had thought right to cease unnecessary mortification, and as he drew nigh they said to one another: 'We can have nothing in common with him: let us neither go to meet him, nor rise up with respect in his presence; let us neither take his religious garments nor his alms-bowl; let us neither prepare for him a beverage, nor a carpet, nor a place for his feet; if he asks for a seat, we will offer him what extends beyond the carpet, but we will keep our seats.'
But their coldness and ill-will could not hold out long. By degrees, as the Master approached, they felt ill at ease on their seats, and a secret instinct made them wish to stand in his presence. Soon indeed, unable to bear the majesty and glory of the Buddha, they rose up simultaneously, unable to keep to their resolution. Some showed him marks of respect, others went forward to greet him, and they took from him his tunic, his religious garments, his alms-bowl; they spread out a carpet and prepared water for him to bathe his feet, saying: 'Ayushmat (Lord) Gautama, you are welcome; deign to seat yourself down on this carpet'. Then, after having entertained him on subjects likely to gladden him, they all placed themselves at one side of him and said: 'The senses of Ayushmat Gautama are perfectly purified, his skin is perfectly pure, the oval of his face is perfectly pure. Ayushmat Gautama, do you possess within you the discernment of venerable wisdom, which is far above human law?'
The Buddha replied: 'Do not give me the title of Ayushmat. Full long have I been useless to you, and have procured you neither help nor comfort. Yes, I now see clearly what immortality is, and the path that leads to immortality. I am Buddha; I know all, see all, I have wiped out sin, and am master of the laws; come, that I may teach you the Law, hearken to me and lend an attentive ear; I will instruct you by advice, and your spirit delivered by the destruction of sin and the manifest knowledge of self, your new births will come to an end, you will become Brahma-charis,you will have done what is needful, and you will know no other existence after this - this is what you will learn from me' Then he gently reminded them of the uncharitable manner in which they had spoken of him but a few minutes before.
His five disciples were abashed, and throwing themselves at his feet, confessed their fault, and acknowledging the Buddha as the teacher of the world, accepted his new doctrine with all faith and respect. In this first conversation, (first sermon of Buddha - The sermon in the deer park) and until the last watch of the night, the Buddha explained to them the fundamental truths of his system. These were the first conversions of any importance that he made.
Varanasi, or Benares, is esteemed by the Buddhists even more than by the Brahmans as a most holy city. It was at Benares that the Buddha preached for the first time, or, as is said in Buddhistic mysticism, 'for the first time he turned the Wheel of the Law' symbolic and sacramental language that has been adopted by all sects of Buddhism, north, south, and cast, from Tibet and Nepal to Ceylon (Sri Lanka) and China. Benares, if we may judge of it by the descriptions given by Hiouen-Thsarg in the seventh century of our era, had not in the days of the Buddha the same importance that it acquired at a Later period. It must even then, however, have been a considerable town, and one of the principal centres of Brahmanism. No doubt this was the reason why the Buddha went there. And as at Vaisali and Rajagriha the Brahman schools numbered respectively three and seven hundred disciples, it is probable that at Benares they were even more numerous. The Buddha could not therefore have found a wider or more formidable field for the manifestation of his doctrine.
First Sermon Of Buddha - The sermon in the deer park by Buddha
Text adapted from 'The Buddha and His Religion'
Buddhist Flag Meanings
The Dharma Wheel
In Buddhism—according to the Pali Canon, Vinayapitaka, Khandhaka,
Mahavagga, the number of spokes of the Dharmachakra represent
Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo is a Japanese Buddhist
chant based upon the Lotus Sutra. Nichiren Daishonin (Feb 16, 1222 – Oct
13, 1282) a Buddhist monk who lived during the Kamakura period (1185–1333)
in Japan. Nichiren taught devotion to the Lotus Sutra, entitled Myōhō-Renge-Kyō in
Japanese, as the exclusive means to attain enlightenment and the chanting of
Nam-Myōhō-Renge-Kyō as the essential practice of the teaching.
Various schools with diverging interpretations of Nichiren's teachings comprise