Sarnath
 
Sarnath, also known as holy Isipatana Migadaya is situated in Varanasi District in Uttar Pradesh. Here The Buddha delivered His first sermon known as the Dhamma-Chakka Pavattana Sutta (setting in motion the wheel of Universal Truth) to His first five disciples and began his service of spreading the Dhamma both far and near.
The construction of the Mulagandha Kuti Vihara was taken up by Bodhisatta Anagarika Dharmapala in 1926. At the time he decided to construct this temple, it was the great philanthropist Mrs. Mary Elizabeth Foster, the lady from Hawaii who gave the first financial assistance.
Thereafter, monetary assistance came from his parents, brothers and well-wishers. He personally supervised the construction of this 200 feet high magnificent temple which was inaugurated on 11th November 1931. On the same day the Holy Relics of The Buddha was presented by Rai Bahadur Dayaram Sahni, Director General of Archaeology with a message of the then Viceroy and Governor General of India. The Vihara was decorated with fresco paintings by the world famous Japanese artist Mr. Kosetsu Nosu and his assistant Mr. Kawai.
The founder Bodhisattva Anagarika Dharmapala was ordained as a Buddhist monk here in 1931 where he passed away in 1934. His ashes are enshrined in the ground of the premises. The Sarnath Centre plays a significant role to serve the pilgrims who come to visit the Centre from India and abroad, by providing them assistance to perform their pilgrimage comfortably and peacefully. It also performs social welfare services and educational activities throughout the year.

Address: Maha Bodhi Society of India, Mulagandha Kuti Vihara,
Sarnath Centre, Sarnath-221007, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India,
Tel: 0542-2595955; Email: mbsi_sarnath@yahoo.in
Contact : Bhikkhu-in-Charge, Sarnath Centre.

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MAHABODHI SOCIETY OF INDIA
SARNATH, VARANASI 
Sixth International Conference 
on 
Pāli & Buddhism 
Role of Pāli in Promoting Cultural Heritage 
November 10-11, 2019
Emerging originally in India, Buddhism quickly spread throughout the Indian sub-continent, moved into southeast Asia, then into Central Asia, on into China, Korea, and Japan. And, as a teaching of Buddha were embraced by the people in very different culture and religious settings, Buddhism itself changed in significant ways, resulting in the enormous teachings and practices among contemporary Buddhists. But, in spite of all the diversity all Buddhist trace their belief and practices, in some sense, back to the awakening of Gautama the Buddha under the Bodhi tree and to the teachings that derive from his experience. We believe that the historical Buddha taught in Māgadhībhāsā. His discourses were compiled together in the very similar language, popularly known as Pāli in modern times. 

Pāli is the only Indic language in which we find a complete set of Buddhist canonical literature and much of it can be traced back to first century BCE or before. It is consensus among scholars that due to the efforts of emperor Asoka and his team, the Buddhadhamma was disseminated to the land of Sīhala first and gradually to the other South and South-east countries in coming centuries. As a result, we share certain common fundamental features in terms of culture, doctrine, shrine, architecture, language, and so on with Indian sub-continent and with South and South-east Asian countries. Many pioneering scholars including Venerable H. Saddhatissa has proved the strong connectivity of Pāli based Buddhism particularly with the culture of with Laos, Cambodia, Burma, Thailand, and Srilanka. Although, Pāli is said to be the dead language by some of the modern scholars such as Jules Bloch and Thomas Burrow but despite of its status as dead language, Pāli is still widely studied because many of the early Buddhist scriptures were written in Pāli and its significant role in developing partnership with other diverse culture at large.
We cannot forget the contribution of Anagarika Dhammapala and other Buddhist scholars in the revival of Pāli based Buddhism in India. Maha Bodhi Society of India is committed for preserving the ancient Buddhist wisdom and promoting Theravada Buddhist culture and practice and has been continuously providing a platform where scholars and practitioners meet together and discuss for the betterment of many.

In this regard, Maha Bodhi Society of India, Sarnath Centre is going to organise the Sixth International Conference on Pāli and Buddhism is going to be convened at Sarnath, the place where the Buddha taught the first sermon. The objective of this conference is to discuss the Role of Pāli in Promoting Cultural Heritage, as a main theme, and to come up with innovative ideas how to promote, renovate, and preserve early Buddhist thought as directed the historical Buddha.
10-Day Workshop on Basics of Pāli Language
 
Maha Bodhi Society of India, Sarnath Centre is pleased to announce a 10-Day workshop on Basics of Pāli Language. Pāli is the only Indic Language in which we find a complete set of Buddhist canonical literature and much of it can be traced back to first century BCE or before. A student of Pāli, therefore, has access to some of the oldest extant materials in Buddhism. This course focuses exclusively on basics of Pāli Language and in the process helping the student to understand contexts of the text. 
The materials are selected in such a way that the student also gains an appreciation of linguistic features of early and later phases of Pāli canonical and post-canonical 
literature. Workshop will be in an interactive mode and the language of instruction will be Hindi and English. 

Class Schedule: December 23, 2018 to January 03, 2019
Time: 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Course Fee: Free of Cost

Organized by
International Pāli Institute
Maha Bodhi Society of India, Sarnath Centre
(Ven. Dr. K. Medhankara Thero,
Joint Secretary – Maha Bodhi Society of India &
Bhikkhu-in-Charge, Sarnath Centre)
Venue: Office, Maha Bodhi Society of India, Sarnath Centre
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2563th Buddha Jayanti at Mulagandha Kuti Vihara 
154th Birth Anniversary celebration of Ven. Anagarika Dharmapala at Sarnath
NAMO MAHA BHIKKHU SANGHA
Venerable Maha Sangha being pose for a group photograph at main shrine of Mulagandha Kuty Vihara
Ven. P  Seewale Thero (centre) along with other members of Bhikkhu Sangha infront of Mulagandha Kuty Vihara.
SERVICES
Mulagandha Kuty Vihara
Mulagandha Kuty Vihara in Sarnath is a fitting reminder of Sarnath's past glory. It is also the crowning and most glorious achievement of Anagarika Dharmapala's lifelong dedication.
The construction of the Mulagandha Kuty Vihara was taken up by Anagarika Dharmapala in 1926 towards the end of his pious life.
When he decided to construct a temple at Sarnath and after making the architeclural plans, it was the generous Hawaiian Lady, Mary Foster who gave the first financial assisatance came from his parents, brother and well-wishers. He personally supervised the constructional works. The 200 feet high magnificent temple was opened to public in 1931. Later a reputed Japanese artist Mr. Kosteu Nosu and his assistant undertook the task to decorate the temple walls with fresco paintings known famously as the Mural paintings of Mulagandha Kuty Vihara, depicting the life Events of Sakyamuni Buddha. On the opening day of the Vihara, the Buddha's relics donated to Anagarika Dharmapala by Govt. of India under the British Raj was enshrined in the temple. The Vihara, an attractive place of Buddhist worship was visited by numerous Indian and foreign dignataries and millions of pilgrims and tourists over the past decades.  At the Mulagandha Kuty Vihara annual function in November, the most attractive items among the programs is the exposition of the Buddha's sacred relic. People from different countries and from the homeland visit the Vihara to homage to the sacred relic considering it as a rare and an opportune moment in their lifetime.
Maha Bodhi Mulagandha Kuty Vihara 
Open to visitors and pilgrims from 4:00 a.m to 8:00 pm with a lunch break closure from 11:30 a.m to 01:30 p.m. Daily chanting of Dhamma Chakkha Pavattana Sutta (Turning the wheel of Dhamma - The Buddha's First sermon) at 6:30 p.m.
Maha Bodhi Mulagandha Kuty Vihara Library & Reading Hall
A free service to the seekers of the essence of the Buddha Dhamma. A vast collection of books on Buddhism and other fields are available for students, Intellectuals, Readers and visitors.
Maha Bodhi Birla Dharmasala
A notable service by  the society to provide accommodation to pilgrims. 
Maha Bodhi Inter-College
An institute runs efficiently with Government aids catering to the need of modern Educations in the locality with an intake capacity of around 2000 students.
Maha Bodhi Junior Girls High School
An institute specially runs with the focus on Girls' Education in the Sarnath region, equipped with well-trained Teachers and with an intake capacity of around 400 students.
Maha Bodhi Primary School
A reputed co-education institute in the locality to catering to the need of foundational education among impoverished children.
Dharmapala Nursery School
Named after the founder, this School nurtures around 300 small kids with the most foundational kids.
Anagarika Dharmapala Musuem &  Maha Bodhi Cenetary Memorial Temple
Dharmapala Musuem has a rich collection of Anagarika Dharmapala's Letters, Notes, Diaries, personal belonging, pictures, paintings, etc.
Maha Bodhi Charitable Hospital
The Maha Bodhi Charitable Hospital looks after the health issues and medical needs of the local people, pilgrims and tourists. It provides Homeopathic, Ayurvedic and Tibetan methodology of treatments and medicines.
History of Birla Dharmasala
          In 1933 the Maha Bodhi Society circulated the proposal that each Buddhist country, viz., Japan, Siam, Burma, Ceylon, China Tibet and Nepal should build a cottage at Rs. 7,000/- each at Sarnath and maintain therein two Bhikkhus of their own, who would study Pali, Sanskrit and other languages and thus form a nucleus of the International Buddhist Institute. The above proposal of the society did not materalise, but still, the idea had not been given up.
            Fortunately for the Buddhist pilgrims a multi-millionare family of India, consisting id very highly cultured members, the well known Birlas of Pilani, offered to build a spacious magnifient guest house at Sarnath, and the foundation stone of the same was laid by Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya on the 28th December 1934. Seth Jugal Kishore Birla, at whose expense the Guest House was built, held the opinion that there was very little fundamental difference between Hinduism and Buddhism in ethical, philosophical and Psychological principles and this fact impelled him render to service to Hinduism and Buddhism alike. 
            The Dharmasala or Guest House was formally opened by the Counsel-General of China, Mr. Chen Chang Lou at a meeting held on the 10th January 1939 under the Presidentship of the famous scholar and cultural architect of India, Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya. The Palatial Dharmasala contained 32 rooms with necessary adjuncts and was built ar a cost of more than half a lakh of rupees. The entire Dharmasala was given away by the Birlas to the Maha Bodhi Society, but its maintainence charges are borne by them. Sri D. Valisinha at whose request Birlaji undertook the work, spent a good deal of his time supervising the constrution, and in gettting the building completed.
ANNUAL EVENTS, CEREMONIES & ACTIVITIES
Buddha Purnima
Full Moon day in the month of May is celebrated to mark the Birth, Enlightenment and Mahaparinirvana (Passing away) of Sakyamuni Buddha.
 
Ashadhi Purnima
Full Moon day in the month of July is commemorated as the day on which Sakyamuni Buddha delivered the First Sermon at Isipatana, Deer-Park Sarnath..
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Republic and Independence Day Celebration 
 
On 26th of January, the Maha Bodhi Society of India along with Maha Bodhi Schools’ students, teachers, Parents and the local public celebrate the Indian Republic Day with hoisting of the Indian Tri-Colour. The centre also celebrate Independence Day on 15th August with a public meeting.
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Anagarika Dharmapala Day
17 th September, the Birthday of Anagarika Dharmapala is observed as the Founder’s Day for his untiring efforts towards the revival of Buddhism and the establishment of the Maha Bodhi Society of India.
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Mulagandha Kuty Vihara Annual Function and Kartik Purnima:
The Full Moon day in the month of November is known as Kartik Purnima as on this day the devotees offer yellow robes to the Maha Sangha (Buddhist Monks) after the Vassana Kala (End of the Rainy Season) and perform other religious activities. Traditionally during the rainy season, monks mostly keep indoors in Viharas.

Along with the Kartik Purnima, the establishment anniversary of the Mulagandha Kuty Vihara is celebrated with the annual exposition of the Buddha’s sacred Relic, public meeting, Seminars, Free Medical Check-up Camps, Meditation Camps, Cultural programs by Maha Bodhi Schools’ students, acknowledgement of students’ achievements in academic as well as extra-curricular activities with Prizes and Honors.
 
International Conference on Pali & Buddhism
 
With a view to promoting the study of Pali language and its literature comprising the great ideals of Buddha, the Maha Bodhi Society of India, Sarnath, Varanasi every year organises International Conference on Pali and Buddhism at the sacred place of Bodhi tree of Mulagandhakuti Vihara, Sarnath, Varanasi. The First International Conference on Pali & Buddhism was held on the occasion of 150th Birth Anniversary of Anagarika Dharmapala on 17th September 2014. 
Some of the following sub-themes of our conference are:  
1. Significance of Pāli Language and Literature during 21st century
2. Religious Traditions in Pali Literature- Ethical and Moral Values
3. Philosophical Traditions in Pali Literature
4. Pāli Studies in India and Abroad
5. Pali and Indian Culture
6. Pali Literature and Cultural Heritage
7. Pāli Tripitaka Literature
8. Pāli Commentarial Literature
9. Pāli Avadana, Jataka and Vamsa Literature
10. Pāli Abhidhamma Manual Literature
11. Meditation and Vipassana in Pali Literature
12. Buddhist Councils in India and Abroad based upon Pāli Literature
13. Pali Kavya Literature
14. Problems of Editing and Translating Pali Texts in Indian Languages
15. Pali and Classical Languages
16. Great Pali Scholars of India and Abroad and their Contributions
At present, MBSI, Sarnath is also contributing in preserving the aims and objectives of Anagarika Dharmapala, who gave more stress on the development of Theravada Buddhism, by reprinting of the books and bringing out the regular issues of Dharmadoot Journal. Special Volume of Dharmadoot Journal (Vol. No.83) was released on the occasion of the inaugural function of the Fourth International Conference on Pali and Buddhism, organized at Maha Bodhi Society of India, Sarnath, Varanasi at he sacred place of Bodhi tree of Mulagandhakuṭi Vihara, Sarnath, Varanasi on October 30, 2017. The publication of the Journal is a part of the celebration of the annual function of the Maha Bodhi Society of India, Sarnath.

FIFTH INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON “PĀLI & BUDDHISM” WILL BE HELD IN NOVEMBER 20 – 21, 2018 At MULAGANDHA KUTI VIHARA, SARNATH, VARANASI (U.P.)

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Maha Bodhi Inter-College
Maha Bodhi Junior Girls High School & Primary School
Anagarika Dharmapala Awardees in the year 2014 on the occasion of 150th Birth Anniversary of Anagarika Dharmapala
Gallery 
 
Mulagandhakuti Vihara
Resident monks of Center
Mulagandhakuti Vihara Library
Maha Bodhi Charitable Hospital
A stunning view of sacred Bodhi tree from top of Mulagandha Kuti Vihara
Birla Dhammasala and Mulagandhakuti Vihara Library
His Highness the King of Bhutan, Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck at Sarnath centre
Students of Maha Bodhi Inter College during the celebration of Republic Day
HH Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck planting a sapling at MBSI Sarnath center premises
A devotee viewing the relic of the Buddha at Mulagandhakuti Vihara
Celebrating the Republic Day 
Schools Gallery
Students of Mahabodhi Inter College with their Principal
Teaching staffs of Dharmapala Montessori School
Students of Dharmapala Montessori School
Students of Maha Bodhi Junior Girls High School along with their Principal
Teaching Staffs of Maha Bodhi Junior Girls High School
Our Dignitaries at Sarnath Center
The Buddha statue is elaborately decorated with different colors of flowers during Kathina Civara Puja in 2013
Ven. P Seewalee Thero along with other monks of MBSI paid tribute to Ven. Anagarika Dharmapala during his death Anniversary at cremation spot in Sarnath.
Ven. P Seewalee Thero, General Secretary of the Maha Bodhi Society of India with the Honourable Prime Minister of Bhutan at MBSI Sarnath Center.
Venerable Maha Sangha gathered during the Birth Anniversary of Ven. Anagarika Dhammapala at Sarnath
Ven. K Medhankara Thero, Joint Secretary of MBSI and Bhikkhu-In-Charge of Sarnath Center tying the holy thread to Honorable President of Tibetan-government-in-exile, Lobsang Sangay at Mulagandhakuti Vihara in Sarnath.
Honorable Union Minister of State for Home Affairs of India, Shri Kiren Rijiju offering prayer at Mulagandhakuti Vihara.
Ven. P Seewalee Thero, General Secretary of the Maha Bodhi Society of India presenting a token of momentum to Bhutanese Prime Minister, Tshering Tobgay at Mulagandhakuti Vihara.
His Excellency President of German, Frank-Walter Steinmeier lighting the candle and Ven. K Medhankara Thero can be seen with him at Mulagandhakuti Vihara.
BEST SEASON TO VISIT
It is advised to visit Sarnath and other places of Buddhist interest within the Buddhist circle in winter (September to March).
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