The Buddha left the mortal world and gained nirvana at the age of eighty. This event is called the maha parinirvana in Buddhist tradition and the place where he left this mortal world is today among the most sacred spaces for Buddhist pilgrims. This is Kushinagar or ancient Kusinara that was part of the kingdom of the Mallas during the lifetime of the Buddha. Today the site is near the village of Kasia in eastern Uttar Pradesh.
By 542 BCE the Buddha had been walking and preaching for four decades and as he told his companion Ananda he was a tired man. At a sermon at Vaishali he spoke of how everything on earth must decay and that he too was going to leave the earth soon. Then the Buddha and his entourage walked to the town of Pava where he was welcomed by an ironsmith named Chunda.
The meal prepared for the Buddha and his entourage by Chunda included a dish of either mushroom or pork that the Buddha realised had gone bad. He asked Chunda to bury the food and even though he was beginning to feel ill he reassured an penitent Chunda that he had done nothing wrong.
From then on the Buddha was not well and chose to withdraw from more crowded places into the relatively obscure town of Kushinagar. On...
After the Buddha
All the Buddha’s powerful disciples like King Ajatshatru of Magadha and monks like Mahakashyapa gathered at Kushinagar. After the funeral everyone wanted some relic...
The Maha Parinirvana Temple
This chaitya has an image of the Buddha that portrays his last hours. It is a six metre long image of the Buddha in...
Mathakuar temple & Monasteries
Nearby is a small temple that marks the spot where the Buddha gave his last sermon. Inside there is a sitting image of the...
Like in all Buddhist pilgrimages, Buddha Purnima is celebrated at Kushinagar in all the monasteries. There is the chanting of mantras by the congregation...
Travelling to Kushinagar
Kushinagar is 52 km from Gorakhpur. It is 176 km from Lumbini in Nepal and 148 km from Kapilavastu. NEAREST RAILWAY STATION : Gorakhpur...