When we Google about the list of the holiest sites of Buddhism around the world, then Sarnath is a name that frequently tops the list. The place is credited to be the one where Gautama Buddha preached his first sermon. From that grand event to the 12th century CE, for a period of nearly 1,700 years, the site enjoyed the prestige of a centre of great learning, an ideal destination for pilgrimage and a vihara (monastery) for scholars and monks.
The site at Sarnath is located 10 km north-east of Varanasi at the confluence of Ganga and Varuna rivers in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. The original name of Sarnath was ‘Isipatana’, denoting a place where the holy men landed. The name can be found in early Buddhist Pali text. Earlier, the place was also famous for its ‘Mrigadava’ or ‘deer park’. As per the legend, Bodhisattva transformed himself into a deer and proposed to submit his life to a king instead of the doe, which the latter was about to kill. The king became so sentimental by the move that he decided to create a park as a protective sanctuary for deer. Later, the name ‘Sarnath’ too came up with a deer connection. It is a concise word for ‘Saranganatha’, meaning ‘the lord of deer’, a word for Mahadeva. That is the reason why, we can even find a modern shrine of lord Shiva over a mound at Sarnath. The deer park is still an integral part of the Sarnath archaeological complex, where the Buddha preached his first sermon to his disciples after attaining enlightenment under a Bodhi tree at Bodh Gaya. There is a massive Buddha statue in his standing posture at Sarnath, which is considered to be the tallest statue of the lord in India.
Why the Buddha Chose Sarnath to Impart His First Knowledge?
Most of us are not familiar with the reason why Gautama Buddha chose to deliver his first sermon at Sarnath? As per the Buddhist texts, there were five men who accompanied Siddhartha Gautama on their path to asceticism and eventually abandoned him. But during that time, he had reached Sarnath and decided to settle there. So once Siddhartha Gautama attained enlightenment and became the Buddha, he decided to share his knowledge and wisdom with the commoners residing locally. That is how, the most pious and noble movement of enlightening and transforming the mankind towards good and righteousness. The first lesson that the Buddha shared with his pupils dealt with the secrets of Dharmachakrapravartna Sutra, also termed as ‘turning of the wheel of law’.
The Sutra is widely regarded as one of the most significant sermons from the mouth of the lord himself. That is the reason why, a Buddha stone statue with a posture of preaching Dharmachakrapravartna Sutra always stay in much demand for purchase in the modern times. With the help of this Sutra, the Buddha has explained and elaborated the Four Noble Truths and all the teachings associated with it. The first truth deals with the fact that there is dukha (sorrow) in this world, the second truth related to the origin as well as the cause for sorrow, and the third truth explains the cessation of the sorrow. Last but not the least, the fourth truth expounds arya- ashtangika- marga (the Eightfold Noble Path), eventually leading to the end of the sorrow and attainment of enlightenment, peace, and nirvana.
There are several historians from the Indian subcontinent as well as from the South-East Asia who believe that the Buddha preferred to choose Sarnath due to its close proximity to Varanasi. By that time, the place was already developing as a centre for learning. His presence might have allowed him to organise a discourse with other learned men and take mutual learning and understand onto the threshold of Vedic orthodoxy. Well, incidently, Sarnath eventually flourished due to the wealthy merchants and kings based in Banaras (the modern city of Varanasi) and patronised Buddhism.
As per the Buddhist scriptures, lord Buddha also laid the foundations of his sangha or let us say the order of the monks at Sarnath. Yasha, the son of an opulent householder in Banaras, along with his 54 friends, became allured by the teachings of the lord and eventually decided to be his pupil. Along with these disciples, as well as first five other monks, Gautama Buddha founded his first sangha of sixty monks. He sent these disciples to various directions to help preach his dharma onto masses.
What is the Spiritual Significance of a Sarnath Buddha Statue?
Sarnath Buddha statues are inspired by Gupta dynasty architecture, and these are natural stone sculptures featuring Dharmachakra, the Dharma Wheel, or the Wheel of Dharma. Across the principles of Buddhism, it is one of the most sacred teachings and quite identical to the context of other Indian religions like Hinduism and Jainism. It is one of the most popular statues of the Buddha that always remain in wide-scale demand amongst those who wish to follow the sacred symbols of the Buddhist faith.
The purchase of Sarnath Buddha natural stone statues are directly linked to the idealism that one wishes to imbibe in his or her life. The teachings of the Buddha in his Sarnath form will always encourage the bearer to walk on the path of dharma and get inspired by the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Noble Path to achieve a high end in life. We recommend you visit Sarnath Buddha statue and come across the most trusted Sarnath Buddha statue manufacturer now. The most authentic sculptures at best prices are just a click away!