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Subject Religion

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631181392.1995.x


[ xi ] The place outside Benares (Varanasi) where the B uddha ( see G otama ) gave his first discourse. This first discourse constitutes the ‘turning of the wheel of D hamma ’ and is said to have been delivered in a deer park two months after the Buddha's enlightenment, when he taught the noble E ightfold path to five wandering ascetics who had been his companions during the period he practised severe austerities. A characteristic pose of the B uddha image with the hands held in front of the chest indicates the first discourse. The site at Sarnath has been venerated from at least the time of A shoka , although the Dhamekh S tupa which marks the exact location of the first teaching is basically a 5th-century structure. Sarnath is one of four principal B uddhist pilgrimage centres (cf. B odhgaya ; K usinara ; L umbini ) attracting pilgrims from all over the Buddhist world. ( see also A salha .) ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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