Founded in India over 2500 years ago, the Buddhist religion is now followed by over 520 million people around the world. The simple teachings of Gautama Buddha and his message of peace, harmony and kindness has managed to touch a chord in every heart. More than just a religion, Buddhism is a way of life.
- There is no God or Creator in Buddhism: As a non-theistic religion, Buddhism doesn’t believe in the existence of a creator deity. It is interesting to note that even though some Buddhist texts mention the idea of god, they are not considered to be greater than Buddha. Buddhism is largely based on the original teachings of the Buddha, a noble prince who went on to become a highly revered monk, teacher and philosopher.
- Siddhartha Gautama is not the only Buddha: Have you always thought of Siddhartha Gautama as the Buddha? Well, then this may come as a surprise to you. The term ‘Buddha’ means the ‘enlightened one’ or a ‘knower’ who has reached an ideal state of “intellectual and ethical perfection”. Theravada Buddhism recognises 27 buddhas before Gautama Buddha who is considered to be the 28th one. It is also believed that the next Buddha will be named ‘Maitreya’ (Metteyya).
- Bodhi Tree is the Pivotal Sacred Object: The ‘Bodhi’ or fig tree is a central object in Buddhist religion as it is believed that Gautama Buddha attained enlightenment while meditating under the Bodhi Tree in Bodhgaya, Bihar. Although the original tree no longer exists, samplings from it have been carefully preserved in the Mahabodhi Temple in Bodhgaya. Want to visit this sacred site and unravel some more fascinating facts about Buddhist religion? Book a journey aboard The Buddhist Circuit Tourist Train, a special train that takes travellers to all the places associated with the life of Buddha.
- There are 4 Main Pilgrimage Sites in Buddhism: 4 places that mark the major milestones of Buddha’s life i.e. birth (Lumbini), enlightenment (Bodhgaya), first teaching (Sarnath) and death (Kushinagar) constitute the 4 main pilgrimage sites in the Buddhist religion. For the longest time, it wasn’t easy for Buddhist followers to visit these sacred sites comfortably as they are scattered across India and Nepal. The IRCTC Buddhist Circuit Tourist Train was initiated keeping this in mind so that pilgrims can seek divine blessings without having to worry about their tour details.
- Early Buddhist Monasteries Date Back to 3rd Century AD: Buddhist structures and Buddha’s monasteries in the form of sacred caves have been found in India’s Deccan plateau. Even by the 2nd century AD, Buddhist monasteries or ‘viharas’ had a distinct structure and architecture that made them stand apart from the rest of religious monuments in the country. The best way to explore these ancient edifices is through a train journey that will give you ample time to marvel at their rich repository of history and architectural brilliance. And do keep your camera handy to capture the finer details of these one-of-a-kind temples. Want a list of all the Buddha’s monasteries you will be visiting? Check them out here.
Buddhist religion has touched millions of lives in India and beyond. And the beauty of this simple religion lies in the simplicity of the life led by its founder, Gautama Buddha. Perhaps, this is why so many people from all different walks of life wish to undertake the Buddhist circuit and understand the teachings of the enlightened one better. If you too want to embark on a journey filled with religious epiphanies and surprises, then The IRCTC Buddhist Circuit Tourist Train awaits your arrival. Unravel the mysteries of Buddhist religion and the life of Buddha on a train journey that perfectly combines the simplicity of a monk’s life with the grandeur of a king’s. To take a look at the detailed itinerary, visit https://www.irctcbuddhisttrain.com/itinerary.