Tsepel is a hermit and ordained monk – a yogi who lives in Dharamshala under the patronage of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Over the past 20 years, he has dedicated his life to meditation and solitary retreat in the foothills of the Himalaya, near Dharamsala. His work focuses on experiential realisation of Indo-Tibetan philosophy as taught in the ancient Nalanda tradition.
Tsepel was born in Basgo, Ladakh, to a family of amchis (doctors of Tibetan medicine). He attended Likir monastery in Ladakh and later Ganden monastery in south India. After studying Buddhist philosophy for 15 years at the Tibetan Buddhist University in south India, he became a hermit.
Hermit Tsepel is an expert on Buddhist holy sites and has wide experience of leading pilgrimages. He is currently researching sites in India and Nepal and is soon to publish his first guide book. An experienced teacher, he has a deep desire to share his spiritual knowledge and its practical applications in daily life. The ultimate goal of his meditation is to achieve nirvana for himself and others, whilst sharing insights into the nature of the mind and how to live a happier life.
Expert on Buddhist holy sites, hermit Tsephel will take you on the sacred Buddha's path. Places include Lumbini, Bodhgaya, the venue for Kalachakra, Nalanda, Kushinagar and more.
Arrival in Delhi and check into the hotel.
Delhi- Lucknow- Sravasti.
Today you will head to Lucknow, the capital of Uttar Pradesh.You will leave Delhi to Lucknow by plane. You will drive to Sravasti the city where Buddha has spent more than half of his monastic life. Sravasti is also known to be a symbolic place for Jainism and the capital of ancient Kosala kingdom.
Lama during prostration.In the morning, we visit Jetavana,in Srasvati, where Buddha and his disciples retreated each rainy season for twenty-five years. Later we head north towards Lumbini and India’s border where you will obtain the required visa in order to enter the nation of Nepal. An Indian multi-entry visa is needed.
We will spent a day in Lumbini, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and sacred ground for Buddhists around the world, Lumbini is a small village in the I Nepal where the Buddha was born. In this holy and beautiful place the spiritual charge is amazing. Lumbini, a powerful place for meditation, is characterized by scenes of prostrating pilgrims and thousands of prayer flags. Hermit Tsephel will introduce you to the Sacred Garden, home to various historical treasures, including the Maya Devi Temple with its carving representing Maya Devi giving birth to Siddhartha, the future Buddha. Tsepel will share more lessons at this site as well as provide time for meditation.
Today you will discover Kushinagar, where Buddha left this world after having made an invaluable contribution to humanity. The place where Buddha gave immeasurable blessings as he recited all of his teachings before entering the Paranirvana, or nirvana upon death,at the end of his earthly existence. You will visit the Maha Parinirwana Temple, where Buddha breathed his last breath, and Rambhar Stupa, the site of Lord Buddha’s cremation.
We will drive to Vaishali where Buddha preached his last sermon. The Second Council took place in Vasihali 110 years after the parinirvana of the Buddha. This important Buddhist gathering of monks was discuss the teaching of Buddha and future of Buddhism. Today, we will stay for the night in Patna,the capital of Indian State of Bihar.
Today, you will discover a heart of Buddhism. You will discover Rajgir or “Vulture Peak,” which takes its name from the shape of the rock where the Buddha spent many years of his life. In this sacred place, he gave important sermons such as the Prajnaparamita teaching, better known as the Heart Sutra. The Heart Sutra, an important Buddhist text, is commonly chanted by Buddhists at meetings and practices dedicated to meditation. In addition to the Heart Sutra, you will learn about the five skandhas (which describe the stages and forms of awareness), the Four Noble Truths, the cycle of interdependence and the central concepts of Buddhism. It is said that even if you do not yet have awareness of emptiness, if you recognize that there is suffering in your mind as you recite the Heart Sutra mantra and meditate on its meaning, its truth will arise in you. Your expert guide, Tsepel the hermit, will introduce you to this teaching, recite necessary mantras, and then allow you to meditate on its meaning.We will walk to top sacred hills to follow foot step of thousand of pilgrim before us.
Then, you will visit Nalanda, which contains the ruins of the oldest Buddhist university, in which the most famous Indian scholars of their time had their education.
Maha Bodhi TempleBodhgaya’s historic district contains a Buddhist complex including: The Mahabodhi Temple, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2002 with its diamond throne (Vajrasana.). The Bodhi tree at Bodhgaya ( ficus religiosa or “sacred g”) where the Buddha attained enlightenment.
In the morning, Tsepel will take you to explore one of the oldest Buddhist places of worship: the Mahabodhi Temple. It is also one of the most sacred places for Buddhists, for it is here, under the Bodhi tree, that prince Siddhartha vowed not to get up until he could understand the nature of the mind and reality. After a long meditation, he attained supreme enlightenment, nirvana. Around this sacred tree, the hermit Tsepel will invite you to join the sea of pilgrims for a special meditation.
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