Project Description

In the spring of 2005, after the conclusion of the Sixteenth Nyingma World Peace Ceremony in Bodhgaya, plans were initiated to install a World Peace Bell in Sarnath. In this way, we were following the Buddha’s path from Bodhgaya to Sarnath, where the Enlightened One first turned the wheel of the Dharma.

The Maha Bodhi Society of India, the primary caretaker of the Sarnath site, built a new temple at Sarnath in 1931, the Mulagandha Kuti Vihara, and empowered it with relics of the Buddha. This temple is renowned for its beautiful and unique Indo-Japanese inspired murals of the Buddha’s life story. Directly outside of the temple is a sapling of the original Bodhi Tree from Bodh Gaya, also planted in 1931, which has now grown to fill the courtyard. Here pilgrims come to circumambulate the holy tree and pay their respect to the statues of the Buddha and his first five disciples. This holy garden, with a view of the Damekh Stupa, was envisioned as the location of the second World Peace Bell.

Both Bhikkhu Rewatha Thero, the Maha Bodhi Society of India Secretary General, and Bhikkhu Sumeeda, in charge of the Sarnath compound, were eager and honoured to have the second World Peace Bell installed. Indeed, their original bell — donated by the Japanese Buddhist community — was broken, and replacing it would be deeply auspicious.

After securing formal permission from the District Magistrate and the Forest Department, construction began on March 17, 2005. When the bell was ready for dedication, the Maha Bodhi Society’s Sangha gathered to chant the Dharmacakkappavattana Sutta, the Buddha’s first teaching.

The World Peace Bell, which can be heard up to 7 kilometres away has provided a new focal point for worship for the Sarnath community. May its tones dispel and purify all negativities.