First Tipitaka Chanting at Bodhgaya

Light Of Buddhadharma Foundation International

Chanting the Tipitaka – A Revival of an Ancient Tradition

The Light of Buddhadharma Foundation announces the date for the eleventh International Tipitaka Chanting Ceremony in Bodhgaya, India. This major gathering of ten countries will take place from December 2nd – 13th, 2015. For over one thousand years, the teachings of the Buddha were chanted daily at the Mahabodhi Mahavihara; the great temple that marks the place where the Buddha achieved enlightenment in the 5th century BCE. The temple was abandoned in the fourteenth century and only rebuilt five hundred years later.

Now, as part of a revival of interest in Buddhist culture both in India and across the world, the tradition of chanting from the Pali Tipitaka at the place of enlightenment has been restarted, and a series of great gatherings are held over the winter months every year.

For the eleventh ceremony, over 4000 monks and their followers from Bangladesh, Cambodia, Laos PDR, Indonesia, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam will join monks from India in chanting from the Pali Canon in a great assembly under the Bodhi Tree, the central focus of the temple. The opening ceremony on December 2nd is particularly colorful, with lay people in the national dress of the countries present escorting their monks in a procession to the main temple, where the whole assembly receives offerings and chants the first sermon of the Buddha in unison. The Sangharajas (Chief of National Sangha) of Cambodia, Myanmar, Bangladesh and India will be in attendance, along with four Tripirakadharas, monks who have learnt the 45 volumes of the Pali Canon by heart. This is the first time in 700 years that the Theravada Sangha have returned to chant the precious teaching and perhaps the first time where the International Sangha have chanted together since the Buddha’s time.

Dharma talks are given every night of the event under the Bodhi Tree, translated into English and Hindi, and screened live on the Internet. On the final day, the assembly will be inaugurating the first of a set of Dharma walks that are planned to directly link Bodhgaya with the ancient capital of Magadha at Rajgir. The ancient pathway skirts a line of hills that join the two sites, and 1000 monks and their followers will walk from the Jethian Valley, the valley where the Buddha met King Bimbisara and walked to his ancient capital, to Javika Mango Grove. This 14km walk will happen on December 13th, and will also be attended by thousands of villagers from the surrounding area.

This resurgence in activity has lead to a remarkable increase in visitors to the Buddhist sites of India. Indeed it is now estimated that one in six visitors to India visit Bodhgaya (source: Indian Ministry of Tourism), and many of these visitors go on to visit the other great sites that formed the ancient pilgrimage circuit. The state of Bihar alone has over 1,600 accredited Buddhist sites, many in a very good state of preservation, and substantial Buddhist remains are spread across every state in Northern India. These large visitor numbers have important economic and social consequences, and initiatives have been launched at both state and federal level to further promote the pilgrimage circuit within the ancient landscape of northern India.

The Light of Buddhadharma Foundation, a California based charity, is dedicated to rebuilding the Buddhist culture of India, and has been the primary sponsor of the International Tipitaka Chanting Ceremony since its inception in 2006 working to promote the chanting ceremony in Nagpur and in Sri Lanka, the beautification of the ancient sites and the training of monks.

As Director Wangmo Dixey explains:

“In Bringing the international sanghas of monks and lay followers together in this way, the Foundation has been active in supporting the Buddhist culture of India, and in demonstrating the vitality and relevance of this ancient religion in the modern world. We feel very inspired by the growing interest in the role of India as the homeland of the teachings of the Buddha, and the positive economic, social and political consequences that will follow a full-scale revival of Buddhism in the land of its origin. Buddhism is the third largest world religion, and a unifying force in South East Asia and the Far East. To see the great country of India playing a role in its development will be a great benefit, both for the region and the entire world.”



Useful Information for Lay Attendees

All people interested in attending the Tipitaka Chanting Ceremony are most welcome.

Registration is reserved for the Bhikkhu Sangha as the organizing committee sponsors their travel expenses within India, but laypeople form an important and valued part of the ceremony itself. The Tipitaka Chanting Council welcomes all who wish to attend, and whilst attendees are requested to make their own arrangements for travel, accommodation and food.

The schedule of the ceremony comprises daily chanting evening, dhamma talks, and a pilgrimage following the completion of the ceremony. Please come and continue the growth of the chanting ceremony as a true festival of the Buddhadharma in India.

Volunteer Opportunities

  • Food Serving Team
  • Registration Team
  • Tea and Coffee Serving
  • Cooks
  • Decoration Team
  • Clean up Team
  • Medical Team
  • General Information Team

Volunteer Guide

Volunteer Guide In English

Volunteer Guide In Khmer

3rd-12thDecember 2015

06:00 – 06:45 a.m

Breakfast at Kalacakra Grounds

07.00 – 09.00 a.m

Chanting (Mahabodhi Temple)

09.00 – 09.15 a.m

Tea Break (Mahabodhi Temple)

09.15 – 10.45 a.m

Chanting (Temple)

11.00 – 01.00 p.m


01.30 – 03.30 p.m

Chanting (Mahabodhi Temple)

03.30 – 03.45 p.m

03.45 – 05.00 p.m

Chanting (Mahabodhi Temple)

06.00 – 09.00 p.m

Dharma Talk (Under Sacred Bodhi Tree)

Travel Information

Overview of Travel Arrangements to Gaya, India:

Only direct air link from Bangkok to Gaya is operated by Thai Airways International. Seats are expensive and in short supply due to withdrawal of all competing carriers which formerly landed at the Gaya Airport.

Nearby cities with national airlinks connecting to international flights are Varanasi (VNS, Lal Bahadur Shastri Airport), at a distance of 250 km from Gaya and Patna (PAT, Lok Nayak Jayaprakash Airport), at a distance of 100 km from Gaya. Jet Airways has direct (1hr20min) and multi-hop flights to Varanasi from Delhi for those traveling from abroad. Indian Airlines has flights from Delhi to Patna. Both airlines connect with international arriving flights. Local transport must be arranged between Varanasi-Gaya by bus or train and between Patna-Gaya by bus or taxi.

Another alternative is to arrive in the international gateway cities, like Kolkata/Calcutta (CCU, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport), 500 km from Gaya, or Delhi (DEL, Indira Gandhi International Airport), 1000 km from Gaya, with onward inland transport by bus or train. Onward inland transport mode/bookings should be coordinated prior to arrival due to the complexities of purchasing tickets in India. Ample time must be left for inter-mode connections and for the complexities of Indian customs formalities.

** Note that passport must have at least six months’ validity to the date of departure from India. **



  • Comfortable shoes with good tread.
  • A sweater and outer jacket are recommended since temperatures can drop close to freezing in January.
  • Men should bring lightweight cotton pants and women should bring long skirts or dresses of a lightweight material with long sleeves. Men may wish to take one tie and jacket for formal meetings. To respect local customs, shorts and tank tops should be avoided.
  • Socks/ Sock slippers for the temple (To wear in dirty/dusty shoe-free locations. e.g. inside temple grounds)


  • Luggage locks are strongly recommended.
  • A carry-on bag or daypack. International flights may only allow one piece of carry on luggage.
  • If carrying along expensive electronics or photography equipment, declare before entering India.


  • Extra pair of glasses and/or your prescription in case of theft or loss.
  • A flashlight (power can go out several times a day).
  • A small pocket-knife for peeling fruit.
  • An electrical coil for boiling water.
  • An India wall plug adapter for electrical equipment. Also India has 220V/50Hz power so you might need a converter.
  • Money belt for passports, credit cards, cash etc.
  • For your own protection, please have a photocopy of the first 2 pages of your passport and the page with Indian Visa.
  • We recommend that you bring some light food with you for snacks. Ex. Granola bars, power bars, powdered protein drinks, instant oat meal, nuts, herbal tea, hot chocolate and dried fruits.
  • You may need mosquito repellent. Mosquito nets are usually provided by guest houses. Enclosed, zipped net tents are available in Bodhgaya for ~300 Rs
  • Please carry hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen.
  • You may also need hand gel/liquid hand soap, disposable face masks, rags/antibacterial cleaning liquid, plastic sheet/cushion for meditation, sleeping bag for overnight stay and medicines as necessary.

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