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Background to the
International Tipitaka Chanting Ceremony

Our History

Reciting the Words of the Buddha in Pali

This ceremony has become one of the most important events in the Buddhist world, bringing the great community of Buddhists from the countries of India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, Nepal, Indonesia and Vietnam to pray together under the Bodhi Tree in a ten-day ceremony. It is also an historic gathering, for it is the first time the great Theravadin Sangha has gathered in this way in India for at least seven hundred years.

Every two years a different international Sangha of monks acts as chief organizer of this event. Over the past sixteen years, India, Thailand, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Cambodia have taken this role, and in each case large numbers of their national devotees visit India for the first time, often coming back to the motherland of the Dharma again and again. This year Cambodia will lead as a Chief Organizer. As a result, the numbers attending the event have steadily risen, with nearly 10,000 Buddhist monks and their followers present on the opening day. It is truly an international festival of the Dharma in honor of the ancient Buddhist culture of India. All look to Mother India as the home of this great religion; indeed its message of tolerance and peace has come to epitomize the character of India on the world stage. In India itself Buddhism is also growing very rapidly, with an estimated two million people of Indian nationality now following the religion.

The event also serves a secondary purpose, for it offers an opportunity for educated and experienced Bhantes to share their knowledge and experience with less experienced Bhikkhus, particularly from the host country of the Aryadesha. Accordingly, a series of Dharma talks are offered for the benefit of both the sangha and lay followers during the course of the event, which culminates with a Dharma walk on December 13th each year through the ancient landscape that has been so wonderfully preserved in the land of the Aryadesh. Recently the international Sangha has opened the 13km Dharma walk from the Jethian valley to Mango Groove, retracing the steps the Blessed One took in the months directly following the enlightenment, and this year we will walk from the Jethian stupa to the ancient Mango Grove, where so many teachings were given by the Buddha Bhagavat.

Lumbini & Kapilavastu

The birthplace and Kingdom of Shakyamuni


Seat of Enlightenment


Turning of the Dharma Wheel


Greatest number of Rainy Retreat by Buddha


Place of Abhidhamma


Home of Vulture’s Peak


Place of Second Council


Where Buddha Passed Away

Ajanta & Elora


The Light of Buddhadharma Foundation is dedicated to revitalizing and developing the Buddhasasana in India.


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