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Turning of the Dharma Wheel
Our History

After spending seven weeks in Bodhgaya following his enlightenment, the Buddha embarked on a journey to Sarnath, where he sought out his former followers. It was here, amidst the tranquil setting of the Deer Park, that he delivered his inaugural sermon known as the Dhammachaka Sutta. This sacred site remains preserved to this day, serving as a testament to the profound teachings imparted by the Buddha over two millennia ago.

Chanting Ceremonies

Our first delegation began in 2013 when we brought 600 participants from the International Tipitaka chanting ceremony from Bodhgaya a gift of a sapling from the ancient Bodhi Tree at Anuradhapura. This tree was planted in the centre of the Sarnath International Nyingma Institute with a grand ceremony of monks, lay participants and a letter to document the source of the offering.

In 2016, the Light of BuddhaDharma Foundation International started to bring Venerable monks to Sarnath annually to initiate the Dhammachakka chanting program. LBDFI sponsored the erection of a chanting pavilion, and offered food twice per day to all participants. In collaboration with the local monks from Sarnath, over the years the ceremony has grown to 325 participants of monks and nuns from all traditions. In 2017, we had 300 participants from the local temples including the Tibetan khenpos from Sarnath International Nyingma Institute. In 2018, we had close to 250 participants from the local area joining the 4th Dhammachakka program. In 2019, we had 250 participants altogether joining the 5th International Dhammachakka program.


This program involves both the Theravada and Tibetan monastics chanting the Dhammachakka sutra in Pali and Tibetan. In the evenings, Dharma talks are offered comparing insights arising from the two traditions. This is a

very unusual opportunity for the sharing of views, as well as the promotion of mutual understanding between respective traditions. The event ends with visits to the Deer park and the extensive holdings in the Sarnath museum. Every year there is also a morning boat tour of the cremation ghats in neighboring Varanasi.


Our first Rains retreat began in 2012 in Sarnath with five Venerable bhikkhus. We took care of the monks for three months in the summertime and also invited all the great monastics in the surrounding area to join in the last day celebrations.


Tree offered by the Venerable monks and Light of BuddhaDharma Foundation. Original in 2013 sapling from Sri Lanka, Sri Mahabodhi Tree in Anuradhapura brought by the senior delegation from the Sacred Tooth Relic temple.


We offered SINI a 8 foot stupa to be placed in their quarters as an offering from the Foundation. It is now situated as part of their Institute.


Every year we walk from the Sarnath International Nyingma to the main Dhamekha stupa. It allows the local people to see venerable monks walking mindfully towards the stupa. We walk together in Dharma from both the Theravada and Tibetan tradition. Reciting the Dhammachakka sutra in Pali and Tibetan unifies our intention to promote BuddhaDharma. After a full day of chanting, we return back to SINI to have discussions on the meaning of the Dhammachakka Sutra. We also take our Dharmayatra monks to a pilgrimage to visit the Ganga and the surrounding areas in Varanasi.

Book Distribution

Every year we distribute copies of the Dhammachakka sutra for all participants. Many of the monks know this sutra by heart.

Dharma Talks

Every year we hold a discussion of the Dhammachakka sutra in the halls of the Sarnath International Nyingma Institute where monks give lectures from both the Pali and Tibetan traditions.

Our most recent ceremony was sponsored by the government of Uttar Pradesh, where over 300 monks gathered at the Dharmek stupa to chant the Dhammachakka sutra.

What did the Buddha teach here according to the Pali Canon:

Lumbini and Kapilavastu hold profound significance in Buddhist history as the birthplace and early home of Siddhartha Gautama, the revered Buddha. Lumbini, located in present-day Nepal, marks the sacred spot where Queen Maya Devi gave birth to Prince Siddhartha. Kapilavastu, situated nearby, was the capital of the Shakya kingdom where the young prince spent his formative years.

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


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