About the Book:
SARNATH, is one of the most important places of worship for Buddhists, the world over. Sarnath, about seven miles to the north of Varanasi, is a tiny hamlet where the Buddha preached his first sermon 2,5000 years ago. Called 'The Turning of the Wheel' (dharma chakra pravartana) the sermon summed up the essentials of Buddhist teaching. Focusing upon suffering, the Buddha argued that the cause of suffering was desire, and that if man wished to get rid of suffering he must first get rid of desire.
A Wandering teacher during much of his life, the Buddha travelled over the eastern Gangetic plain, preaching his doctrines, but he often stayed at the monastery in Sarnath during the monsoon months. In later years, Sarnath became not only an important centre of Buddhist art and thought but also one of the holiest shrines of Buddhism, visited by devotees from all parts of the world.
But the Buddha left God and divinity out of his system. Being an atheistic religion, Buddhism does not see God as essential to the universe, but acknowledges a natural cosmic rise and decline. It holds that the universe originally had been a place of bliss, but by giving in to desire, man made it a place of suffering. Man's salvation lies in freeing himself from desire and achieving nirvana or extinction, freedom from the wheel of rebirth.
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