Maps of Ancient Buddhist Asia

Cattāri Saṁvejanīyāni Ṭhānāni
The Four Places that Produce Enthusiasm

The Four Places that Produce Enthusiasm

The map shown above is approx. 550 km from East to West and 400 km from North to South

The modern place names are given here: Uruvelā = Bodhgaya; Isipatana = Sarnath; Kusinārā = Kushinagar.

from Mahāparinibbānasuttaṁ, Section 35:

These are the four places, Ānanda, that are to be seen that produce enthusiasm for a faithful man of good family. Faithful monks, nuns, laymen, and laywomen will come, (thinking): ‘Here the Realised One was born’, ‘Here the Realised One awoke to the unsurpassed and Perfect Awakening’, ‘Here the Realised One set rolling the Wheel of the Teaching’, ‘Here the Realised One was Completely Emancipated in the Emancipation-element which has no basis for attachment remaining’, and whoever, Ānanda, will die while on pilgrimage to the Shrines with a confident mind they will all, at the break-up of the body, after death, re-arise in a happy destiny, in a heavenly world.

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To give some idea of the distances involved: when the Bodhisatta left Kapilavatthu he walked down to Rājagaha, which is approx. 360 km; from Rajagaha he walked down to Uruvelā (approx. 80 km south), which is where he practiced and attained Awakening; after Awakening he walked over to Isipatana near Bārāṇasī (approx. 250 km). On his last walking tour at the age of 80, he first walked from Rājagaha to Vesālī (approx. 90 km, and after the Rains Retreat from Vesālī to Kusinārā (approx. 270 km), quite a feat for someone who was 80 years old and ill.