Sarnath

Sarnath is a famous place in Varanasi and it is the destination for cultures like Hindu, Buddha and Jain. Sarnath is the place where Gautama Buddha first taught the Dharma then Buddhist Sangha has originated as well as came into existence because of the enlightenment of Kondanna. It is situated atleast 13 Km to north-east of Varanasi. There is a village 1 km away from the Sarnath known as the Singhpur where Shreyansanath was born. He was known as the eleventh Tirthankara of Jainism. This is why the sarnath is also an important pilgrimage site for Jainism.

Sarnath has previously been known as Mrigadava, "deer park," and Isipatana, meaning the place where holy men (Pali: isi) fell to earth. The latter name is based in the legend that when the Buddha was born, devas came down to announce it to 500 holy men. The holy men all rose into the air and disappeared and their relics fell to the ground.
The current name Sarnath, from Saranganath, means "Lord of the Deer" and relates to another old Buddhist story in which the Bodhisattva is a deer and offers his life to a king instead of the doe he is planning to kill. The king is so moved that he creates the park as a sanctuary for deer.

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