Vipassana Center, Nanded
Dhamma Niranjan Vipassana Kendra is one of the numerous centers in the state of Maharashtra. It is located at the bank of Godawary river. It is near to Nanded city. Dhamma Niranjan vipassana centre is easily accessible by rail and ground transportation also.There are the references about the historical background in tipitac. As per the evidences in archeological survey, in the modern age it is proved that ever illuminating race of Dhamma reached Godavari territory in Marathwada region of Maharashtra during the life time of Lord Gautama the Buddha.
Banks of river Godavari
Our beloved teacher Shri S.N. Goenka ji has conveyed us through his timeless discourses that a land where people have meditated in the past is not just ripe with Dhamma vibrations but it also attracts, and spreads Dhamma vibrations. A place like this is a boon for current and future meditators. The place where Dhamma Niranjan Vipassana Center is being constructed is an ideal place for this very reason. It has a huge historical significance and finds its mentions in Tripitaca. Parayanvagga tells us about how auspicious and radiant rays of Dhamma reached banks of river Godavari through a sage called Bawari Rishi and his disciples.
Bawari Sage and Dhamma Niranjana Vipassana Center
Bawari was a Kosal brahmin and had a royal patronage of king Prasenjit. He stayed in the capital city of Savathi. But in the search of nothingness, the master of three vedas and mantras, he left everything behind and set out on a journey towards southern part of India.
He arrived at the banks of river Godavari. The river was at the border between Assaka and Mulaka Mahajanapada or kingdoms. The kings from both the regions donated land to Bawari to set up his hermitage
Bawari set up his monastery near a large village at the banks of river Godavari. He started living there on gleanings, donations and fruits. With everything he has received from the village, one day he organised an oblation ceremony.
After finishing the rituals, a Brahmin approached him and demanded 500 Karshyapan coins. Bawari, after asking his well-being and asking him to take a seat, said, "Please forgive me but I don't have anything to offer to you right now. I've given away everything I had in the ceremony." This enraged the Brahmin. He warned Bawari to fulfil his demands else he will put a curse on him. As Bawari did not have anything to offer, the brahmin roared, "on the seventh day, your head will split in 7 pieces" and stormed out.
After hearing this, Bawari became dejected. The grief-stricken Bawari gave up food and even stopped meditating.
Having seen him miserable and terrified, a benevelont deity approached Bawari. The deity said, "The conceited brahmin himself doesn't know the meaning of head splitting. He was just a greedy and covetous man." Bawari implored the deity to please explain the meaning of the curse. The deity revealed to him the arrival of Samma Sambuddha on earth, and that he is the only one who can explain the exact meaning of head splitting into 7 pieces. Bawari became elated and ecstatic after hearing about Samma Sambuddha.
But due to his frail health, he was unable to undertake the journey. So he called upon 16 of his most eminent and learned disciples to go and visit Buddha. He said, "The one whose appearance is rarest of the rare has arisen on earth, a Samyak Sasmbuddha. You should go, and visit him." The disciples asked, "How will we identify him?, please guide us" So to identify a real Buddha, he apprised them about the 32 marks of the awakened one. Bawari also advised the disciples to ask the questions only in their minds. If he indeed is a Buddha, he will be the one to see without any obscurations, and will answer all your questions.
After bowing down and circumambulating Bawari, the disciples set forth on their arduous journey towards the north. They crossed city after city and reached Päsanaka Shrine near Rajagaha. The shrine was on a hill. Like a parched searching for water, a merchant looking for gains, a scorched looking for shade, they climbed the hill hastily to see Buddha. Buddha was giving a sermon to Bhikkus like a lion roaring in the jungle.
Ajita, the leader of the disciples was greatly delighted to see all the 32 marks of the awakened one. He asked questions about Bawari in his mind. Buddha, with a smile answered his questions. Then Ajita thought in his mind, "We request you to please guide us regarding the head and head splitting!" The enlightened one said, "Ignorance is the head. Wisdom is what splits the head apart with mindfulness, concentration, faith, determination and efforts". The people present were perplexed to see Buddha answering when no one is asking any questions.
Then all disciples came forwards and bowed at Buddha's feet. Buddha said, "May Bawari with all his disciples be happy. Ask whatever you long to know"
Sitting at Buddha's feet, with reverence, Ajita asked the first question "What is the world is encased in? Why is it opaque? What is it tainted with? What is its greatest fear?".
"The world is encased by ignorance, Ajita. It is opaque due to doubt and meanness. Longing is what it is tainted with and suffering is its greatest fear", answered the awakened one. "Streams are flowing everywhere in the world. How can they be reined in? How can the streams be stopped?", asked Ajita.
"The streams can only be reined in by the mindfulness, and can be stopped only by the wisdom", answered the Buddha.
Tissamettaya asked, "Who is truly content in this world? Who is free from agitation? Who is the wise man who knows both extremes yet is pure in the middle? Who is a great man? Who is free from craving(seamstress)?"
"The one virtuous in sensory pleasures, ever mindful and free from cravings in the one content, and free from agitation. A man who knows both the extremes yet is pure in the middle is a wise one. The great man is the one who has gone beyond the cravings (seamstress)" answered the enlightened one.
"All that I heard before coming here, "so it was and so will be" was just a myth. It just increased my unease and took away delight. Please explain me O sage, the Dhamma which destroys cravings, by understanding it and living mindfully, one can be free from the entanglements of the world." asked Hemaka.
"By eliminating the desire and passion for everything pleasing in the forms of seen, heard, sensed, and thought, one achieves unchanging, undying Nibbana. The one who knows this and is mindful, sees the Dhamma, and is peaceful, crosses all the entanglements of the world" answered the Buddha
A young man Mogharaja asked, "I do not know the way respected Gotama sees this world, the other world, Brahma's world or the world of the Gods. My question to one who sees all is, how one should see the world so as the death does not see him?"
"Always be mindful and see the world as empty Mogharaja. Having right view of the self, one will cross over death. When one looks at the world like this, death does not see one." answered Samyak Sambuddha.
Pingiya asked, "I am old and feeble, with impaired hearing, and partial blindness. Before I die as an ignorant, please teach me Dhamma which takes one beyond the cycle of birth and death."
The Gracious one answered, "Having seen people pained amid forms, be mindful Pingiya and give up the bodily form so as not to be reborn. Humanity is afflicted by cravings, agonising by being born, and overcome by age. So let go of cravings to not be born again.
One after the other everyone asked their questions and Buddha answered it gracefully for their satisfaction. Having heard Dhamma, everyone became Arhant except Pingiya. He was thinking about Bawari, hence he became Anagami.
On returning back to Bawari, Pingiya recited the Dhamma. By the time his recital ended, Buddha appeared as glorious rays, and preached Dhamma to them. Thereby Pingiya became Arahant, and Bawari an Anagami.
Modern archaeological surveys and all the historical evidence attests to the fact that Dhamma Niranjana Vipassana center is constructed at the same region where Bawari had his monastery. The same place where Buddha himself preached Dhamma. The place which served and spread Dhamma around. Another undeniable proof for it is the mention of Bawari's monastery in Buddhist literature. It is mentioned the monastery was situated at a meander of Godavary river near a large village. That village has turned into Nanded city today and there is only one meander near it. Thus confirming further the significance of the location of the Dhamma Niranjana Vipassana center.
Dhamma grows on the bank of the river Godavari.
All Image courtesy are of VRI.
Dhamma Niranjana Vipassana center is located on the banks of Godavri river at Nanded city.
Air: Guru Gobind Singhji Airport, Nanded, Maharashtra.
Rail: Hazur Sahib Nanded is a railway station connected with all major cities of India.
Road: NH-61 pass through Nanded with good road connectivity
Dhamma Niranjan Vipassana Center,
New Dunkin Water Purification plant, Dist: Nanded, Maharashtra - 431601