Advice on Pilgrimage

By Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche
(Archive #1171, 1378, 1746, 1872, 1942)

In these teachings, Lama Zopa Rinpoche advises how to make pilgrimage to Bodhgaya and other Buddhist sacred sites most meaningful. A booklet of these teachings was produced by Root Institute, Bodhgaya, India, for students going on pilgrimage. First edit by Trisha Donnelly, Gordon McDougall and Ven. Sarah Thresher. Second edit and updates by Sandra Smith, January 2020.

You can download a revised version of the booklet as a free PDF or click on the links below to read the complete teachings on our website.

The lamas with Western Sangha and Mount Everest Centre students in Bodhgaya, 1974.

Click on the links below to read these teachings on our website. 

Why Bodhgaya Is So Important: Rinpoche gave this advice while staying at Root Institute, Bodhgaya, in February 2014.

Practicing in Bodhgaya: In this teaching, Rinpoche explains the benefits of practicing in Bodhgaya and advises specific practices to be done while on pilgrimage. Excerpted from a teaching given to a Russian group at Root Institute, Bodhgaya, on January 26, 2002.

Advice on Practices at the Mahabodhi Stupa: This advice was given while Rinpoche was circumambulating and reciting texts at the Mahabodhi Stupa, Bodhgaya, on January 25, 2012. The six benefits of reciting the Buddha's name and mantra are excerpted from a teaching by Rinpoche at the entrance of the stupa, Bodhgaya, on January 20, 2012.

Practices for Pilgrimage: Rinpoche gave this advice to students going on a pilgrimage to Tibet in June and July 2002. Included is advice on practices that will make pilgrimage to the holy places in Nepal and India as meaningful and beneficial as possible.
Note: The LYWA web page contains Rinpoche's complete advice. The booklet PDF contains an abridged version of this advice.

Prayers and Practices for Pilgrimage: Rinpoche suggested these prayers and practices for a student who was going on pilgrimage to Bodhgaya, Rajgir and Nalanda in India.
Note: The LYWA web page contains the recommended FPMT prayers along with links to practices suggested by Rinpoche. The booklet PDF contains an abridged version of this advice.

Pilgrimage to Bodhgaya, Rajgir and Nalanda: Additional advice given to a student going on pilgrimage to Bodhgaya, Rajgir and Nalanda in India.

Advice and Practices for Pilgrimage: This advice was given to a student who attended the introductory course at Tushita Meditation Centre. Rinpoche heard she was doing pilgrimage after the course and gave this advice.

Benefits of the Prostration Mudra: Rinpoche discusses the eight benefits of the prostration mudra.

Benefits of Circumambulation: In this teaching, Rinpoche reads his own translation of verses from a sutra found in the Kangyur, the Tibetan Buddhist canon. Rinpoche also gives a commentary on the verses, which outline the extensive benefits of circumambulating stupas.

Meditation on Emptiness at Vulture's Peak: Rinpoche lead this meditation on emptiness at Vulture's Peak, Rajgir, India . You can listen to the audio and read along with the transcript of this teaching on our website.