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Rebuilding the Navel of the Earth: Buddhist pilgrimage and transnational religious networks*

  • DAVID GEARY (a1)

Abstract

Central to the modern rebirth of Bodh Gaya as the place of Buddha's enlightenment is the growing influence of Buddhist missionaries and transnational religious networks on this pilgrimage landscape in North India. Although this process began in the late nineteenth century, it was not until after India's independence that Buddhism became an integral part of the nation-building project and a key site of post-colonial diplomacy with neighbouring Asian countries. Symbolic of these international and diplomatic ties are the increasing numbers of foreign Buddhist monasteries and temples that have acquired land around Bodh Gaya. This paper seeks to document the historical and transnational religious processes that support the growing globalization of Bodh Gaya and to survey the institutional means through which monasteries have elevated the Buddhist memory of the site. In tracing these different national and regional networks of Buddhism, I argue that there is an underlying tension between Buddhist culture anchored in the national polity and the forces of globalization and religious experience that seek to transcend it.

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*

The research on which this paper is based was conducted with the support of the Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. Information was collected through interviews and surveys with the head monks, nuns, and caretakers of various monasteries in Bodh Gaya held between 2005–2007 and 2010–2011. Supplementary data were gathered from articles, newsletters, and publications by the monasteries themselves, along with local Buddhist journals such as the The Maha Bodhi, Sambodhi, and Prajna. Earlier drafts of this paper were presented at the Oxford Centre for Buddhist Studies Seminar Series and the doctoral/post-doctoral workshop as part of the Theravada Civilizations Project in Toronto in 2012. I am very grateful for all the insightful comments made, including the suggestions by the reviewers of Modern Asian Studies. Any mistakes that remain are my own.

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1 In using the term ‘Buddhist missionaries’, I am drawing on the recently published volume by Learman, L. (2005). Buddhist Missionaries in the Era of Globalization, Honolulu, University of Hawai'i Press. According to Learman, in the past and present both Theravada and Mahayana Buddhist organizations have engaged in what can be seen as missionary activities: that is, a member of a religious group being sent into an area to provide some degree of service or proselytization. I argue that the establishment of diasporic religious communities at Bodh Gaya is a form of missionary work, and one key element in the spread and propagation of Buddhism is the construction of monasteries and temples. This is certainly evident with Dharmapala and the Maha Bodhi Society which had a clear missionary agenda to their work.

2 Trevithick, A. (2006). The Revival of Buddhist Pilgrimage at Bodh Gaya (1811–1949): Anagarika Dharmapala and the Mahabodhi Temple, Delhi, Motilal Banarsidass, p. 205.

3 Basch, L., Glick Schiller, N. and Szanton Blanc, C. (1994). Nations Unbound: Transnational Projects, Postcolonial Predicaments, and Deterritorialized Nation-States, Basel, Gordon and Breach, p. ix.

4 According to Baumann the designations ‘traditionalist’ and ‘modernist’ Buddhism relate to two broad developmental periods in Buddhist history. The traditionalist developmental period grew out of the reign of Asoka and lasted until the beginning of the revival or reformist Buddhist movements that took place in the mid- to late nineteenth century. The modern period commences with Buddhist monks responding to colonialism, Christian missionaries, and the disestablishment of the sangha as the basis of traditional authority. For more on the developmental periods, regional histories, and analytical perspectives of global Buddhism, see Baumann, M. (2001). ‘Global Buddhism: Developmental Periods, Regional Histories, and a New Analytical Perspective’, Journal of Global Buddhism, 2, pp. 143.

5 Beyer, P. (1996). Religion and Globalization, London, Sage Publications; Appadurai, A. (1996). Modernity at Large: Cultural Dimensions of Globalization, Minneapolis, University of Minnesota Press; Appadurai, A. (1990). ‘Disjuncture and Difference in the Global Cultural Economy’, Theory, Culture, and Society, 7: 2–3, pp. 295310; Rudolph, S.H. and Piscatori, J. (1997). Transnational Religion and Fading States, Boulder, Westview Press; Hefner, R.H. (1998). ‘Multiple Modernities: Christianity, Islam, and Hinduism in a Globalizing Age’, Annual Review of Anthropology, 27, pp. 83104; Van der Veer, P. and Lehmann, H. (1999). Nation and Religion: Perspectives on Europe and Asia, Princeton, Princeton University Press; Hopkins, D.N., Lorentzen, L.A., Mendieta, E. and Batstone, D. (2001). Religions/Globalizations: Theories and Cases, Durham, Duke University Press; Juergensmeyer, M. (2003). Global Religions: An Introduction, Oxford, Oxford University Press; Csordas, T.J. (2009). Transnational Transcendence: Essays on Religion and Globalization, Berkeley, University of California Press.

6 Hefner, ‘Multiple Modernities’.

7 Csordas, Transnantional Transcendence, p. 1.

8 Kemper, S. (2005). ‘Dharmapala's Dharmaduta and the Buddhist Ethnoscape’, in Learman, L.Buddhist Missionaries in the Era of Globalization, Honolulu, University of Hawai'i Press, pp. 2250.

9 Borchert, T. (2007). ‘Buddhism, Politics, and Nationalism in the Twentieth and Twenty-first Centuries’, Religion Compass, 1: 5, p. 529.

10 Nehru, J. (1948–1949). Selected Works of Jawaharlal Nehru, Series II, 9 (1948–1949), New Delhi, Oxford University Press, p. 110.

11 Rudolph and Piscatori, Transnational Religion and Fading States, p. 1.

12 According to the widely cited Mahaparinirvana (‘Great Final Enlightenment’) Sutra, the Buddha encouraged his disciples to undertake pilgrimages and visit the places associated with the pivotal events in his spiritual and biographical life. These four main sites are Lumbini, Bodh Gaya, Sarnath, and Kushinagar.

13 Huber, T. (2008). The Holy Land Reborn, Chicago, University of Chicago Press.

14 Kemper, ‘Dharmapala's Dharmaduta and the Buddhist Ethnoscape’, p. 44.

15 Trevithick, The Revival of Buddhist Pilgrimage at Bodh Gaya; Doyle, T.N. (1997). ‘Bodh Gaya: Journeys to the Diamond Throne and the Feet of Gayasur’, PhD thesis, Harvard University; Singh, U. (2010). ‘Exile and Return: The Reinvention of Buddhism and Buddhist Sites in Modern India’, South Asia Studies, 26: 2, pp. 193217.

16 Although there is little consensus among historians and Buddhist schools on the specific date of the birth, enlightenment, and parinirvana of the Buddha, among Theravada Buddhists this date is often associated with vesak, the full moon which falls in late April or May.

17 Bond, G. (1992). The Buddhist Revival in Sri Lanka: Religious Tradition, Reinterpretations, and Response, Delhi, Motilal Banarsidass.

18 Nehru, J. (1955) Selected Works of Jawaharlal Nehru, Series II, 28, New Delhi, Oxford University Press, pp. 453–54.

19 Holt, J.C. (2004). Buddhist Visnu: Religious Transformation, Politics and Culture, New York, Columbia University Press, p. 23.

20 Nehru, Selected Works of Jawaharlal Nehru, 28, pp. 450–51.

21 Doyle, ‘Bodh Gaya: Journeys to the Diamond Throne’, p. 203.

22 Part of the nationwide programme included: physical improvements made at Buddhist sites; the publication of dozens of government-sponsored books and pamphlets on Buddhism and Buddhist places (such as the book, entitled 2500 Years of Buddhism, produced by the Publications division of the Government of India Information and Broadcasting Ministry); the broadcasting of numerous features, talks, and dramas about Buddhism by All India Radio; the convening of an International Buddhist Conference; the erection of the Buddha Jayanti Monument in Delhi; a Buddhist art exhibition; the issuing of a special commemorative stamp; the making of a government-sponsored film on the life of Buddha; the publication of the complete Pali Tipitaka in a number of Indian languages; railway concessions for pilgrims; the declaration of the Buddha Jayanti day—the vesak purnima—as a public holiday for the whole of India; and the organization of thousands of Buddha Jayanti cultural events and cultural progammes on the life and teachings of the Buddha.

23 The first meeting of the Bodh Gaya Temple Advisory Board was held on 17 March 1956, although it was not until 1959 that the governor of Bihar formally established the rules and regulations of the Advisory Board. Its primary task is to advise the Indian government on the development aspects of the temple and Bodh Gaya in general. Furthermore, the Advisory Board is to consist of no fewer than 20 members of whom two-thirds should be Buddhist, with at least half of them foreign citizens. All the members of the Board are appointed by the government of Bihar and it usually meets every two years.

24 Nehru, Selected Works of Jawaharlal Nehru, 9, p. 110.

25 Nehru, Selected Works of Jawaharlal Nehru, 28, pp. 453–54.

26 Doyle, ‘Bodh Gaya: Journeys to the Diamond Throne’, p. 207.

27 Shortly after his mass conversion, Ambedkar travelled to Kathmandu in Nepal to attend the Fourth World Buddhist Conference. He then undertook pilgrimage to Bodh Gaya, Sarnath, and Kusinagar before his death on 6 December 1956.

28 Doyle, ‘Bodh Gaya: Journeys to the Diamond Throne’; Trevithick, A. (1999). ‘British Archaeologists, Hindu Abbots, and Burmese Buddhists: The Mahabodhi Temple at Bodh Gaya, 1811–1877’, Modern Asian Studies, 33: 3, pp. 635–56.

29 Doyle, ‘Bodh Gaya: Journeys to the Diamond Throne’; Trevithick, ‘British Archaeologists, Hindu Abbots, and Burmese Buddhists’.

30 According to Doyle, these activities reflect earlier reforms during the reign of the Pagan kings (1044–1287) when a type of institutional orthodoxy emerged that served to legitimate the new dynastic line. With influences stemming from Sri Lanka, these Burmese monarchs inherited the concept of Dhamma-raja, ‘a vision of the ideal Buddhist king, which they, like their neighbors, fully utilized in order to legitimate their dynastic line and rule’: Doyle, ‘Bodh Gaya: Journeys to the Diamond Throne’, p. 109.

31 Knaster, M. in collaboration with Robert Pryor (2010). Living This Life Fully: Stories and Teachings of Munindra, Boston, Shambhala, p. xiv.

32 Matthews, B. (1999). ‘The Legacy of Tradition and Authority: Buddhism and the Nation in Myanmar’, in Harris, I.Buddhism and Politics in Twentieth-century Asia, London, Pinter.

33 Pryor, R. (2005). ‘Anagarika Munindra and the Historical Context of the Vipassana Movement’, Paper presented at the International Association of Buddhist Studies Conference, London, UK.

34 The Samanvay Ashram was founded in 1954 by Dwarko Sundrani and Vinoba Bhave. It is a charitable trust based on Gandhian values and is a centre for research and training in education and development.

35 Pryor, ‘Anagarika Munindra and the Historical Context of the Vipassana Movement’.

36 Doyle, ‘Bodh Gaya: Journeys to the Diamond Throne’.

37 Banerjee, N. (2000). Gaya and Bodh Gaya: A Profile, New Delhi, Inter-India Publications.

38 Guy, J. (1991). ‘The Mahabodhi Temple: Pilgrim Souvenirs of Buddhist India’, The Burlington Magazine, 133: 1059, p. 358. For a more recent take on the reproduction of Mahabodhi temples, see Asher, F. (2012). ‘Bodh Gaya and the Originality of Art’, in Geary, D., Sayers, M.R. and Amar, A.Cross-Disciplinary Perspectives on a Contested Buddhist Site: Bodh Gaya Jataka, London, Routledge, pp. 6176.

39 Huber, The Holy Land Reborn; Lopez, D.S. (2006). The Madman's Middle Way: Reflections on Reality of the Tibetan Monk Gendun Chopel, Chicago, University of Chicago Press.

40 Huber, The Holy Land Reborn.

41 Huber, The Holy Land Reborn.

42 Lama, Dalai (1992). Freedom in Exile: The Autobiography of the Dalai Lama of Tibet, London, Abacus, p. 123.

43 Huber, The Holy Land Reborn, p. 350.

44 Huber, The Holy Land Reborn, p. 351.

45 Huber, The Holy Land Reborn; Singh, ‘Exile and Return’.

46 Huber, The Holy Land Reborn; Doyle, ‘Bodh Gaya: Journeys to the Diamond Throne’.

47 Dalai Lama, Freedom in Exile; Huber, The Holy Land Reborn.

48 The Kalachakra is a complex and advanced form of Vajrayana Tantric practice that aims to empower the initiate in the service of attaining Buddhahood. The Sanskrit word ‘Kalachakra’ means ‘time-wheel’ or ‘time-cycles’ and refers both to a Tantric deity of Vajrayana Buddhism and to the philosophies and meditation practices contained within the Tantra and its many commentaries. The 14th Dalai Lama is regarded as the most prominent Kalachakra lineage holder alive today, having performed over 30 initiations around the world.

49 According to Huber, the first large-scale, pan-Tibetan exile Monlam Chenmo was staged at the Mundgod refugee settlement in Karnataka in February 1983. This event attracted huge numbers of pilgrims and set a benchmark for new innovations of the Monlam that followed. Huber, The Holy Land Reborn; Doyle, ‘Bodh Gaya: Journeys to the Diamond Throne’.

50 Doyle, ‘Bodh Gaya: Journeys to the Diamond Throne’.

51 Huber, The Holy Land Reborn.

52 Huber, The Holy Land Reborn.

53 Huber, The Holy Land Reborn, p. 363.

54 Huber, The Holy Land Reborn, p. 363.

55 Doyle, ‘Bodh Gaya: Journeys to the Diamond Throne’, p. 352.

56 Crowther, G. (1985). India Travel Survival Guide (Lonely Planet Travel Survival Kit), London, Lonely Planet Publications, p. 307.

57 Banerjee, Gaya and Bodh Gaya: A Profile.

58 Doyle, ‘Bodh Gaya: Journeys to the Diamond Throne’.

59 Doyle, ‘Bodh Gaya: Journeys to the Diamond Throne’.

60 Huber, The Holy Land Reborn.

61 More recently, both Urgyen Trinley Dorje and Trinley Thaye Dorje have independently performed ceremonial duties in the role of Karmapa at Bodh Gaya, even though they have never met. In the 2010–2011 winter season at Bodh Gaya, for example, both leaders were using the seat of Buddha's enlightenment to stage their celebration of the 900-year anniversary of the first Karmapa Dusum Khyenpa.

62 Huber, The Holy Land Reborn.

63 Phowa is a Tantric practice that involves preparation for the transference of consciousness at the moment of death. Ayang Rinpoche is a lineage-holder of both the Nyingma and Drikung Phowa, which involves an unbroken line of succession of the Drikung Phowa lamas from Buddha Vajradhara.

64 A gompa or dgon-pa is a Tibetan term that is used in the Himalayan region to describe a centre of learning, monastery, and/or university complex. Although there is a wide variation in terms of architectural design, depending on the region, in general the design of a gompa consists of a sacred geometrical mandala where a group of buildings is arranged around a central prayer hall or temple (lha-khang). Many of the monasteries in Bodh Gaya are lavishly decorated and inside the main shrine room are Buddhist statuary, murals, thangkas, and benches for prayer and meditation. The floors above are usually the private living chambers and abode for the monastery's founder and most prominent tulkus. Attached to the gompa are separate living quarters for monks and nuns.

65 Moran, P. (2004). Buddhism Observed: Travellers, Exiles and Tibetan Dharma in Kathmandu, London, Routledge, p. 62.

66 Zablocki, A.M. (2005). ‘The Global Mandala: The Transnational Transformation of Tibetan Buddhism’, PhD thesis, Cornell University.

67 Moran, Buddhism Observed.

68 Huber, The Holy Land Reborn.

69 Huber, The Holy Land Reborn, p. 373.

70 Huber, The Holy Land Reborn.

71 Moran, Buddhism Observed; Prost, A. (2006). ‘The Problem with “Rich Refugees” Sponsorship, Capital, and the Informal Economy of Tibetan Refugees’, Modern Asian Studies, 40: 1, pp. 233–53.

72 It is has been difficult to find reliable information on the origins of the Chinese temple. For example, Ahir, D.C. (1994). Buddha Gaya Through the Ages, Delhi, Sri Satguru Publications, p. 166, dates the temple to 1935, while Asher, F.M. (2008) Bodh Gaya: Monumental Legacy, New Delhi, Oxford University Press, p. 76, dates the temple to 1945. It is likely that it was associated with the Chinese Buddhist community that was established in Calcutta and this is why Tan Yun-Shan, a close friend of the Bengali poet Rabindranath Tagore, came to stay in the monastery in the early twentieth century. For a few passing references, see Doyle, ‘Bodh Gaya: Journeys to the Diamond Throne’; and Banerjee, Gaya and Bodh Gaya: A Profile.

73 It was also in Bodh Gaya that Tan Yun-Shan passed away in 1985. Menon, K.P.S. ‘My Tribute to Tan Yun-Shan’, <http://www.ignca.nic.in/ks_40016.htm>, [accessed 6 May 2013]. The Mahabodhi Chinese Monastery and Temple also underwent major renovations in 1997, led by the head Chinese monk Wuqian, a prominent English-speaking Fo Guang Shan missionary and abbot of the Xaunzang Temple in Calcutta.

74 The Join Together Society: <http://www.jtsint.org>, [accessed 12 May 2013].

75 One exception to this case is the Japanese intellectual Okakura Kakuzo, who was a close friend of Hindu reformer, Vivekananda. When Okakura Kakuzo visited Bodh Gaya in 1903 his view of Buddhism was in conflict with the reclamation efforts extolled by Dharmapala and the Maha Bodhi Society. He appealed for Hindu-Buddhist cooperation along the lines of ‘common origins’ and ‘Asian brotherhood’ and opposed the politics of confrontation between the two opposing religions over the sacred site. Trevithick, The Revival of Buddhist Pilgrimage at Bodh Gaya.

76 Kemper, ‘Dharmapala's Dharmaduta and the Buddhist Ethnoscape’, p. 43.

78 Ahir Buddha Gaya Through the Ages, p. 138.

79 The Maha Bodhi (1961). ‘Notes and News Section’, p. 69.

80 The relics had been previously enshrined in the Dharmarajika Vihara at the main Maha Bodhi Society headquarters in Calcutta. They were gifted to the Daijokyo Sect in November 1973 in the company of Reverend Hozan Sugisaki and President Reverend Y. Sugisaki, along with 83 lay devotees from Japan. A portion of these relics are now enshrined in the Peace Pagoda that was built for them at the main headquarters of the Daijokyo Secto Temple in Nagoya.

81 Asher, Bodh Gaya: Monumental Legacy.

82 For more information on the first International Gathering of Buddhist nuns and the Bodh Gaya Full Ordination, see Barnes, N.J. (1996). ‘Buddhist Women and the Nuns’ Order in Asia’, in Queen, C.S. and King, S.B.Engaged Buddhism: Buddhist Liberation Movements in Asia, Albany, State University Press of New York, pp. 259–94. LeVine, S. and Gellner, D.N. (2005). Rebuilding Buddhism: The Theravada Movement in Twentieth-Century Nepal, Cambridge, Harvard University Press.

83 LeVine and Gellner, Rebuilding Buddhism.

84 Yu-Ling Chan, ‘When Buddhist women meet: Sakyadhita and the International Buddhist Women's Movement’, <http://blag.biz/sakyadhita>, [accessed 6 May 2013]. Lekshe Tsomo, K. (2007). ‘Sakyadhita Pilgrimage in Asia’, Nova Religio: The Journal of Alternative and Emergent Religions, 10: 3, pp. 102–16.

85 LeVine and Gellner, Rebuilding Buddhism.

86 LeVine and Gellner, Rebuilding Buddhism.

87 Kemper, ‘Dharmapala's Dharmaduta and the Buddhist Ethnoscape’.

88 Guruge, A. (1965). Return to Righteousness: A Collection of Speeches, Essays and Letter of the Anagarika Dharmapala, Colombo, Department of Government Printing; Sangharakshita (1980). Flame in Darkness: The Life and Sayings of Anagarika Dharmapala, India, Tiratana Grantha Mala for Trailokya Bauddha Mahasangha Sahayaka Gana; Gombrich, R. and Obeyesekere, G. (1988). Buddhism Transformed: Religious Change in Sri Lanka, Princeton, Princeton University Press; Gombrich, R. (1988). Theravada Buddhism; A Social History from Ancient Benares to Modern Colombo, New York, Routledge and Kegan Paul; Kemper, ‘Dharmapala's Dharmaduta and the Buddhist Ethnoscape’; Trevithick, The Revival of Buddhist Pilgrimage at Bodh Gaya; McMahan, D.L. (2008). The Making of Buddhist Modernism, Oxford, Oxford University Press.

89 Cited in Ven. B Pannarama (1994), Nagrick Abhidnandan Samaroh Samiti, a Maha Bodhi Society publication.

90 The Maha Bodhi (1971). ‘Notes and News Section’, p. 79.

91 Barely 15 days after the inauguration ceremony, Premadasa returned to Sri Lanka and was assassinated by a suicide bomber as part of the May Day padayatra at Armour Street in Colombo in 1993.

92 Sambhodi (1994). ‘Notes and News Section’, p. 48

93 Dhammika, S. (2006). ‘The Role of Foreign Temples in Spreading Buddhism in India’, Paper presented at the 2,550th Buddha Jayanti Conference organized by the Maha Bodhi Society, Bodh Gaya, Bihar.

94 Ahir, D.C. (1989). The Pioneers of Buddhist Revival in India, Delhi, Sri Satguru Publications.

95 Ahir, The Pioneers of Buddhist Revival in India, p. 99.

96 Singh, ‘Exile and Return’, p. 196.

97 Anticipating that changes would be made to the 1949 Temple Management Act, members of the All India Bhikkhu Sangha wrote a draft bill entitled the ‘Bodh Gaya Mahavihara Act’ which was given to the new chief minister of Bihar, Lalu Prasad Yadav, and requested sole management of the Temple by the Indian Buddhists. As Doyle has suggested, the circulation of the proposed draft bill was initiated by the new Buddhists, but it is likely that it was adopted by the chief minister as a political strategy to win votes from the large demographic of backward caste groups throughout the state. For more information, see the following sources: Doyle, ‘Bodh Gaya: Journeys to the Diamond Throne’, pp. 390–91; Doyle, T.N. (2003). ‘“Liberate the Mahabodhi Temple!”: Socially Engaged Buddhism, Dalit-Style’, in Heine, S. and Prebish, C.Buddhism in the Modern World: Adaptations of an Ancient Tradition, Oxford, Oxford University Press, p. 249–80; Kantowsky, D. (2003). Buddhists in India Today: Descriptions, Pictures and Documents, New Delhi, Mandhar Publishers and Distributions; Ahir, Buddha Gaya Through the Ages.

98 See accounts by Doyle, ‘Liberate the Mahabodhi Temple!’; Ahir, Buddha Gaya Through the Ages; Dhammika, S.The Navel of the Earth: The History and Significance of Bodh Gaya, Singapore, Buddha Dhamma Mandala Society.

99 Doyle, ‘Liberate the Mahabodhi Temple!’, p. 252.

100 Doyle, ‘Bodh Gaya: Journeys to the Diamond Throne’; Guha-Thakurta, T. (2004). Monuments, Objects, Histories: Institutions of Art in Colonial and Postcolonial India, New York, Columbia University Press, p. 269303.

101 Doyle, ‘Bodh Gaya: Journeys to the Diamond Throne’, p. 401–02.

102 Bhadant Nagarjuna Arya Surai Sasai was born in Minoru Sasai in Okayama, Japan in 1934. He was ordained a Buddhist monk within the Nichiren order and studied vipassana in Thailand at the request of his teacher. He first came to India in 1966, whereupon he met Nichidatsu Fuji, the founder of the Nipponzan Myohoji organization devoted to world peace and responsible for the construction of various ‘peace pagodas’ throughout India and the world. After a falling out with Fuji, Surai Sasai had a vision that compelled him to visit Nagapur where his affiliation with ex-Untouchable Buddhists began. For more biographic details on Surai Sasai, see Doyle, ‘Bodh Gaya: Journeys to the Diamond Throne’, pp. 410–11.

103 Doyle, ‘Bodh Gaya: Journeys to the Diamond Throne’.

104 Doyle, ‘Bodh Gaya: Journeys to the Diamond Throne’, p. 393.

105 Doyle, ‘Liberate the Mahabodhi Temple!’, p. 252.

106 For more on these conflicts surrounding the Mahabodhi Temple, including its recent World Heritage designation, see Geary, D. (2012) ‘World Heritage in the Shadow of Zamindari’, in Geary, D., Sayers, M.R. and Amar, A.Cross-disciplinary Perspectives on a Contested Buddhist Site: Bodh Gaya Jataka, London, Routledge, p. 141–52.

107 Guha-Thakurta, Monuments, Objects, Histories, p. xvii.

108 Speech given on the occasion of the 2,500th anniversary of Mahaparinirvana of the Buddha, New Delhi, 24 May 1956. Reprinted in ‘Lord Buddha through the Eyes of Jawaharlal Nehru’ by the Nehru Museum and Library, Teen Murti House, New Delhi in December 2006 to mark the occasion of the 2,550th anniversary of Lord Buddha's Mahaparinirvana and the 117th birth anniversary of Jawaharlal Nehru.

109 Werbner, P. (1996). ‘Stamping the Earth with the Name of Allah: Zikr and the Sacralizing of Space among British Muslims’, Cultural Anthropology, 11: 3, pp. 309–38.

110 Werbner, ‘Stamping the Earth with the Name of Allah’; Connerton, P. (1989). How Societies Remember, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.

111 Moran, Buddhism Observed, p. 86.

112 Banerjee, Gaya and Bodh Gaya: A Profile, p. 143.

* The research on which this paper is based was conducted with the support of the Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. Information was collected through interviews and surveys with the head monks, nuns, and caretakers of various monasteries in Bodh Gaya held between 2005–2007 and 2010–2011. Supplementary data were gathered from articles, newsletters, and publications by the monasteries themselves, along with local Buddhist journals such as the The Maha Bodhi, Sambodhi, and Prajna. Earlier drafts of this paper were presented at the Oxford Centre for Buddhist Studies Seminar Series and the doctoral/post-doctoral workshop as part of the Theravada Civilizations Project in Toronto in 2012. I am very grateful for all the insightful comments made, including the suggestions by the reviewers of Modern Asian Studies. Any mistakes that remain are my own.

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Rebuilding the Navel of the Earth: Buddhist pilgrimage and transnational religious networks*

  • DAVID GEARY (a1)

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