Bowing towards the holy sites for the geeky Buddhist

Regular bowing and chanting has become normal part of my practice. I recently found an interest in bowing towards my teacher who is living over 500 km away, but i really wanted to find the right direction. After playing with google maps it was easy enough to find out. Then i thought, what about India and bowing in the direction of Bodhgaya? Which way is it?

And here comes the geeky part: I found an online tool to calculate the right bearing. To my big surprise for Western Canadians it turns out that the shortest path is in the north northwest direction (see below). To use it one has to find one’s own longitude and latitude first (e.g. google maps or with the geolocation API). Then use the ‘inverse’ entry box starting with your current position (lon lat) followed by 24.6962612 84.9937642, which are Bodhgaya’s coordinates. If one clicks ‘compute’ you’ll get a nice map and the box below will give you the exact bearing (azi1). About 343 degrees or NNW in my case.


Wonderful, thanks!

This was said to be Ven Sariputta’s practice towards his first teacher Ven Assaji.

From his Apadana story:

That one whom I saw first of all
was free of lust and stainless too.
He’s my teacher, he’s the hero,
the follower named Assaji.

It’s on account of him that I
today am Dhamma’s general.
In every place, having excelled,
I’m living without defilements.

I bow my head in reverence
to whatever region he’s in,
that one who was my own teacher,
the follower named Assaji.


Sadhu ayya, very pertinent and inspiring. :anjal:


Thank you, Ayya. The stories of the early Arahants are wonderful. Imagining the countless lifetimes of accumulated merit in order to become the Buddha’s foremost disciple. One really needs poetic language to describe it. Sadhu, sadhu, sadhu.

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