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Jaipur's Vipassana Meditation Centre to mark Guru Purnima with meditation course
To mark Guru Purnima this year, a 3-day course on Vipassana is being held in Jaipur by Vipassana Meditation Centre, Dhamma Thali at Jamdoli in the outskirts of the city.

The course is based on the practice popularised by SN Goenka in the tradition of Sayagyi U Ba Khin. The course will begin on Guru Purnima, July 27, and will conclude on July 30 evening, informs the meditation centre.

Buddhists celebrate the festival of Guru Purnima in honour of the Lord Buddha who gave His first sermon on this day at Sarnath, Uttar Pradesh, on the full moon day in the month of Ashadha. This year the festival falls on July 28, which is also marked by longest lunar eclipse and first peak of the lunar cycle after the peak of the solar cycle.

The scriptures inform that the Buddha went from Bodhgaya to Sarnath about 5 weeks after his enlightenment. He joined his five former monk companions at Sarnath to give his first sermon to reveal Dharma to them. As the legend has it that the five monks understood Dharma and became enlightened. This was followed by founding of the Sangha – the community of the enlightened ones.

The sermon that the Buddha gave to the five monks is called the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta and spent his first rainy season or Varsha vassa at Sarnath at the Mulagandhakuti that lead expansion of the Sangha with 60 wise monks.

Buddhists observe on this day uposatha to re-affirm and observe eight precepts. They also practice Vipassana meditation on this day under the guidance of their teachers for self-purification. Also, from this day onwards for a month, the Buddhist monks and followers undergo spiritual training, do meditation and read scriptures.

Vipassana is the Buddhist meditation practice to gain insight into the true nature of existential reality through neutral self-observation consisting of impermanence, suffering and realisation of one's non-self or spirit.

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