Burial places of founders of world religions
This article lists the burial places of founders of world religions.
Located in Bahji near Acre, Israel, the Shrine of Bahá'u'lláh is the most holy place for Bahá'ís and their Qiblih, or direction of prayer. It contains the remains of Bahá'u'lláh, founder of the Bahá'í Faith and is near the spot where he died in the Mansion of Bahji.
The Buddha's body was cremated and the relics were placed in monuments or stupas, some of which are believed to have survived until the present. For example, the Temple of the Tooth or Dalada Maligawa in Sri Lanka is the place where the right tooth relic of Buddha is kept at present.
Bodhidharma is generally regarded as the founder of Zen Buddhism. According to a 7th-century account by Dàoxuān, Bodhidharma died at Luo River Beach, where he was interred by his disciple Huike, possibly in a cave. Soon after his death, someone supposedly witnessed Bodhidharma walking back towards India barefoot with a single shoe in hand. His grave was later exhumed, and according to legend, the only thing found in it was the shoe he left behind. Because of uncertainty about the precise physical location as well as ambiguity about what might be left of Bodhidharma at his burial site, no burial site has been venerated in the Zen tradition.
According to early Christian sources the Church of the Holy Sepulchre occupies the location where Jesus is said to have been entombed between his Crucifixion and Resurrection. It is located in the Christian Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem.
A second site, known as the Garden Tomb, located just outside Jerusalem's Old City has become a popular Protestant alternative to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, which is dominated by the Catholic and Orthodox faiths.
The Ahmadiyya movement in Islam claims that the tomb of Jesus is in Srinagar Kashmir. The founder of the Ahmadiyya movement, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad claimed that Jesus lived until the age of 120 years and is buried there.
The grave of Confucius, founder of Confucianism, is in his home town of Qufu, Shandong Province, China. The grave of Confucius is located in a large cemetery where more than 100,000 of his descendants are also buried.
Hinduism has no single "founder". The Vedas and subsequent commentaries (including Upanishads) were written by early sages but transcribed and organized by Maharshi Vyasa. Popular epics in Hinduism - the Ramayana and the Mahābhārata were composed respectively by Valmiki and Vyasa.
Muhammad is buried in the Al-Masjid an-Nabawi ("Mosque of the Prophet") in the city of Medina in Saudi Arabia. Muhammad's grave lies within the confines of what used to be his wife Aisha's and his house. During his lifetime it adjoined the mosque, which was expanded during the reign of Caliph al-Walid I to include his tomb. The first two caliphs, Abu Bakr and Umar, are buried next to Muhammad. Umar was gifted a spot next to Muhammad by his wife Aisha, which she had intended for herself.
Muhammad's grave itself cannot be seen as the area is cordoned off by a gold mesh and black curtains. As per Islamic tradition, the grave itself is not embellished or decorated and is two cubits high. The grave is marked by an austere green dome above it, built by the Ottoman Turks, and was earlier white in color. This dome has become universally emblematic of both Muhammad himself, as well as the city of Medina.
Muhammad's grave is an important reason for the particularly high sanctity of the mosque. Millions of visitors come to visit it every year because it is traditional to visit the mosque when going on the pilgrimage to Mecca.
Abraham (a.k.a. Abram) is generally considered the founder of Judaism. His burial is related in Genesis 25:7-10, "And his sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah, in the field of Ephron". Moses is also sometimes credited with founding Judaism when the Torah was written.
The Cave of the Patriarchs is located in the ancient city of Hebron (which lies in the southwest part of the West Bank, in the heart of ancient Judea), and is generally considered by Jews, Christians, and Muslims to be its spiritual center. Jewish, Christian, and Islamic tradition holds that the compound encloses the burial place of four Biblical couples: Adam and Eve; Abraham and Sarah; Isaac and Rebekah; Jacob and Leah. According to Midrashic sources, it also contains the head of Esau, the brother of Jacob.
Gurdwara Kartarpur (meaning "The Abode of God") was established by Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism in 1522. When Guru Nanak died in 1539, Hindus and Muslims disagreed on how to perform his last rites. A samadhi (according to Hindu tradition) lies in the Gurudwara and a grave (according to Muslim traditions) lies on the premises as a reminder of this discord. The gurudwara is located in a small village named Kartarpur on the West bank of the Ravi River in Punjab, Pakistan.
When it became clear that the death of Guru Nanak Dev was near, a dispute arose among his followers. His Hindu followers wanted to cremate the remains while his Muslim followers wanted to bury the body following Islamic tradition. Nanak brokered a compromise by suggesting that each group should place a garland of flowers beside his body, and those whose garland remained unwilted after three days could dispose of his body according to their tradition. However, the next morning, upon raising the cloth under which the Guru’s body lay, only the flowers shared between his followers were found. The Hindus cremated their flowers whereas the Muslims buried theirs. The Guru had departed.
The Gurudwara at Kartarpur can be seen from another Gurudwara located across the border at the historical town of Dera Baba Nanak in India, another important preaching centre of the Guru. Both sites are one of the most significant places in Sikhism located along Indo-Pak border. Recently, there has been lobbying to open a corridor for Sikhs from India to visit the shrine without any hindrance or visa. It lies only 2 km from the international border.
Taoism was founded by Laozi, the author of the Tao Te Ching. According to Taoist legend, Laozi transmitted the Tao Te Ching at the request of a border guard before departing from China (i.e. from known civilization). He is believed to have lived out the rest of his days in communion with Nature, and some Taoist traditions hold that he achieved immortality. Whether he underwent death or not is not made clear by all parts of the tradition, and if he did, it was in some remote area, far from civilization at that time.
Zoroastrianism was founded by Zoroaster. There is no consensus as to where Zoroaster lived, much less where he died or what became of his remains. Most believe that he died in Balkh while he was praying. When he died, his entire body became a flame, as fire in Zoroastrianism is very important.
Gallery of burial places
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- Ariffin, Syed Ahmad Iskandar Syed (2005). Architectural Conservation in Islam : Case Study of the Prophet's Mosque. Penerbit UTM. p. 88. ISBN 978-983-52-0373-2.
- "Haile Selassie (1892 - 1975) - Find A Grave Memorial". Findagrave.com. Retrieved 2013-07-23.
- "L. Ron Hubbard (1911 - 1986) - Find A Grave Memorial". Findagrave.com. 1998-08-20. Retrieved 2013-07-23.
- "Guru Nanak Sahib Ji, Guru Nanak Dev Ji, First Sikh Guru, First Guru Of Sikhs, Sahib Shri Guru Nanak Dev Ji, India". Sgpc.net. Retrieved 2013-07-23.
- "The Sikhism Home Page: Guru Nanak". Sikhs.org. Retrieved 9 August 2009.
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