(Last Updated on : 07-04-2009)
Don is one of the important Buddhist pilgrimage centers where a Stupa is dedicated to Lord Buddha.
According to a legend after Lord Buddha was cremated, eight of his disciples started to argue on the issue of dividing his ashes. To resolve the matter they asked a Brahmin named Dona to divide the ashes. Dona divided the ashes perfectly into eight halves. The disciples were very impressed with him. In return to his favor they gave him the vessel in which Buddha's ashes were kept. Dona, on his part, decided to build a Stupa on it.
Don, named after Dona, is a lesser-known place but the significance attached to it is huge. This Buddhist pilgrimage center has been mentioned by Hiuen Tsang in his travelogue where he describes his visit to India. Mahaparinibbana Sutta, too, talks about the distribution of Buddha's ashes and the subsequent construction of the Stupa to enshrine the vessel. Such pilgrimage center shows the popularity and the impact Buddha's teachings had on different sections of the society. A complete stranger took all the pain to commemorate an empty vessel, which he considered holy.
Today Don is a grassy hill and a Hindu temple has been built over it. Don is located in Bihar and is reachable from Patna.