Buddha Jayanti Festival in Nepal

Lumbini - Birth Place of Lord Buddha

Lumbini – Birth Place of Lord Buddha

Buddha Jayanti in Nepal is also called Buddha Purnima. Buddha Purnima means Buddha Jayanti. The date of Buddha celebration falls in (Baisakh – Jyestha) April or May  each year, depending on the cycle of the moon. It falls on the full moon day of Baisakh, the first month of Hindu calendar. Every year Baisakh Shukla Purnima, Buddha Purnima festival is celebrated not only in Nepal but also the other country. This festival is celebrated especially by Buddhist.

Birthday is celebrated on Baisakh Shukla Purnima 27, 2074 B. S. (May 10, 2017)

As we, all know that Nepal is a south Asian country. It is located between the two powerhouse of the world, Indian, and China. We also know that Buddha Jayanti is the celebration or festival in the remembering of Lord Buddha. Lord Buddha was born in Lumbini Nepal in 543 B.C. Here in Nepal, Buddha Jayanti is one of the great celebration in Nepal. The government of Nepal gives a national and public holiday on this holy day.

Lumbini - Birth Place of Lord Buddha

Lumbini – Birth Place of Lord Buddha

The spring full moon day when Buddha Sakyamuni Buddha was born is celebrated as Buddha Jayanti, Buddha Purnima or Swanya Punhi. The day of Baishakha Purnima is thrice blessed since it commemorates the three important events in the Buddha’s life’ his birth, the day he attained enlightenment and the day he passed into Nirvana. In Kathmandu, a capital of Nepal, celebrations marking Buddha Purnima are concentrated around the Swayambhunath Stupa, one of the cultural heritage site in the Kathmandu valley, the most sacred among all Buddhist monuments in Nepal. Devotees of Lord Buddha gather from early morning on this Baishakh Purnima in all over the country to worship and walk around the shrine in ritual circumlocution. Offerings of butter lamps, rice, coins, and flower, and prayer ceremonies go on throughout the day. Religious scroll paintings (Pabha) and images of the Buddha are put on display.

Buddha Jayanti also known as Buddha Purnima falls on the full moon day of Baishakh (Baishakh Sukla Purnima). It is a great festival for the Buddhists and so it is observed with great pomp and show. Buddha Jayanti in fact commemorates the three important phases of Buddha’s life-his forth, enlightenment and his nirvana (demise).

Lumbini - Peace and the Light of the World

Lumbini – Peace and the Light of the World

The Buddha Purnima celebrations are equally fascinating at Boudhanath Stupa, another world heritage site in the Kathmandu valley. An image of the Lord Buddha is mounted on an elephant at the head of the procession that circles the Stupa and then proceeds to another Buddhist Stupa at Chabahil, Kathmandu. Large symbolic lotus petals are painted on the Stupa with a yellow dye of saffron.

On this auspicious occasion, many ceremonies are held around Buddhi shrines _ and stupas like Lumbini, the birth place of Gautam Buddha, Swayambhu stupa on the hillock to the west of Kathmandu and such many Buddha stupas across the world. From early in the morning, devotees duo native and foreigners throng around the Buddhist shrines and stupas with musical bands and offerings viz-rice, flowers, butter lamps and incense.

Lumbini - Birth Place of Lord Buddha

Lumbini – Birth Place of Lord Buddha

Special pooja/ritual functions and other programs are held to highlight the Buddhist ideology/philosophy. Sacred pauba scroll paintings and Buddha images are put on public display. Most importantly, at Anandakuti Bihar, a relic (a sliver of hone from the body) of Lord Buddha is brought out to pay homage from the devotees. As the night falls, the stupas, Bihar and even houses are illuminated with multi- colored lights of candles and butter lamps.

The prophet or peace and non-violence, Gautam Buddha was born as a crown prince to his parents- king Suddhodana and queen Mayadevi in Lumbini on the full moon day of Baishak over 2,500 years ago. It was on the same day that he got enlightenment in Bodhgaya and coincidently passed away into nirvana at Kushinagar in India on the very day. Unfortunately, Mayadevi died a few days after she gave birth to her great son. He was christened Siddhartha and was brought up in royal care and comfort.

Source: Imnepal

Lumbini to be promoted in Thailand

Siddhartha Hotel Association of Nepal (SHAN), the regional chapter of Hotel Association of Nepal (HAN), is promoting Nepal in Thailand with the slogan ‘Visit Lumbini Help Nepal’. To promote the campaign, tourism entrepreneurs of Lumbini are leaving for Bangkok on June 5.

lumbini (1) According to a press statement, they will be organizing a photo exhibition displaying various places of Lumbini, show a documentary about Lumbini and organize an interaction for promotion of Lumbini with tourism entrepreneurs, media persons and concerted stakeholders in Wat Saket — a popular Buddhist temple in Bangkok.

At these programs, tourism entrepreneurs will spread the message that Lumbini is safe and request people there to visit and help Nepal at the time of crisis, the statement said.

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Source: myrepublica

Lumbini safe for tourists: LDT

lumbini (1)

Lumbini Development Trust (LDT) has invited tourists to visit Lumbini saying that monuments in the UNESCO World Heritage site have not suffered any damage due to the earthquake of April 25.
Issuing a press statement, LDT — the agency that oversees development and promotion of Lumbini — said Lumbini is safe to visit. “Domestic and foreign tourists can visit Lumbini without any fear,” LDT said in a statement.
lumbini_garden_nepal
Ajit Man Tamang, member secretary of LDT, said in the statement said that all temples and historical monuments in Lumbini are safe. “Sites connected to Lord Buddha’s life like his home town , Sacred Garden Kapilvastu, historical Kapilvastu Durbar Area in Tilaurakot, Buddha’s maternal uncle’s house in Devdaha, birthplace of Krukachanda Buddha in Gotihawa, and birthplace of Kanakmuni Buddha in Niglihawa have not suffered any damage,” the statement added.

Source: MyRepublica

New religious structures add to Lumbini’s appeal as pilgrimage site

The proposed design of the lotus-shaped monastery being constructed in Lumbini. Such monastries are attracting more tourists and making Lumbini popular, according to Lumbini Development Trust, the government appointed agency to oversee the overall development of the birth-place of Lord Buddha.

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LUMBINI, Nepal – A dozer was clearing a plot of land in Lumbini, the birthplace of Lord Buddha, on Saturday afternoon. The preparation was for the construction of a sanctuary in the shape of a lotus flower on the eastern part of the Monastic Zone in Lumbini.Shyalpa Tenzin Rinpoche, an American Buddhist leader, is building the structure with the hopes of creating a pilgrimage site.
When completed, it is likely to be a major tourist draw among other monasteries that have been constructed in Lumbini, said officials at the Lumbini Development Trust (LDT), an agency established by the government to oversee the implementation of the master plan to develop Lumbini as a pilgrimage site.

Various monasteries, constructed in the zone by organizations from different countries, are a major attraction for tourists. As many as 42 plots of land have been set aside for monastery construction inside the zone.

“Tourists from a particular country feel connected to the holy place when they see monastery of their country. It is a reason why Lumbini is increasingly seeing more tourists in recent years,” said Gyanin Rai, chief of Kathmandu-based office of LDT.

After the construction of various pilgrimage sites like monasteries, tourists visiting the Lumbini have increased drastically. The tourist footfall increased by 40.57 percent to 1.19 million in 2014.

According to data of LDT, a total of 849,273 tourists from 83 different countries visited Lumbini last year. In 2012, 758,269 visitors arrived.

Similarly, domestic tourists comprised the highest number visitors to Lumbini in 2014, followed by those from India. A total of 902,621 Nepalis visited Lumbini in 2014, up from 573,529 in 2013.

Many organizations and religious leaders from countries like China, Japan, Vietnam, Germany, France, South Korea, Singapore, Burma, Canada and Cambodia have either constructed or are in the process of building monasteries in the zone as part of the Master Plan of Lumbini by raising funds.

The lotus-shaped sanctuary, which has been named “The Mahasiddha Sanctuary for Universal Peace,” is one of such structures.

The sanctuary is designed by Germany’s famous architect Stephan Braunfels, who had designed the building of German Parliament in Berlin. The site is less than a mile away from Maya Devi Temple.

Shyalpa Tenzin Rinpoche, the spiritual leader behind the initiative, said that he wanted to construct the structure to draw attention of the people across the world to Nepal. “I believe that the construction of such beautiful structures will help the birthplace get wider popularity. Plus, it makes the holy site even more beautiful,” added he, who has already constructed Shyalpa Holistic Healing and Retreat Center adjacent to Shyalpa Monastery in Kathmandu.
The sanctuary, which will be three-story tall, will consist of a magnificent main hall honoring the birth of the Buddha, a museum, a print and digital library (containing a complete collection of Buddhist literature to date in all languages), a retreat center, conference facilities, and accommodation for monks and nuns. The hall, which can accommodate over 1500 people, will serve as a meditation center for pilgrims visiting the holy place.

“We want the structure to serve as a focal point for everyone to channel their energies towards the great purpose of universal harmony and happiness,” he said, adding, the building is be constructed by raising funds from Buddhist people across the world.

Source: Republica

Buddha relics found in Tilaurakot

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The remains of more than 1.5 lakh items of archaeological importance related to Gautam Buddha were excavated this year’ in Tilaurakot Durbar Square of Kapilvastu.

Tilaurakot-lumbini

More than 700 items and 1.5 lakh remains belonging to Buddha’s time were found at the world heritage site, said Dr Jennifer Trimley, an archaeologist of Durham University, UK.

Researchers at Tilaurakot Durbar found remains of an ancient human settlement. They found clay pots, coal, and structures of houses.

The excavation was jointly held with technical assistance from archaeologists of Durham University and financial support from Japanese trust funds, Nepal Archaeology Department and Lumbini Development Trust.

Source: The Himalayan Times

Lumbini excavations among worlds top 10 discoveries in 2014

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Archaeology, a magazine of the Archaeological Institute of America (AIA), has featured the discovery of a structure dating back to the sixth century B.C. at Lumbini and linked with the life of Gautam Buddha, as among the world´s top 10 discoveries of 2014.

AIA is a reputed nonprofit organizaiton established in 1879 for the preservation and promotion of archaelogical sites in the world.

Archaeologists working on excavations within the sacred Maya Devi Temple at Lumbini, a UNESCO World Heritage site, on November 25, 2014 uncovered a timber structure dating back to the sixth century B.C., under a series of brick temples.

Issuing a press release on Friday, Christian Manhart, UNESCO Representative to Nepal, stated that “UNESCO is proud to be associated with the important discovery in Lumbini which has been featured among the top ten discoveries of 2014”.

An international team of archaeologists, led by Professor Robin Coningham of Durham University, UK and Kosh Prasad Acharya, senior archaeologist at the Department of Archaeology, had carried out the excavations.

Manhart further said that the discovery of the timber structure not only provides some of the earliest evidence for Buddhist monuments but also helps inform the debate as to when Buddha lived and the social and economic context in which he lived.
lumbini-Nepal

An archeological dig under way in Lumbini in this picture taken last year. 9Photo Courtesy: Ira Block/National Geographic)

According to the archaeologists, the uncovered timber structure contains an open space in the center that can be linked to the nativity story of the Buddha. They presume that the open space in the center of the timber shrine may have accommodated a tree. And the brick temples built later above the timber structure were also arranged around the central space, which was open to the sky.

Various Buddhist scriptures have it that Queen Maya Devi, mother of the Buddha, gave birth to him while holding on to the branch of a tree at the Lumbini gardens, midway between the kingdoms of her husband and her parents.

This is the first archaeological material discovered at the temple, that is linked to the life period of the Buddha. Many archeologists believe it helps clear the misconception that Buddha was born in India.

The excavation project was funded by the Government of Japan and UNESCO and implemented with the help of the Department of Archaeology and the Lumbini Development Trust.

The Mayadevi Temple at Lumbini remains a living shrine and is visited by Buddhist from all over the world.

The team is now currently working together with the Government of Nepal at Tilaurakot, one of the sites identified as ancient Kapilavastu, where the Buddha lived until the age of 29.

Source: MYREPUBLICA