Nepal – the country of Mt. Everest and Buddha

Nepal – the country of Mt. Everest and Buddha

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Tidbits of Nepali Journalism ‘’Buddha was born in ……..’’

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on June 6, 2014

By Chiranjibi Paudyal

Buddha born in NepalThat evening, Indian Defence minister Fernandes had hosted a receptionChiranjibi-Paudyal in honour of the participants of the conference. When I met in the reception, he was little bit furious and adamant to his statement. We had arguments. I said ‘Buddha was born in Nepal’ but he said ‘Buddha was born in India.’ I asked him ‘’who told you and how did you know Buddha was born in India’’, he said me ‘’had read since his childhood that Buddha was born in Northern India.’’ I told him if you read UN documents then you will know the real fact. I was so infuriated that I said little bit loudly: ‘’ Do you know ‘’U Thant?’’ You should know UN Secretary General from Asia? Then he said ‘’ Why not.’’

So you must be aware that there is UN project in Lumbini which is in Nepal since the time of U Thant. When I repeatedly said UN Project then he seemed to be convinced, and felt embarrassed. I arranged an interview with him for next morning in the same hotel where we were staying. When we sat for interview, I asked the same question to him like a teacher repeatedly asks a same question to a weak student. Later he corrected saying ‘Buddha was born in Nepal.’

Famous poet Sir Edwin Arnold to UN official say Buddha was born in India distorting the fact and hurting the sentiment of millions of Nepali around the globe. However, I had the opportunity to persuade a senior UN official to make him understand and acknowledge that ‘’ Gautam Buddha was born in Nepal.’’ Read the rest of this entry »


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Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on October 1, 2013

[In the 68th United Nations General Assembly in New York few days ago, Nepal somehow made a lamentably restrained lowly assertion that the Buddha was born in its Lumbini.  The Himalayan country’s Interim Election Council Chairman Justice Khil Raj Regmi in his address to the general assembly said, “ I bring with me the message of peace and non-violence from Lumbini; the birth place of Gautam Buddha, the apostle of peace and the greetings and best wishes from the government and people of Nepal” But I rather would have loved him say  instead that he had brought with him “the message of peace and non-violence from Nepal’s Lumbini; the birth place of Gautam Buddha”.  But he did not say so and, which is very lamentable. We fully understand why he had required to make such a strangely twisted, indirect reference in his address but very sadly he failed to do so truly. ]
By B. K. Rana 
Buddha birth place UN
While debating the Buddha and recent television serial on him and the news reported by Hindustan Times [1]  and also by The  Washington Post[2] and The Huffington Post [3]  from down here, it may be worthwhile writing something today again on other 12 part Buddha film made by a professor of history from Odisha[4] who also had discussed with me after the publication of my paper on the Buddha birthplace on February 14, 2010[5]. I have no idea how he has made those films but his writings seemingly based on later date literature such asVamsa  Gathas from Ceylon, that is to say from Shri Lanka and other local publications, I assume they are also like what Zee TV aired recently.
It is not only the Buddha birthplace, Lumbini of present day Nepal Tarai, which has been brought into question since 1928; those professors and other authors from Odisha  are also found questioning about the actual location of  the Bodhi Tree[6] under whose shade the Buddha had attained enlightenment. Those scholars following, Mahagatimbiya—Tissadatta, a Bhikkshu from Shri Lanka, who seems to have visited the Bodhi Tree site, think the tree being very close to an ocean and also think the view running parallel to those of the Chinese travelers. Those historians  and authors also talk of Majjhimdesh (मज्झिम देश). In Jatakas and Lalita Vistara  the Buddha is said to have himself told he was born in Majjhimdesh or Majjhim Desh (मज्झिम देश ) – the ‘middle country’ (मध्यदेश ) or  Madhesh (मधेश ). Therefore, some Nepalese political leaders have nowadays begun to say that the Buddha was born in Madhesh (मधेश ) – not in Lumbini either. But where was Majjhimdesh or Majjhim Desh (मज्झिम देश ) ?  I shall copy below few lines from my 2010 paper: Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on September 23, 2013

[A recent Hindi language television serial, Buddha[1] launched by Zee Network, from September the 8th has added, already frustrated people by Indian over interference, both frustration and anger in Kathmandu. In reaction, on September 13, students staged demonstrations in the streets of Kathmandu against the serial and which prompted the Indian Embassy in Kathmandu to post hastily the next day, September 14th, on its Facebook wall, “The question of where Lord Buddha was born was settled over 2000 years ago when Emperor Ashoka installed the pillar with his inscription in Lumbini. Buddha was born in Lumbini, which is in Nepal.”(2)]
By B. K. Rana
Buddha born in Nepal rally
The Buddha was born in Lumbini, which now is in western Nepal Tarai. The 249 BC inscription on the Lumbini Ashokan pillar reading, “the Buddha was born here in Luminigame” is the evidence, which cannot be contravened otherwise. There are other historical and archaeological evidence that prove the Buddha being Lumbini born and now Lumbini, the Buddhist holy land, is in Nepal. The people of Nepal and others of Nepalese origin elsewhere in the world, regardless of their academic achievements, socio-economic standings and political orientations, believe the Buddha was born in Nepal but feel very offended outright when media publicize otherwise. The Buddha is considered one of the greatest historical personages or Bibhutis – so to say, one of the national heroes of Nepal.
A recent Hindi language television serial, Buddha[1] launched by Zee Network, from September the 8th has added, already frustrated people by Indian over interference, both frustration and anger in Kathmandu. In reaction, on September 13, students staged demonstrations in the streets of Kathmandu against the serial and which prompted the Indian Embassy in Kathmandu to post hastily the next day, September 14th, on its Facebook wall, “The question of where Lord Buddha was born was settled over 2000 years ago when Emperor Ashoka installed the pillar with his inscription in Lumbini. Buddha was born in Lumbini, which is in Nepal.”[2]
Few days later, on September 19 from Gorkha, a hilly township in west Nepal, the Indian envoy to Nepal, Ranjit Ray told that there was no controversy on the Buddha birthplace. He said, “Gautam Buddha was born in Lumbini and Lumbini is in Nepal.” Expressing his discontent over the Kathmandu-media-hyped controversy, the ambassador is also reported to have further told that not all Indians may know his being born in Nepal’s Lumbini but ‘children in Indian schools are taught the Buddha was born in Lumbini which is in Nepal.’[3] Read the rest of this entry »

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Lord Buddha’s Birth Place is Nepal

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on September 18, 2013

By Dirgha Raj Prasai

Buddha born in NepalDirgha Raj PrasaiThe Indian Zee TV is going to exercise that releasing the fake news- Lord Buddha’s birth place was India. But, it is 100% fallacious and wrong. Nepal is the birth land of Lord Buddha. This fake propaganda of Zee TV will invite confrontation between Nepal and India. Gautam Buddha was born in Lumbini in the 6th century BC in mid Tarai, Nepal.. Lord Buddha is the asset of Nepal who was born in this pious land. A scholar Ram Kumar Shrestha writes- ‘Ashoka Pillar built in 300 BC by Indian Emperor Ashok during his pilgrimage to the birthplace of Buddha still stands Lumbini. A thorough excavation and investigation near the Ashok Pillar has found the Nativity Stone that was laid down to mark
the Buddha’s birthplace.

An international team of archaeologists has begun a three-year survey, coordinated by the UNESCO of the archaeological ruins of Lumbini, the birthplace of Buddha in Nepal. The team of archaeologists, including experts from Nepal’s Department of Archaeology and the Lumbini Development Trust, is directed by Robin Coningham, UNESCO Archaeological Expert and Professor of Archaeology, University of Durham. The UNESCO, after careful examination all facts and evidences, has already recognized Lumbini as the Buddha’s birthplace and a World Heritage Site’.

The descriptions of famous ancient Chinese pilgrims, Huian Tsang (who traveled through India between AD 629 & 645) and Fa Hein (who traveled between AD 400 & AD 414) indicate to this area, saying, ‘Lumbini, where the Lord was born, is a piece of heaven on earth where one could see the snowy mountains amidst a splendid garden embedded with Stupas and monasteries.’ Read the rest of this entry »

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Buddha’s Birthplace: Nepal Or India? New Currency Sets The Record Straight

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on September 17, 2013

By Vishal Arora

buddha birthplace nepal india

(RNS) Quick: Where was the Buddha born?

To hear many Indians talk, you’d think it was India, where he attained enlightenment and gave his first sermon.

But the people of Nepal know better — and they are eager to correct misconceptions about the Awakened One, considered one of the world’s most revered figures.

Next month, Nepal will circulate a new 100-rupee note with the imprint, “Lumbini: The Birthplace of Lord Buddha.” The currency is part of the government’s most recent effort to correct the record.

It comes amid protests following a promotional video on the private Indian channel Zee TV, which claimed the Buddha was born in India.

Zee TV corrected the error, but Nepal Cable TV Association blocked the channel when the new series on the life of Buddha premiered on Sunday (Sept. 8). The association’s chairman described the move as a way to prevent possible unrest in the country, which is predominantly Hindu but proud of its Buddhist heritage. Read the rest of this entry »

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Mystery of the ancient kingdom discovered in Nepal where thousands of caves are carved 155ft off the ground

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on August 29, 2013

  • An estimated 10,000 of the caves have been found in the former Kingdom of Mustang in North, Central Nepal
  • They have either been dug into the cliffside or tunnelled from above
  • Caves are thousands of years old but who built them and why remains a mystery


Thousands of holes are carved into the fragile, sandy-coloured cliff in a gorge so large it dwarfs the Grand Canyon.

The astonishing number of caves, some dug into the cliffside, others tunnelled from above are thousands of years old but who built them and why remains a mystery.

Scroll down for video

Mystery: Thousands of man-made caves 155ft from the ground lie hidden within the Himilayas in a gorge so large it dwarfs the Grand CanyonMystery: Thousands of man-made caves 155ft from the ground lie hidden within the Himilayas in a gorge so large it dwarfs the Grand Canyon

Bizarre: With dozens of holes carved into the fragile, sandy-coloured cliff face this unusual 'neighbourhood in the sky' looks like a giant sandcastleBizarre: With dozens of holes carved into the fragile, sandy-coloured cliff face this unusual ‘neighbourhood in the sky’ looks like a giant sandcastle Read the rest of this entry »

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Greater Lumbini Master Plan: A Herculean Task Ahead

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on November 6, 2012


Dahal has a tall hill to climb‚ as the Greater Lumbini Project will be almost ten times costly than Lumbini alone. It is a Herculean task indeed. The need of revisiting the present rather ambitious Lumbini plan without diluting its sanctity and concepts has already been expressed in different quarters

Lumbini is again in the news, after remaining in the sidelines for a long time, following the formation of a high level committee chaired by the former prime minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal. And, why shouldn’t it be when it is the birthplace of Buddha? Buddha’s notion that there is suffering in the world with desire as its cause has touched the heart and mind of innumerable people around the globe. It is unfortunate that Lumbini should face developmental constraints due to shortage of funds.
This is, however, not the first time that Lumbini has been virtually raised from the ashes in its three thousand year history. It came into prominence in 563 BC when Buddha was born. Lumbini was in the limelight during the visit of Emperor Ashoka, who erected the Lumbini pillar bearing an inscription of the birth of Buddha in 249 BC. Lumbini appears to have started to fall into oblivion as none of the visiting Chinese travelers Mr Yuch Chih in the fourth century, Mr. Fa Hsien in the fifth century and Mr. Yuan Chwang in the seventh make a mention of the all important Lumbini pillar inscription, implying that it was buried in the earth, and nobody bothered to maintain it which reflects serious neglect. It is reiterated by the observation of the horse capital of Lumbini pillar lying on the ground by Mr. Wang Hiuen Tse remaining unattended again in the seventh century. Lumbini was still well known as a Buddist religious site till the visit of Ripu Malla in the year 1312, which is evident from the inclusion of a popular Buddhist verse om mani padmeham in his inscription. But, after that the popularity of Lumbini seems to have taken a nose dive, as Khadga Shamsher had to clear several feet of earth around the Lumbini pillar, when he visited it in the year 1896 along with Mr. Fuhrer. It was given a new lease of life by Kaisher Shamsher in 1928, when he did some construction work. The visit of U Thant, the United Nations General Secretary in the 1950s, was instrumental for the present revival of Lumbini. He mobilized the international community leading to the formation of an International Committee for the development of Lumbini under the umbrella of the United Nations. This international move triggered the inception of Lumbini Development Committee in an effort to coordinate works at the national level.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on September 23, 2012

[ The author, Dr. Wayne W. Dyer, who appears for his talks almost everyday on PBS TV[2] shows in United States of America, seems not to have checked Lumbini Ashokan Pillar inscription, [” .. Hida Bhagavam Jateti Lumini Game” [3] discovered by Anton A. Fuhrer on December 1, 1896. Further more, while he was writing the book, he seems not to have been well informed of recent Lumbini archaeological finds also. If he had in anyways, he would have certainly written the “Founder of Buddhism, one of the world’s major religions, the Buddha was born Prince Siddhartha Gautama in Nepal at the border of northeast India” instead. ]
By B. K. Rana
Early morning yesterday, one of my friends, K. Kadaria called me over a phone and said “I just read a book named :’Wisdom of the Ages’ written and published in 1998 by Wayne W. Dyer. The author has written that the “Founder of Buddhism, one of the world’s major religions, the Buddha was born Prince Siddhartha Gautama in northeast India, near the border of Nepal.”So, we needed debating with the author. This is in a course book for undergraduate students at  the Bunker Hill Community College, Boston in  Massachusetts,  USA.”
He sent me a brief email message also which I  immediately  forwarded to my email-list and,  as anticipated, prompt response arrived from  a few scholars from different parts of the world. Among those response was  in an email message from a renowned linguist, Professor Madhav Pokharel of Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, Nepal,  in which he has written, “both China and Japan have officially endorsed Lumbini of Nepal being the Buddha’s  birth place, however, while doing researches in China for one year and two years in Japan, I heard that in government prescribed books in  both of these countries students are taught the Buddha  was born in India”[1]. Prof. Pokharel says there is a need for finding the truth out and making a correction to it also.
The book in discussion and its author, Dr. Wayne W. Dyer, acclaimed  as one of the internationally best selling authors, a motivational speaker and named also as “Modern Master”, has discussed,  in the book “Wisdomof the Ages: 60 Days to Enlightenment”,  a total of 265  different thinkers of the past and present world  from: Pythagoras and Blaise Pascal, Buddha, Lao-tzu, Patanjali  to many others and down the end himself also.  A chapter titled as ‘Knowing’ is dedicated to Buddhist philosophy. The chapter starts from page 5 in which the author writes: “Founder of Buddhism, one of the world’s major religions, the Buddha was born Prince Siddhartha Gautama in northeast India, near the border of Nepal”. This is flatly incorrect information. Our students must be told or taught the  truth and no imparted false knowledge.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on August 1, 2012

By Kailash Chandra Dash

The homeland of Gautam Buddha which is described in the vast Buddhist literary texts as Kapilavastu, the land  and capital city of the Sakyas is now a central point of debate regarding its location among some historians and archaeologists. It is  a subject of considerable interest from the last decade of the 19th century A.D. and now it is associated with national interest and pride. Some historians locate Kapilavastu in Piprahwa, some others locate it in Tilaurkot and still others locate it in Bhubaneswar of Odisha. I have presented the arguments against  the location of Kapilavastu in Odisha in the pages of The Himalayan Voice. Hence in this paper my focus is directed to the debate on the location of Kapilavastu either in India or in Nepal.

The location of Kapilavastu is to be studied in the context of Lumbini, the real spot of the birth of Gautam Buddha. We find the name of Lumbini Grama in the edicts of Ashoka as well as in the famous text Buddha Charita of Asvaghosh of 1st century A.D. Interestingly Buddha Charita explains Lumbini as Vananta-bhumi(a forest area), This term Lumbini is in all probability a local term whose Sanskrit equivalent was given by Asvaghosh as Vanantabhumi. This explains the fact that Lumbini-the spot where Gautam was born was a peculiar term of the areas on the Hmalayan zone. This compels us to think  that the term was associated with  ancient Nepal and not with  ancient India. The text Buddha Charita states of Kapila Janapada Nagara where Sakyas and their leader Suddhodana-the father of Gautama were living with prosperity. Thus Lumbini and Kapilavastu(the land of Kapila) were connected. The inscriptions(pillar edicts) of Ashoka refer to the birthplace of Kanakamuni Buddha and Gautam Buddha which he had visited and erected stupas in his 20th reganl year. This suggests that both the sites were included in the kingdom of Kapilavastu. Considering their present location and the reading of the edicts of Ashoka it is now clear that they were in ancient time located near the Himalayan area which is now called Nepal Tarai zone. This also explains the location of Kapilavastu in Nepal Tarai.
The Sakyas of Kapilavastu were in control of a part of Himalayan region which was attached to the Kosala kingdom in 6th-7th century A.D. Sakya was a republican state in ancient Bharat Varsha. But according to Buddhist sources like Bhaddasalajataka Kapilavastu and the Sakyas were destroyed by king Vidudabha, son of Prasenjit  of Kosala during the lifetime of Gautam Buddha. But probably the city was not completely destroyed because the  Sakyas of Kapilavastu got a part of the ashes of Buddha  after his death which were divided into eight parts-the recipients being  Ajatasatru of Magadha, Lichhavis of Vaisali, Bulis of Allakappa, A Brahmin of Vethadipa, Mallas of Kusinagara, Koliyas of Ramagrama and the Sakyas of Kapilavastu, Thus even after the destruction by the Kosalan king some parts of Kapilavastu remained. By the time of Samudragupta the Sakya clan was not prominent, but Nepal was famous then as a frontier state. Accordng to Allahabad Pillar inscription Nepal remained a frontier kingdom under Samudragupta after paying all taxes. Thus this explains the fact that the remaining portions of Kailavastu must have been a part of the frontier kingdom of Nepal during the Gupta phase. Kapilavastu could not be separated from the border areas which covered Nepal then. Read the rest of this entry »

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Engaged Buddhism in a Global Context

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on July 28, 2012

By Kishore Sherchand

The concept of Engaged (सकृय) or Socially Engaged Buddhism is not new in a global context but it sounds may be somewhat unfamiliar to Nepalese monks and scholars. The reason behind is obvious. Nepal, although claims to be the birthplace of the historic figure Sidhartha Gautam Buddha, does not seem to have much that has had contributed to the world as a teachings of Buddhism. Buddhism has had its dazzling capacity to adopt and adjust to the environment where it went. In the present context of the expansion of Buddhism in the more elite world, it tried to seek yet another avenue of finding not only “Sit, Meditate, Realize the Three Pillars – Buddha, Dharma and Sangha” but also apply meditation and its teachings into the social, environmental, economic and political actions.”


Donald Rothberg and Hozan Alan Senauke gave the notion that came into the Western society popularly known as “Socially Engaged Buddhism” is a Dharma practice that flows from the understanding of the complete yet complicated interdependence of all life. It is the practice of the Bodhisattva vow to save all beings. It is to know that the liberation of ourselves and the liberation of others are inseparable. It is to transform ourselves as we transform all our relationships and our larger society. It works at times from the inside out and at times from the outside in, depending on the needs and conditions. It is to see the world through the eye of the Dharma and to respond emphatically and actively with compassion.


Buddhism so far in the lands of Buddha are basically divided into three categories or sects: Therabad (Way of the elders), original form of Buddhism mostly popular in Sri Lanka, plain India and other South East Asia; Mahayana (great vehicle) popular in East Asia China, Korea, Japan and part of Vietnam and Vajrayana form of Mahayana popular in Tibet, Himalayan region of Nepal, India, Bhutan, Mongolia, part of Eastern Russia. The fourth one coming up as the Western Form of practice composed with socially engaged, may be living room-based, more secular, may be non-monastic, more philosophically approached than the traditional lands of Buddhism. This is termed like Engaged, Socially Engaged, Humanistic or Navayana. In the Western context, I would also prefer to call it Dhyanayana (meditational). Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on June 16, 2012

[ Below today we re-post an article with a video taken this morning of a professor of history from Bhuvaneshowr, Orissa India. The Buddha birth place controversy was brought out of Orissa in 1928. But the speaker in the video below, Professor Kailash Chandra Dash, who himself comes from Orissa, says those were forged (his)stories to glorify Orissan as well as Indian peoples. And he added that the Indian scholars and historians should have interpreted historical information or data more scientifically, rather than any ‘nationalistic zeal’. Prof. Dash says, the birth place of Buddha is present day Lumbini of Nepal, not in any part of India. For more please watch the video.- Editor (Himalayan Voice)]
By Kailash Chandra Dash
The two edicts from Paderia and Nigliva were edited by G.Buhler on the basis of the inked estampages furnished by their discoverer, Dr. A. A. Fuhrer who found the second in March 1895 and the first in December 18961. Both came from the Nepal Terai, where Nigliva was situated 38 miles north west of the Uska Bazar station of the Bengal and the North-Western Railway in the Nepalese tahsil Taulihva of the Zillah Bataul. Paderia was two miles north of the Nepalese tahsil Bhagvanpur of the same Zillah and according to Dr Fuhrer`s estimate about thirteen miles from Nigliva2. Both were incised on mutilated stone pillars and the Paderia edict which was found three feet below the surface of the ground was in a state of perfect preservation while that of Nigliva had suffered a great deal on the left side and had lost the first five letters of line three as well as the first seven of line four3.

Aftetr about thirty-one years of the discovery and publication of these records on Ashoka a copy of Paderia edict (The so-called
Niglihawa pillar. Image Google

Niglihawa pillar. Image Google

Rummindei inscription) was found in Kapileswar of Bhubaneswar, the present capital of Odisha4. This stone inscription(Silaphalaka) was brought to public notice by Haran Chandra Chakaldar of Calcutta university and it was procured in about March 1928 by Birendranath Ray for his museum at Puri from the village of Kapileswar5. It created a belief that Buddha was born in Kapiavastu which was near Kapileswar of Bhubaneswar as the said edict contains the message of the birthplace of Gautam Buddha in Lumbini which was not far away from Kapilavastu. Thus this inscription from Kapileswar of Bhubaneswar arrested the attention of the historians and the archaeologists of India and abroad. In this paper I have proposed to make a comparative study of the two sets of Ashokan edicts from Paderia and Nigliva with Kapileswar inscription to justify the legitimacy of the inscriptions found from Nepal and to establish the fake nature of the Kapileswar grant on the basis of new findings and interpretations.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Buddhism: Time to Catalyze World Peace

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on May 1, 2012

| by Ram Kumar Shrestha
Kindness, compassion and empathy are the synonyms of Buddhism. The eyes of Buddha are the insignia of love. Lumbini is the place where mind and heart take pleasure in for peace. This is the land when eyes are closed, heart opens. And Lumbini symbolized ultimate peace and harmony. This could be the right time to work together to declare Lumbini a World Peace City to catalyze World Peace in the present critical world situation.

( May 01, 2012, Kathmandu, Sri Lanka Guardian) While the world is preparing to celebrate 2556th Buddha Purnima (Vesak), it is facing Global warming, political instability, recession, terrorism, disaster etc. as major problems and the ultimate source of these problems is not external – it is us and only us, our current lifestyles, our historical choices, our way of thinking and doing with full of selfishness and our future ambitions. We ourselves, therefore, must be the solution. Now the world is already in very crucial moment and this provides opportunity as well to the world leaders, scientists and humanitarian activists to show their capability and broadness and prove themselves as historic persons. One of the most important questions we are facing today due to the reality we are facing in the name of development is: “Do we really love our generations or not?” This is already clear that just the continuation of existing development trend without drastic changes could destroy the world very soon and we, hence, must have new perspectives to bring everything in the right track. Irrespective of interest everybody has to read, see, watch and listen to unwanted news full of violence, crime, rape, hunger, accident, war, epidemic, disaster etc in everyday life. However, dedicated persons and organizations are still optimistic for a better and peaceful globe. Buddhism is considered not only as one of the world major religions but also as science and not facing any debate. This, therefore, could play important role in World peace in the present world context.
Problems do not arise from those who do not know, but from those who know and pretend not to know. Due to this attitude, the world is in crisis. Until we purge ourselves of these problems nothing will happen on the journey to create a wonderful and safe world for future generations. Most people think seriously about their responsibilities and rights but not about their duty to others. So many use their freedom to violate others and deny them of their freedom. This attitude could be the result of mediocre thinking, selfishness and not respecting others.
Kindness, compassion and empathy are the synonyms of Buddhism. The eyes of Buddha are the insignia of love.

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Between two worlds in Nepal

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on April 26, 2012


FORMER police outpost now used as an archaeological office shows the aura of benevolent neglect seen in many places in Lumbini.

On my first night in Lumbini, I woke up before dawn to the measured, deep sound of bells from the Tibetan monastery down the road,  calling monks to early morning meditation.

Following soon after came the distant sound of a single drum, becoming louder as it approached my window, until I saw a solitary monk in yellow robes beating his flat, paddle-shaped drum in cadence with his measured steps.

I met a wandering monk on a previous trip here who told me his sect vowed to give up a permanent home in exchange of wandering the world on foot, beating their drums while walking in search of enlightenment.

Despite the sound of jackals piercing the early morning silence, the stillness of Lumbini makes some pilgrims feel that enlightenment could be within reach. However in the villages outside the shrine, the local community has different priorities as it struggles to survive from day to day. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on February 25, 2012

[Lumbini-Kapilvastu Day Movement does not endorse the opinions of the author.]


By Gabriel Lafitte

Among Tibetans and their supporters worldwide, Nepal evokes dread. The news out of Nepal is invariably bad. The 20,000 Tibetan refugees in settlements are prisoners, unable to move freely, unable to obtain certification of their refugee status, unable to find employment or get an education, stigmatized and excluded. They may not publicly vote, protest or even hold religious celebrations of the birthdays of their most revered lamas.

China’s power over Nepal extends to equipping and financing the armed forces to patrol the border with Tibet, to apprehend Tibetans using the only route of escape. China’s ability to get the Nepali army to do its security work is aided by the willingness of Nepali politicians to be seduced by the largesse of China’s aid program, no strings attached, no accountability auditing of where the money went. From the outside, it seems that Nepal, riven by revolution, is agreed on only one thing, right across the spectrum, from Maoists to royalists: no-one likes the Tibetans.

It is not just the elite that is prejudiced. The Tibetans, like the landless urban poor in the Kathmandu slums along the riverbanks, are considered sukumbasi, a term so broad it includes all the excluded, the displaced, landless, unacknowledged refugees, with no means of subsistence, suspected of thievery, gold smuggling and an inclination for criminality. Sukumbasi are feared and sneered at, especially by the upper caste Bahun Hindus who depict them as dangerous outsiders, despoilers, polluters of the rivers, a threat to the nation. The slum dwellers are seen as puppets of the Maoists, a rent-a-mob willing to swarm into the city on command to fill rallies with their shouts. The sukumbasi are said to have toppled the king, and that behind the scenes, they are tools of foreign meddlers or get undeserved help from NGOs. Read the rest of this entry »

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Lumbini’s Latest Discovery: the Birth Spot of the Buddha

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on December 23, 2011

Ven. Bhikshu Sudarshan Mahasthavir

Lumbini (Lummini) 2 is the birthplace of Sakyamuni Buddha. At the age of 29, the Buddha-to-be (Bodhisattva) renounced in Kapilavastu (present-day Tilaurakot), and at the age of 35, he became the Buddha. For forty-five years the Buddha wandered teaching the Dhamma. At the age of 80, he arrived at Upavattana where between two Sal trees (Yamakasal), he lay down in the Mahaparinibban position with his head pointing to the north. The Venerable Ananda, the Buddha’s personal secretary (upatthapaka) for twenty-five years, asked the Buddha: “Generally, at the end of every rains-retreat (vassavasa), venerable monks from everywhere come to have an audience with you and I always enable them to have this opportunity. What will happen after the Tathagata’s (Buddha) demise (mahaparinibbana)?”

The Buddha answered: “Persons of devotion will continue to visit and see the four holy places: the place where Tathagata was born; the place where he attained enlightenment; the place where he turned the wheel of Dhamma; and the place where he passed away (or attained anupadise mahaparinibbana).” In fact, the actual meaning of making the pilgrimage to these four places was to have an audience with the Buddha and to attempt to acquire mental serenity.  Read the rest of this entry »

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