Current Affairs

Significance of Lumbini

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  • Categories
    History & Culture
  • Published
    17th May, 2022
  • Context

    Indian Prime Minister has a schedule visit to Lumbni in the event of Buddha Purnima, the birthday of Siddhartha. The motive of the visit is to enhance the cultural ties between India and Nepal and gearing up the bilateral mechanism between the countries.

  • Background

    • Lord Buddha, was born in the famous gardens of Lumbini, which soon became a place of pilgrimage.
    • Among the pilgrims was the Indian emperor Ashoka, who erected one of his commemorative pillars there.
    • The site is now being developed as a Buddhist pilgrimage centre, where the archaeological remains associated with the birth of the Lord Buddha form a central feature.
    • Some of the other Viharas and Monasteries in the area are
      • Myanmar's Golden Temple
      • Tara Foundation Temple
      • The Sri Lanka Monastery
      • The Korean Temple (Dae Sung Shakya)
      • The Cambodian Monastery
      • The Vietnamese Phat Quoc Tu Temple
  • Analysis

    Where is Lumbini located?

    • Lumbini is a Buddhist pilgrimage siter located in Rupandehi district of Lumbini province of Nepal.
    • It is located near the Indo-Nepal border, where Uttar Pradesh of India shares the land boundary with Nepal.
  • What is the relevance of Lumbini?

    • Lumbini is the holy place where according to Buddhist tradition, Queen Mahamayadevi gave birth to Siddhartha Gautama at around 623 B.C.
    • Lord Buddha, was born in the famous gardens of Lumbini, which soon became a place of pilgrimage.
    • Lumbini is one of the holiest places of one of the world's great religions, and its remains contain important evidence about the nature of Buddhist pilgrimage centres from as early as the 3rd century BC.
    • Lumbini is one of the holiest and most important places in Nepal as a result of which it was included in the list of World Heritage areas by UNESCO.
  • What is the historical significance of the location?

    • The Lord Buddha was born in 623 BC in the sacred area of Lumbini located in the Terai plains of southern Nepal, testified by the inscription on the pillar erected by the Mauryan Emperor Asoka in 249 BC.
    • The complex of structures within the archaeological conservation area includes the Shakya Tank;
    • the remains within the Maya Devi Temple consisting of brick structures in a cross-wall system dating from the 3rd century BC to the present century and the sandstone Ashoka pillar with its Pali inscription in Brahmi script.
    • Excavated remains of Buddhist viharas (monasteries) of the 3rd century BC to the 5th century AD and the remains of Buddhist stupas (memorial shrines) from the 3rd century BC to the 15th century AD.
    • The site is now being developed as a Buddhist pilgrimage centre, where the archaeological remains associated with the birth of the Lord Buddha form a central feature.

      On April 29, the 2018 International Buddhist Conference was held in Lumbini, the birth place of Gautama Buddha. It was organised as part of 2562nd Buddha Jayanti celebrations. The basic purpose of the conference was to disseminate teachings of Gautam Buddha and spread the messages of nonviolence, brotherhood, co-existence, love and peace to the international society.

  • Additional information of Buddhism;

    • Buddha was born as Prince Siddhartha at Lumbini near Kapilavastu (in present Nepal) in 566 BC.
    • Siddhartha Gautama’s family belonged to the Sakya clan which ruled from Kapilvastu, Lumbini.
    • Siddhartha was brought up by his maternal aunt, Prajapati Gautami. This gave him the name ‘Gautama’.
    • At the age of 29, Gautama left home and rejected his life of riches and embraced a lifestyle of asceticism or extreme self-discipline. The event was known as Mahabhishkramana.
    • After 49 consecutive days of meditation, Gautam attained Bodhi (enlightenment) under a pipal tree at Bodhgaya, Bihar.
    • Buddha gave his first sermon in the village of Sarnath, near Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh. This event is known as Dharma Chakra Pravartana (turning of the wheel of law).
    • Buddha attained Mahaparinirvana at the age of 80 in 483 BCE at Kushinagara, Uttar Pradesh.
    • Four noble truth of Buddha:
      • World is full of sorrow
      • Desire is the root cause of all sorrow
      • Sorrow can be conquered by conquering desire
      • Desire can be conquered by following the eight-fold paths (Ashtangirka Marga)
    • Eight fold paths:
      • Right understanding
      • Right resolve
      • Right speech
      • Right Action
      • Right Living
      • Right Efforts
      • Right Thoughts
      • Right self-concentration

    Telangana State Tourism Development Corporation at Nagarjunasagar in Nalgonda district, is all set to inaugurate Buddhavanam, a Buddhist heritage theme park.  According to the project officials, it is divided into eight segments with an elegant entrance plaza – ‘Buddhacharitavanam, Jatakavanam (Bodhisattva Park), Dhyanavanam (Meditation Park), Stupavanam, Mahastupa’, and Buddhist education centres such as monasteries, educational institutions, Buddhist art and craft village, and budget hotels and resorts, auditoriums, a convention centre and wellness centres such as meditation centre, and traditional Buddhist medical centre. The State Department of Archaeology and Museums has established a Buddhist Heritage Museum on the ground floor of the Maha Stupa.

  • Conclusion

    Buddhism, the fifth largest religion of the world, which includes around 5.6% of the total world population. It is unfair to limit the ideals of Buddhism to a religion, it is the way of life which emerged in the ancient time to uplift the beliefs and thoughts of the society, which is still relevance in the contemporary times. Lumbini, the birth place of Buddha situated near the Indo-Nepal border, carries a cultural significance.

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