“Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.”
“You will not be punished for your anger; you will be punished by your anger.”
“The foot feels the foot when it feels the ground.”
“Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.”
Lumbini in Nepal
Lumbini is one of the four holy places for all Buddhists. The other sites are Boudhagaya, Kushinagar, and Sarnath in India. For every Buddhist The Star of Asia and peace icon, Buddha was born in Lumbini of Nepal on the full moon of Baisakh in 623 B.C. He was born under a Saal tree (Shorea Robusta) when Maya Devi (his mother) was going to her maternal town on the occasion of delivery. After their birth, Buddha took seven steps north, which is now shown as seven lotus flowers, and, looking in all directions, he declared that “I am the foremost of all creatures to cross the riddle of the ocean of the existence, this is my last birth and hereafter, I will not be born again”.
Attractions around Lumbini Tour
The birthplace itself is interesting as a whole, with the landscapes and the green forestry. Maya Devi Temple, the Stupas and the Pillar built by great King Ashoka alone are worth a visit. Recently, several beautiful shrines have been constructed by devotees from all over the world. A visit to Lumbini is not only for spiritual enlightenment but also for the solace and satisfaction that one gets in such a calm and peaceful place.
Maya Devi Temple
Lumbini remained neglected for centuries. In 1895, Feuhrer, a famous German archaeologist, discovered the great pillar, further exploration, and excavation of the surrounding area revealed the existence of a brick temple and a sandstone sculpture within the temple itself which represents the scenes of Buddha’s birth. On the south of the Maya Devi temple, There is the famous sacred bathing pool known as Puskarni. It is believed that Maha Devi took a bath in this pool before the delivery. The temple is built gradually and is composed of many Buddhist temples, one after the other. It is also found that there is a possibility that an Ashoka Stupa existed in the place of the temple.
The Buddhist monastery
It's built in the way of the modern Buddhist Temples of Nepal but is quite important in light of the architecture of the walls. The middle hall contains some exquisite murals resembling the medieval periods.
The Marker Stone
This stone is located deeply buried in the sanctum sanatorium which pinpoints the exact location of the birth of Lord Buddha. This was discovered after meticulous excavation of the Maya Devi Temple site in 1996. The exact size of the Marker Stone is 70×40×10 cm. This is now covered with bulletproof glass.
The Nativity Sculpture
The very idol of Maya Devi, also known as the Nativity sculpture dates back to the 4th century AD. It is a depiction of Maya Devi holding the branch of a tree with her right hand for support. Next to her Gautami Prajapati, her sister, in a supporting posture at the time of delivery is standing. The newly born Prince Siddhartha is standing upright on a lotus pedestal, with two celestial figures receiving him.
The Puskarini or Holy Pond
Nearby you have the Ashokan Pillar erected by emperor Ashoka. Next to it is the holy pond also known as the Pushkarni. It is believed that Maya Devi had taken a bath here before giving birth to Buddha. It is also the site where the infant prince Siddhartha was given his first purification bath. The pond has terraced steps and is riveted by beautifully layered bricks.
The Asokan Pillar
Built by emperor Ashoka, the Ashokan Pillar is the first epigraphic evidence relating to the birthplace of Lord Buddha. The Pillar is therefore historically significant. The inscription engraved by Emperor Ashoka is still intact and testifies to the authenticity of the birthplace. The text written in Brahmi script and Pali language is translated as follows:
Excursions Tour from Lumbini
A holy destination related deeply to the life of a legend, Lord Buddha. Kapilvastu is the place where Lord Buddha lived his childhood and the days of teenage, in complete luxury. The capital of King Shuddhodhan, Kapilvastu still carries with it the mystic charm. It houses many sculptures of Buddhism, which present a landscape where that visitors that makes them feel calm and content. Kapilvastu carries the visitors away to the ancient days when Buddha was a small child and a prince. The place is situated 27 km south of Lumbini.
How to get there
Air – Bhairahwa is the nearest airport, 22 km, well connected to Kathmandu airport. At present, about 28 international airlines connect Nepal to various other destinations in Asia and the Middle East. Train – Gorakhpur, In India, is the nearest railhead, 122 km from Lumbini. Road – Good motorable roads connect Bhairahwa to Lumbini, and also other important cities of Nepal. India's border is 22 km from Lumbini.
Soyambhunath, Monkey Temple
A golden spire on topmost of a conical wooded hill, Swayambhunath Stupa is the most ancient and mysterious of all the holy shrines in Kathmandu valley. Its lofty white dome and glittering golden spire are visible for many miles and from all sides of the valley. Historical records found on a stone inscription give evidence that the stupa was already an important Buddhist pilgrimage destination by the 5th century AD. Its origins, however, date to a much earlier time, long before the arrival of Buddhism into the valley. A collection of legends about the site, the 15th century Swayambhu Purana, tells of a miraculous lotus, planted by a past Buddha, which blossomed from the lake that once covered Kathmandu valley. The lotus mysteriously radiated a brilliant light, and the name of the place came to be Swayambhu, meaning ‘Self-Created or Self-Existent’. Saints, sages, and divinities traveled to the lake to venerate this miraculous light for its power in granting enlightenment. During this time, the Bodhisattva Manjushri was meditating at the sacred mountain of Wu Tai Shan and had a vision of the dazzling Swayambhu light. Manjushri flew across the mountains of China and Tibet upon his blue lion to worship the lotus. Deeply impressed by the power of the radiant light, Manjushri felt that if the water were drained out of the lake Swayambhu would become more easily accessible to human pilgrims. With a great sword, Manjushri cut a gorge in the mountains surrounding the lake. The water, draining away, left the valley of present-day Kathmandu. The lotus was then transformed into a hill and the light became the Swayabhunath Stupa.
Recent history of the Stupa has revolved around the lineage of the Chini (or Chiniya) Lamas. The first Chini Lama, Taipo Shing, was a Szeshuanese Nyingmapa Buddhist who settled in Boudha after coming here on pilgrimage. In 1853, after the Sino-Gorkhali war, Jung Bahadur invited his Chinese resident of Boudha to the palace to interpret during the peace discussions. In recognition of his services to the Rana prime minister, in 1859 he was awarded the abbotship of Boudha with its stewardship of the gut lands of Malachi in Helembu. He was succeeded by Buddha Vajra in 1880 and Punya Vajra (1886-1982), the Third Chini Lama, succeeded him in 1922. The spiritual and temporal power of the Second and Third Chini Lamas increased until during the Late Rana period Boudha had become a kingdom within a kingdom. The authority of the Chini Lamas was enhanced by their status as consul of the Dalai Lamas to the Kingdom of Nepal.
The Chini Lama’s power was diminished by the Chinese occupation of Tibet in 1951, by the Nepali land reform of 1961, which stripped the Stupa of much of its supporting lands, and also by the Panchayat domination from which Punya Vajra, the Third Chini Lama, stood apart. By the time of Punya Vajra’s death in 1982, the abbot of Boudha’s power had been radically curtailed. As Nyingmapa yogins, the Chini Lamas had taken Tamang and Sherpa girls as their consorts. The first Chini Lama married the daughter of one of Jung Bahadur’s concubines, thus initiating family ties with Government. The Third Chini Lama’s long life and virility resulted in a prolific extension of the family. From the mid-19th century until the death of Punya Vajra, it was the Chini Lamas of Boudha who contributed most to the continuing religious and social significance of Boudhanath.
As abbots of Boudha the Chini Lamas were the heads of the Tamang sangha and the Boudha Gyang Guthi, the Boudha Monastery Society. This gut of local devotees of the Stupa comprises the administrative body maintaining the Stupa and also the priests tending Ma Ajima, the Protecting Goddess. The members of the gut were, and still are, disciples of the Chini Lamas (Tibetan: Gya Lama) in the Tibetan tradition. Guthi lands, lying principally in Malemchi Gaon in Helembu and around Kopan, were the main source of finance for this gut. The Newars also have rights of worship at the temple of Ma Ajima. The historical relationship of the Buddhist guthi to the Hindus is obscure, but we do know that during the abbotship of the Third Chini Lama blood-sacrifice to Ma Ajima – alluded to by Shabkar Rinpoche – was discontinued. Since the death of the Third Chini Lama, in a temporal and spiritual power vacuum, the Stupa has been governed by a gut committee consisting of lineal descendants of the Third Chini Lama and the families of his Tamang disciples who live in the vicinity. The Newar presence in Boudha is limited to silver-smiths and traders from Patan taking advantage of the pilgrim and tourist market.
If you don’t have 8 days you can do the Lumbini tour in 3 or 4 days using a way flight to Bhirahawa and back. If you have more days you can include Chitwan National Park (for Jungle safari) or Tansen hill station on the Lumbini tour. The Buddhist circuit trip (Lumbini, Bodhgaya, Sarnath, Kushinagar) can be also arranged. It is called the Buddhist pilgrimage circuit and we have organized many trips in the past. Rajan has been on this trip many times. We can combine the Lumbini tour with another site in India.