BUDDHA’S KAPILVASTU UNDER NATIONALISM AND OBSESSION
Posted by worldamity on April 8, 2010
[We are re-posting this posting from “The Himalayan Voice” thinking that it could be helpful to create network among groups dedicated for the real identity of Kapilvastu and Lumbini and other related issues.]
[ We can not leave Tilaurakot without seeing a “ terracotta seal engraved with — “Sa – ka – na – sya” which means ‘it belonged to the Sakyas’. Archaeologists have dated it falling in between 2nd and 5th Century B. C. We do not insist that present Tilaurakot must have been the ancient Kapilvastu but what we hold is that there are lots of evidences down there which suggest present Tilaurakot is the ancient Kapilvastu. Piprahawa vase photo courtesy:Santuttho 2008]
Dear Kapilvastu Forum,
Many thanks for your comment on our postings in connection with the Buddha birth place Lumbini, Tilaurakot, Aligadhwa of Uttar Pradesh and also some other stuff media have reported recently. We post relevant issues concerning the entire Himalayan region, no matter which country they originate from. Yes, we really do.
Now coming to the point, we do not believe there was any India or Nepal in the Buddha’s time so it is unnecessary to point out in the present context that ‘the Buddha was born in a small Indian kingdom’. It is absolutely wrong because we are talking of the Buddha today. There is no denying that Kapilvastu was a relatively weak and small kingdom but it is also unfair to claim that there was any country like India in the Buddha’s time. But it is of course yes, there were, Mala, Magadha, Kosala, Kalinga, Sravasti etc. and Kapilvastu also.
Basically, we are more concerned about the birth place of the Buddha than Kapilvastu and other issues posted. We also fully understand that there persist at least two different views on the exact location of ancient Kapilvastu. A group of scholars believes it is in present Tilaurakot of Nepal and another group holds it is in Piprahawa of India.
As of the Lumbini, as the Buddha birth place, the Ashokan Pillar’s ‘Hid Bhagavam Jateti Luminigamme’ inscription is enough, therefore, no more discussion needed. You have also accepted it. Enough said.
Now moving back again, if the Orissan scholars also disregarded Lembai to be another Lumbini and Kapileshowr as another purported Kapilvastu in Bhuvaneshowr, at least two Kapilvastus are on to the scene since long (which virtually was not and, therefore is not); one in Uttar Pradesh of India and the other in present Tilaurakot of Nepal. This proposition of two ancient Kapilvastus forwarded by Prof. Thomas William Rhys Davids was rejected long before because there can’t be, at a time, two such Kapilvastus where the Buddha grew up and which he renounced later. There was only one ancient Kapilvastu. No question about it.
Archaeologist P. C. Mukherjee and Historian Vincent A. Smith recognized Nepal’s Tilaurakot as the ancient Kapilvastu which Debala Mitra dismissed in 1961 telling that the structural remains around there do not go beyond the 7th A D. It prompted K. M. Shrivastava to claim Piprahawa as the actual Kapilvastu which William Claxton Peppé had excavated in 1898 and “unearthed a hefty stone coffer containing five reliquary vases. Besides a glittering heap of jewels and gold, one of the vases held ashes. An inscription around the rim recorded that the ashes were the remains of the Buddha, and that they had been deposited by members of his Sakya clan”.(Read more)
The Piprahawa find can’t be denied they belonged to the Buddha and his clan but they alone can not certainly ascertain that Piprahawa is the ancient Kapilvastu. Therefore P. C. Mukherjee thought it was one of the Sakya colonies with some ruined monasteries. Let evidence speak here.(Read more)
As concerns the forging of another Lumbini in Aligadawa, we have received couple of emails from the Archaeological Survey of India Superintendent in which he does not clearly mention whether another Lumbini is being constructed or not. This is our major concern. And if no other Lumbini is being ‘forged or constructed’ then that’s fine.
We can not leave Tilaurakot without seeing a “ terracotta seal engraved with — “Sa – ka – na – sya” which means ‘it belonged to the Sakyas’. Archaeologists have dated it falling in between 2nd and 5th Century B. C. We do not insist that present Tilaurakot must have been the ancient Kapilvastu but what we hold is that there are lots of evidences down there which suggest present Tilaurakot is the ancient Kapilvastu.
We have no knowledge at all what the concerned departments such as: Archaeological Survey of India and Department of Archaeology, Kathmandu Nepal would say about it. But we can surely say that the Department of Archaeology, Kathmandu lacks manpower to post vital information like: the on going activities, excavation reports and other important papers on its website. It has even failed to publish its own official journal ‘Ancient Nepal’ on the website in such a fast moving digital age.
It seems that both Nepalese and Indian people are obsessed with nationalism. It may seem not that bad. Nationalism is something we must always hold onto it but as concern issues of such profound significance we must let evidences speak for the benefit of the humanity first.
B. K. Rana