Hinduism and Buddhism
Posted by worldamity on May 17, 2010
By Dirgha Raj Prasai 
Nepal is the pious Hindu and Buddha country in the lapse of the Himalayas, which is beautiful, quiet, the birth place of Buddha and origin of Hinduism. Besides being the country of Everest it is equally popular with its diverse cultural values. This is the land where civilization began and is also known as the country of ‘SANGRILA.’ Nepal is as holy place to Hindus & Buddhists, as Mecca for Muslims and Jerusalem to Jews and Christians.
The religious structure of Nepalese society is formally Hindu; but here and only here the interplay of peoples and their religious traditions has produced a rich fusion of Hindu and Buddhist faiths. It is common for both Hindus and Buddhists to worship at the same shrine, for many gods and saints are cross-over, often known by a different name but holding the same attributes. The original inhabitants of the valley were animists, a tradition which survives in the multitude of spirits, demons, local deities, and stones which receive dutiful worship to this day. Hindu and Buddhist traditions adapted from the pre-existing animist practices and from each other. Indeed, in the medieval period, when both religions’ practice adopted mystical, Tantric traditions, they were almost indistinguishable from each other. Nepal’s History and Religions Nepal is a rich and complex mix of different cultures and traditions, melded over thousands of years into a unique whole. For the western traveler there is much that is familiar, and many surprises. Family and religion are of paramount importance, and are constantly reflected throughout the culture. Nepal moves to a different rhythm than the West. The notes here are meant only to tantalize you into visiting this amazing place.
Prithvi Narayan Shah, the unifier of Nepal is the pride of Nepal. It was almost 100 years before unification of Germany (1868), Italy (1868), and the restoration of the Meiji (Japan, 1868) in which America was also under British dependency, that Prithvi Narayan Shah had already unified (1768) 54 small fiefdoms to build a large, expanded and greater Nepal. But after the movement of April 2006 and the party leaders Congress, UML and Maoists came to power they smashed the statue of the great King, contempt and insulted him and called off the birth anniversary of the late king as a day of national unity. Why?
A country’s existence and prestige can gradually be eroded by finishing off its faith and belief tradition and culture and the creator of nation. If anyone wants the assurance of integrity and lasting peace in this country, one must not be confused about the country’s century’s old customs and religion prestige as well as the builder of nationality and unity.
Having diverse cohesive communities, Nepal has built up as a nation in a long historical process. Nepal was worthy to be bowed down by Hindus all over the world. This is the highest honor Nepal could receive from the international community. Nepal’s prestige and honor would elevate further if this country is declared as “Hindu and Buddhist” country, instead of a secular state. But, at present why the peaceful country where Lord Buddha was born has become the venue of confrontations? The main causes of the crisis is the abolishing our culture and traditions. Some are going to abolish the creations of Prithbinarayan Shah and to destroy his statute.
Dr. Fareed Zakaria’s (Harvard University USA) has written a book- ‘The Post American World-2008’ and he has offered the confusion that Buddha was born in India. Dr. Zakaria’s intention is to create fissures between Hindus and Buddhists and between the people of Nepal and India. Lord Buddha was born in Lumbini, the western part of Nepal. He definitely went to Gaya, now in India, for enlightenment but never received any citizenship from any part of the present day India. Buddha was born to a Hindu ruler. Buddhism was his creation. Buddhism became a religion because human beings thrive for peace rather than violence. We hope, Dr. Zakaria is trying to exercise in futility by creating confusion on Lord Buddha. Siddhartha Gautama, the Lord Buddha, was born in 623 B.C. 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. Lumbinī-Nepal is a Buddhist pilgrimage site in the Rupandehi district of Nepal, near the Indian border. It is the place where Queen Mayadevi is said to have given birth to Siddhartha Gautam, who as the Buddha founded the Buddhist tradition. Records made by the Chinese pilgrim Fa Xian were also used in the process of identifying this religiously acclaimed site. The holy site of Lumbini has ruins of ancient monasteries, a sacred Bodhi tree, an ancient bathing pond, the Ashoka pillar and the Mayadevi temple. The truth, however is that Buddha was born at Lumbini in present Rupandehi district of western Terai region in Nepal. A fact accepted by UNESCO while providing world heritage status to the place.
Similarly, some Communist and anti-nationalists are active to minimize Hinduism and dismiss the existence of Buddha. One of the communist old-leader Mohan Bikram Sing has written that Buddha was burn in Orissa (India) but not in Nepal. (See: Kantipur B.S.2059 Bhadra 19) What is that means? Such antagonistic so-called politicians, some against of Christian are habituated to exploit our national culture, religions and identities. This is the matter of grief for all the nationalists. But, the renowned historian of India and native Orrisan Prof. Karuna Sagar Behera has been quoted as saying “The Buddha was neither born in Orissa nor visited the place during his lifetime”[http://tinyurl.com/yl3jlyv
So, history and reality says-
Hindu and Buddhas both are the original assets of Nepal.
This article is the full text from the comment for the article “संचारकर्मी र कलमकर्मीहरुद्धारा प्रसंशनीय कार्यको शुरुवात” we received from the write.
 Dirgha Raj Prasai is the Former member of Parliament,Nepal(1979-1990), Political & Cultural Analyst.