Lumbini-Kapilvastu Day Blog

Welcome to Lumbini, Nepal – the birthplace of Buddha

Another Pressure to British Museum on Buddha’s Birthplace Issue

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on March 3, 2012

Let’s give another pressure to British Museum. Please click here to go to the relevant link

British Museum on 4th of November, 2011 at 3:46 pm wrote on its Facebook page:

“In light of recent comments about the Buddha’s birthplace, we would like to reassure you that the Museum does not state that the Buddha was born in India. We state that the Buddha was born into a small kingdom that flourished in north-eastern India in about 500 BC. The kingdom covered a reasonably wide area in the northern plains, along with several others of the time. When the Buddha’s mother was expecting, the family decided that she should proceed north to the hills to give birth. This she did, but gave birth along the way, in Lumbini at foot of the Himalayas. The site of Lumbini is in Nepal about 20 miles from the modern border with the Republic of India. If you are aware of an instance where the incorrect information is written or posted please let us know where so we can look into it. You are welcome to leave comments about this subject on the main wall but please note that comments about this subject on unrelated posts will be deleted as they are off topic. Please see further information about commenting in the info tab.”

After 1,130 comments against the message on museum panel suggesting to write clearly Lumbini, Nepal as Buddha’s birthplace British Museum had another notice on its Facebook page “In the spirit of clarity, the British Museum wants to be unambiguous and accurate on this issue – the Buddha was born in Lumbini which is in Nepal. The Museum is always seeking to find the clearest way to put past history into understandable statements in the Museum, on our website and in our online records. Thank you for your feedback. Please be assured this is an important issue to the Museum and has been passed on to our curatorial team to establish where further clarity in the Museum and online may be required.” On 7th of November at 11:05 am.

After query British Museum South Asia Collection curator Dr. Sona Datta wrote in a letter, “The information panel that you question on the Life of the Buddha and that was previously on display in our Gallery 33, which houses our main displays of the cultures of South Asia, refers to the Buddha’s birthplace at Lumbini. It does not, however, state that Lumbini is in Nepal.  Our wording was unintentionally ambiguous, which we regret.  We have created new signage that has been on view as of 11 December, 2011.

The panel now reads:

The Buddha was born in 563 BC and named Siddhartha Gautama. He was a prince from the Shakya royal family, who ruled a region corresponding to the modern borderlands between Nepal and northern India. When the Buddha’s mother was expecting, her family sent her to the foothills of the Himalayas. She gave birth while travelling north, at a place called Lumbini in Nepal.”

UNESCO decided to keep Lumbini in World’s heritage site list in 1997 due to Buddh’s birthplace (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/666) British Museum South Asia curator took more than two months just to change couple of sentences and it is clearly seen that the curator is hesitating to implement Museum’s decision and playing sentences unnecessarily. Why the curator wants to include words “northern India”? And the sentence “When the Buddha’s mother was expecting, her family sent her to the foothills of the Himalayas. She gave birth while travelling north, at a place called Lumbini in Nepal.” is very irrelevant it could mean that Buddha’s mother came from India to Lumbini. It clearly shows that either the curator is not capable or trying to play unnecessarily. It could be better that British Museum start investigation in curator’s this job to save its Global reputaion

3 Responses to “Another Pressure to British Museum on Buddha’s Birthplace Issue”

  1. Hari said

    Dear All,

    It was shame to read the views of British Museum in this way. Are the personnel involved in this museum doing politics in the name of Buddha’s Birth place? Otherwise, why it is necessary to write like this way?

    The UNESCO has been clearly stated that “Siddhartha Gautama, the Lord Buddha, was born in 623 B.C. in the famous gardens of Lumbini, which soon became a place of pilgrimage. Lumbini, in the South-Western Terai of Nepal, evokes a kind of holy sentiment to the millions of Buddhists all over the world, like Jerusalem to Christians and Mecca to Muslims.”

    The short details of the Buddha’s Birth place are as given below:
    Birth place of Buddha: Lumbini Zone, Rupandehi District, Western Terai, Nepal.
    N27 28 8.004 E83 16 33.996
    Date of Inscription: 1997
    Criteria: (iii)(vi)
    Property : 1.95 ha
    Buffer zone: 23 ha
    Ref: 666rev
    Source: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/66

  2. Shobh Raj Gurung said

    The curator, Dr Sona Datta? may be from India and he/she leaving the dirty smell of India by intentiionally denying the truth. It is not a surprise, there may be some people who may find it hard to tell the truth. But higher the post bigger the responsibility and as this curator is simly denying/lying, he/she should be expelled from the post and fined for lying because simply Lord Buddha was a crown prince of Lumbini in Nepal then and Lord Buddha’s birth place is Lumbini in Nepal.

    I think all the corrupt people should be fined and jailed, may be death sentence if fine and jail is not enough in order to have a moral, true and honest in this world.

  3. Nisha Shrestha said

    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. 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
    Check this website..http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/666.
    Why everytime people want to claim birthday place of Gautam Buddha in India.I think British museum staff are not able to understand the term “archaeology”.And one more thing Maya(Gautam budhha’s mother) didn’t travelled anywhere to give birth.

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