Buddha Birth Place Correction in Nan Tien Temple
Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on August 31, 2013
[As we heard about Budhha birth place misinformation in the biggest Buddhist temple – Nan Tian Temple, last year we decided to try our best to correct the misinformation there. I requested Consulate General, NSW HE Deepak Khadka to write a letter to the temple to create favourable environment to our team to have authority to take video inside the temple, however; the team found that the misinformation was already corrected. We were happy but also surprised. When I met Mr. Manoj Pant he shared his story and I asked to write at least few paragraphs. On behalf of Lumbini-Kapilvastu Day Movement, I would like to thank Mr. Pant for the information and this small article.]
By Manoj Panta
Nan Tien Temple known as “Southern Paradise” is the largest Buddhist temple in the Southern Hemisphere. It is situated at Berkeley – a suburb of Wollongong in the state of New South Wales. It is one of the branch temples of Fo Guang Shan, founded in 1965 by Venerable Master Hsing Yun, which has over 200 branches worldwide. Since the opening of the temple in October 1995, it has become a new venue not only for local but also for international tourists and also acts as an important cultural centre bridging different cultures.
It was early 2010, I went to visit Nan Tien Temple with my family in weekend. That time we used to live in Wollongong. We were impressed with the temple and glad to see such a big and neat Buddha temple in our local area. I was overwhelmed, excited even can’t explain my inner feelings, however; I was devastated when I noticed “Buddha was born in India” on their information board. I did not know what happened with me after that. In one way I was shocked and very sad. So I could not stop myself without complaining about the wrong information on Buddha’s birth place. According to Buddha philosophy also it was absolutely wrong to give wrong information.
There was one monk inside the temple, I asked him about the head of the temple and told him that I had some questions to clarify about Buddha.
In fact I did not ask any questions to him I told him in one go. I raised the issue of the information on the board about Buddha birth place where it was clearly written that he was born in India. I said that the information was absolutely wrong. I added him that I was from the city where Buddha born and it is in Nepal. He was speechless and again I requested him not to give such a wrong information to the world. “In my next visit I don’t want to see this kind of wrong information as that is also against Buddha’s philosophy”- I said to him.
Well after few months I again visited that temple and that time I did not see that wrong information on the board. I am not sure whether it (my conversation) worked or not but it has been changed. Anyway, I was overwhelmed not to see that wrong information on Buddha birth place in the biggest temple in the Southern Hemisphere.
I was very happy to share this with the right person – Mr. Ram Kumar Shrestha, the key campaigner of the Movement on Buddha birth place issue. According to his suggestion I tried to write whatever I remembered. As this was few years back, I could not remember all the details, however; feeling proud to write these few lines.