Lumbini-Kapilvastu Day Blog

Welcome to Lumbini, Nepal – the birthplace of Buddha

“Buddha was born in Nepal” puts more responsibilities on Nepalis’ shoulders than the slogan

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on February 13, 2015

FrankLogo for International ConferenceBy Frank Vermeersch, Belgium-Nepal Friendship Association President/ Lumbini-Kapilvastu Day Movement Europe Adviser/ Ani Choying Foundation Founder President)

(Full statement given by Frank Vermeersch in an interaction program focused on an International Conference that is going to be held in Belgium in the forthcoming Buddha Jayanti. The statement is not edited. and the program was organised recently in Belgium. The other speaker was Dr Krishna Prasad Aryal (Ph.D.) from Norway)

Mr. President, Chairman, Professor, Ladies and Gentlemen of the audience

Let me first of all thank you for inviting me at this meeting, meeting for the preparation of the International conference 4 & 5th May, Belgium. I’m very pleased and honored to be here today amongst you all.

The Lumbini Kapilvastu Day Movement: “Buddha was born in Nepal”. Before I met the Movement I didn’t have really toughed about the birthplace of the Buddha, yes, I lived and I still life, let’s say try to live according the teachings of the Tatagatha (Buddha), the Dharma and the place where Shakmuni Gautema , the later Buddha, seemed in my opinion not so important.

But once I had contact with the movement and when I began to play an active role, I became aware that the birthplace of the Buddha and the Movement could really have their importance, and more than one.

I began to look around me and I noticed during the visits I lead at the Buddhist Institute at Huy, during the lecture about Buddhism that I give, the conferences and events and even during simple conversations that few people, and according to my experience, not only in Belgium but Holland, Germany, … where I went, don’t really know where the Buddha was born.

So since then I always ask the question , but few people now it I think not more than 10 %, the answers on that question can be sometimes real surprising , from India, Thailand and even once Africa.

Buddhism has 4 major sacred places: where the Buddha was born, where he obtained Enlightment, where he turned for the first time the Wheel of Dharma and where his charnel envelope stopped functioning and he reached Nirvana.

More and more scientific and archeologists investigations prove that the Buddha was born in Lumbini and Lumbini is in Nepal. Right is right and so Nepal can not only but MUST be proud to be the country where the Tatagatha has made his first steps but is at the same time part of the great history and benefit of Buddhism to the whole world and we must work to spread the truth about this so that one day when I ask an audience where the cradle of Buddhism lies they all answer: Nepal!!!!

With all the benefits of tourism, promotion and so on… for the beautiful country Nepal.

Creating a movement or joining a movement like the Lumbini Kapilvastu Day Movement with the banner: “Buddha was born in Nepal” puts more responsibilities on your shoulders than the slogan: “Buddha was born in Nepal”.

Indeed, whom who says Buddha, also points to his teachings, the Dharma and that is more than such an ancient Sanskrit word. I will not try to give now a teaching about Buddhism but only mention some of the most fundamental principles of the Dharma:

“Love, Compassion, Tolerance and Acceptation”.

Words who are so profound and important but who in these times are so quickly forgotten who are so hollow when you look at the latest terrible news bulletins. War, attacks, racism, police and army on the streets, radicalism and so on, and so on… and hereby I don’t point such or that idea or religion.

We see anger, non-tolerance in all the aspects of our daily life. People are more and more stressed, verbal violence in the traffic, in the shops. Loss of respect for family, older ones, the people around us…. the fact that we not accept the other as he is, as a sensible living being with his own ideas, own wishes and right on peace of happiness is one of the greatest causes of all the pain and suffering who surrounds us.

Here the Lumbini Kapilvastu Day Movement has also, in my eyes, taken the responsibility not only to promote the fact “Buddha was born in Nepal” but also to stand for the ideas behind the man and this in an unique way. As Movement starting from the fact that someone was born somewhere the Movement can detach the fundamental ideas of Compassion, Tolerance, Accept of the religious, philosophical background so that these values essential for a society to function on a “human” way can be accepted by every one without being stigmatized.

This brings me to the third, and last (don’t worry, I won’t take more of your time) item I want to underline in this speech.

The Lumbini Kapilvastu Day Movement can be a “Way of Communication”.

Let me explain: the one and only dogma in the Movement is “Buddha was born in Nepal”, Buddha stands for his teachings and the whole of his teachings are a way to work on ourselves. Recent publications describe and affirm that Buddhism is not only a religion, not only a philosophy but a scientific way of knowing yourself. A guide , a manual to explore ourselves and by discovering each day a little bit more of our self we will also understand the people and the world around us.

The Movement can be the platform, the dome where the people who enter leave their political points of view, their religious dogmas, their social differences and so on…. outside the dome, besides this platform of Communication.

The Movement can and must be the platform where people can dialogue, communicate without already have classified their discussion partner as being of that idea, that political color, that social status. A platform where everyone appreciates the other for what he IS and not for what he seems to be!!!!!

I am not a co-organizer of the International Conference on the 4 &5th of May, but I support the vent and the idea behind and I give this challenge to the organizers: make of the Conference an example to show that the Lumbini Kaplivastu Day Movement not only promote that the Buddha was born in Nepal, but show also that the values of the Buddha are so important for our society and that we can live in peace and harmony with respect for those around us and for the world around us.

I thank you for your attention

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