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Posts Tagged ‘Bodhi tree’

IN UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY, NEPAL MAKES RESTRAINED ASSERTION THAT THE BUDDHA WAS BORN IN ITS LUMBINI

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on October 1, 2013

[In the 68th United Nations General Assembly in New York few days ago, Nepal somehow made a lamentably restrained lowly assertion that the Buddha was born in its Lumbini.  The Himalayan country’s Interim Election Council Chairman Justice Khil Raj Regmi in his address to the general assembly said, “ I bring with me the message of peace and non-violence from Lumbini; the birth place of Gautam Buddha, the apostle of peace and the greetings and best wishes from the government and people of Nepal.” I rather would have loved him say  instead that he had brought with him “the message of peace and non-violence from Nepal’s Lumbini; the birth place of Gautam Buddha”.  But he did not say so and, which is very lamentable. We fully understand why he had required to make such a strangely twisted, indirect reference in his address but very sadly he failed to do so truly. ]

 By B. K. Rana 

Buddha birth place UN
While debating the Buddha and recent television serial on him and the news reported by Hindustan Times [1]  and also by The  Washington Post[2] and The Huffington Post [3]  from down here, it may be worthwhile writing something today again on the other 12 part Buddha film made by a professor of history from Odisha[4] who also had discussed with me after the publication of my paper on the Buddha birthplace on February 14, 2010[5]. I have no idea how he has made those 12 part films but his writings seemingly based on later day literature such as Vamsa  Gathas from Ceylon, that is to say from Shri Lanka and other local publications, I assume they are also like what Zee TV aired recently.
It is not only the Buddha birthplace, Lumbini of present day Nepal Tarai, which has been brought into question since 1928; those professors and other authors from Odisha  are also found questioning about the actual location of  the Bodhi Tree[6] under whose shade the Buddha had attained enlightenment. Those scholars following, Mahagatimbiya—Tissadatta, a Bhikkshu from Shri Lanka, who seems to have visited the Bodhi Tree site, think the tree being very close to an ocean and also think the view running parallel to those of the Chinese travelers. Those historians  and authors also talk of Majjhimdesh (मज्झिम देश). In Jatakas and Lalita Vistara  the Buddha is said to have himself told he was born in Majjhimdesh or Majjhim Desh (मज्झिम देश) – the ‘middle country’ (मध्य देश) or  Madhesh (मधेश). Therefore, some Nepalese political leaders from Madhesh have nowadays begun to say that the Buddha was born in Madhesh (मधेश) – not in Lumbini either. But where wasMajjhimdesh or Majjhim Desh (मज्झिम देश) ?  I shall copy below few lines from my 2010 paper:
Read the rest of this entry »

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Another Chinese foundation plans to raise $ 3b to make Lumbini ‘magnet for Buddhists’

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on June 20, 2011

Months after plans of a Chinese private sector company to invest Rs 8 billion to develop Lumbini as an International

Buddha Center hogged media headlines there comes news that a Chinese-backed foundation is planning to raise $ 3 billion to help Nepal develop Buddha’s birthplace.

According to Reuters, the Asia Pacific Exchange and Cooperation Foundation plans to raise the aforesaid amount at home and abroad “to build temples, an airport, a highway, hotels, convention centres and a Buddhist university in the town of Lumbini.”

Interestingly, UCPN (Maoist) chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal is the vice-chairman of the foundation which aims to transform Lord Buddha’s birthplace in southern Nepal “into a magnet for Buddhists in the same way as Mecca is to Muslims and the Vatican for Catholics”, the report adds.

The foundation signed a memorandum of understanding with Nepal government last month to jointly develop and operate Lumbini.

According to the report, the foundation also pledged to bring communications, water and electricity to Lumbini.

“Lumbini will transcend religion, ideology and race. We hope to rejuvenate the spirit of Lord Buddha,” Xiao Wunan, a devout Buddhist who is executive vice president of the foundation, told the news agency.

The development of Lumbini will also help boost government revenues, create jobs and improve infrastructure in the impoverished corner of Nepal, the report cited the memorandum as stating. Read the rest of this entry »

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