Was Lord Buddha Born In Nepal? Let's Find It Out!

As per the research on historical records, Lord Gautama Buddha was born in Nepal at Lumbini as a Prince Siddhartha Gautam and after attaining enlightenment (nirvana), he became Lord Buddha.

Following Are Some Facts About Lord Gautama Buddha That Show Lord Buddha Was Born In Nepal

  • Lord Buddha’s birth name was Prince Siddhartha Gautama.  He is also known as Shakyamuni. He was born in the Shakya Kingdom of Kapilavastu, the southern region of Nepal which is in Rupandehi district, Lumbini zone (now Province No. 5) of Nepal in around 623 B.C.

  • The Asian lunisolar calendar quotes his birth date as Baishakha Purnima, which falls on the full moon day in Baishakha.
  • He was born to Shakya King Suddhodhana and Queen Mayadevi.
The little Buddha statue at Maya Devi Temple Lumbini Nepal | De Reviews
Statue of little Buddha at Maya Devi Temple Lumbini, Nepal (Picture Credit:- https://commons.wikimedia.org)
  • He was born when her mother Queen Mayadevi was going to her parents’ Kingdom Nawalparasi. But in midway, she stopped in Lumbini where she gave birth to Prince Siddhartha Gautama holding on a branch of a Bodhi tree.
  • Legend has it that immediately after his birth in Lumbini Garden under Sal tree, Lord Buddha took his first seven steps and gave a peace message to humanity.
  • The Puskarini, an ancient Holy Pond, where Queen Mayadevi took the bath prior to his birth and where he had his first bath is also located in this sacred area near Asoka Stambha.
  • He attained enlightenment (nirvana) at the age of 35 at Bodhgaya, India beneath a Bodhi tree.
  • He is the founder of Buddhism and became Buddha after attaining nirvana.
  • Lord Buddha died at the age of 80 at Kushinagar, India.
  • The Kiratas were the initial community in Nepal to adopt the teachings of Gautama Buddha, succeeded by the Licchavis and the Newar people.
  • The Indian Mauryan Emperor Asoka installed one of his commemorative pillars “Asoka Stambha” in 249 BC with its Pali inscription in Brahmi script which evident about Lumbini, Nepal to be the birthplace of Lord Buddha. This pillar was discovered in 1896. This inscription refers to the spot as Buddha’s birthplace.

  • The 4th-century Chinese monk named Fa-hsien indicated in his famous travel documents that the Lord Buddha was born in present-day Lumbini. The 7th-century Chinese monk identified Lumbini as the birthplace of Lord Buddha after citing the capital city of the ancient kingdom of Kapilavastu.

  • The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) have already declared Lumbini, Nepal as a birthplace of Lord Buddha.

  • Since 1997, Lumbini has held the UNESCO World Heritage site status, recognized as the birthplace of Lord Buddha.

  • UNESCO team describe Lumbini “"As the birthplace of the Lord Buddha - the apostle of peace and the light of Asia - the sacred area of 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 centers from a very early period."
Lumbini Nepal The Birth Place of Gautam Buddha Hence Buddha was born in Nepal | De Reviews
Lumbini, Nepal - Birth Place of Lord Buddha (Picture Credit:- https://commons.wikimedia.org)
  • UNESCO description of the Lumbini site further illustrates “Sacred trees, beautiful flowers, celestial splendor, eternal tranquility - these are the elements that constitute the place where Siddhartha, the Lord Buddha, was born."
  • UNESCO has also stated: The authenticity of the archaeological remains within the boundaries has been confirmed through a series of excavations since the discovery of the Asoka pillar in 1896. The remains of viharas, stupas and numerous layers of brick structures from the 3rd century BC to the present century at the site of the Maya Devi Temple are proof of Lumbini having been a centre of pilgrimage from early times.
  • National Geographic Channel had also broadcasted a documentary "Buried Secrets of the Buddha" which was filmed in Lumbini with the key discoveries made during excavating and unearthing the shrine.
  • There are several historical and archaeological remains in Lumbini which are associated with the birth of Lord Buddha. Hence, the archaeological proofs are increasing in every exploration to evident that Buddha was born in Lumbini Nepal.
  • Archaeologists discovered solid evidence of the Buddha's birth in Lumbini's sacred garden—a wooden structure, a long-buried shrine, and courtyard dating back 2,550 years.This discovery was located directly beneath a brick temple built three centuries later to preserve and worship the birthplace.
  • The excavated remains of Buddhist monasteries of 3rd century BC to 5th century AD as well as the remains of Buddhist stupas from the 3rd century BC to 15th century AD provide the evidence of the birth of Lord Buddha and Lumbini being Buddhist pilgrimage center from a very ancient time.
  • Other structures under the archaeological conservation area in Lumbini are Shakya Tank, the numerous layers of brick structures in a cross wall system and other numerous remains within the Maya Devi Temple from the 3rd century BC to the present century which are also a evidence of Lumbini being the birth of Lord Buddha and being a Buddhist pilgrimage center from a very early period.
  • British archaeologist Robin Coningham, a professor of archaeology and pro-vice-chancellor at Durham University in the United Kingdom, and his international team of 40 archaeologists after three years excavating the Lumbini shrine discovered a tree shrine that predates all known Buddhist sites by at least 300 years. Meanwhile, this project was funded by UNESCO.

  • The excavation unveiled that the shrine at Lumbini was established in the third century BC. However, archaeologists dated the timber structure to the sixth century BC.
  • This excavation further revealed a sequence of earlier structures preceding the major rebuilding by Emperor Asoka during the 3rd century BC. Furthermore, the sequence of durable brick architecture supplanting non-durable timber. Hence, their findings gave a concrete evidence that Buddhism existed before the time of Asoka, who enthusiastically embraced the religion in the third century BC.

  • The research team believed they have found evidence of a tree in the ancient shrine beneath a thick layer of bricks. According to Coningham, it became clear that the temple had been built "directly on top of the brick structure, incorporating or enshrining it".

  • Coningham also marked his findings at Lumbini as memorable “This is one of those rare and exciting occasions when belief, traditions, archaeology, and science actually come together". He further added, “We know the entirety of the shrine sequence started in the sixth century B.C., and this sheds light on a very long debate”.

  • Being a birthplace of Lord Buddha, Lumbini remains one of the holiest places of Buddhist religion with spiritual, religious, philosophical and mystical values.

Lord Gautam Buddha | De Reviews
Lord Gautama Buddha (Picture Credit:- https://commons.wikimedia.org)
  • Another archaeologist from the team Keir Strickland, who co-authored the study said, "A really important finding in the study of Buddhist archaeology. The earliest Buddhist shrine: excavating the birthplace of the Buddha, Lumbini (Nepal)."
  • Many other countries like Japan, China, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Thailand, Germany have build monasteries in this Buddhist pilgrimage site with their finest architectural skills.
  • Asian Development Bank has also provided nearly $90 million funding for the development of Lumbini area i.e. roadways and airport as well as to pave the way for the rise of the Buddha's birthplace in the world atlas of Buddhist pilgrimage sites.

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References:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maya_Devi_Temple,_Lumbini
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddhism_in_Nepal
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lumbini
http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/666
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/dec/01/buddha-birth-archaeology-nepal-durham
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