The importance of Lumbini
- May 16, 2022
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN Topics
The importance of Lumbini
Section: Art and Culture
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Lumbini, Nepal.
- No Indian Prime Minister has visited Lumbini in the last few decades.
Importance of Lumbini:
- 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.
- The complex of structures within the archaeological conservation area includes the Shakya Tank; the remains within the Maya Devi Temple consist of brick structures in a cross-wall system dating from the 3rd century BC to the present century and the sandstone Ashoka pillar with its Pali inscription in Brahmi script.
- Additionally there are the excavated remains of Buddhist viharas (monasteries) of the 3rd century BC to the 5th century AD and the remains of Buddhist stupas (memorial shrines) from the 3rd century BC to the 15th century AD.
- The site is now being developed as a Buddhist pilgrimage centre, where the archaeological remains associated with the birth of the Lord Buddha form a central feature.
- Unfortunately, India remains largely un- represented in Lumbini, but for a small museum building that was con- structed with Indian assistance in the late 1990s. A proposal for a ‘sound and light show’ remains in limbo.
- Both Lumbini and the Mahabodhi Temple in Bodh Gaya are UNESCO World Heritage sites.
Some important Buddhist sites in India :
India is home to some of the most sacred sites of Buddhism
- Bodh Gaya — Bodh Gaya is a holy landmark and pilgrimage destination linked with the Mahabodhi Temple Complex in Gaya, Bihar, India. It is well-known for being the location where Gautama Buddha is claimed to have acquired enlightenment under the Bodhi Tree.
- Sarnath– The Deer Park adjoining the Archaeological Complex at Sarnath that the Buddha is believed to have delivered his first sermon after he attained enlightenment under a Bodhi tree in Bodh Gaya and preached his first teachings known as Dharmachakrapravartana Sutra.
- Rajgir– It was the capital of Magadh Kingdom. It was here that Gautama Buddha spent several months meditating, and preaching at Gridhra-kuta, (Vulture peak). He also delivered some of his famous sermons and initiated king Bimbisara of Magadha and countless others to Buddhism. It was here that Budhha delivered his famous Atanatiya Sutra.
- Sravasti– It was the capital of ancient Kosala kingdom and is sacred to the Buddhists because it is here that Lord Buddha performed the greatest of his miracles to confound the Tirthika heretics. These miracles include Buddha creating multiple images of himself, which has been a favourite theme of Buddhist art. Buddha showed his divine prowess to impress upon the non-believers. The Buddha passed the greater part of his monastic life in Sravasti.
- Vulture peak– One of the several sites frequented by the Buddha and his community of disciples for both training and retreat.
- Kesariya – Kesariya Stupa is a Buddhist stupa in Kesariya. The first construction of the Stupa is dated to the 3rd century BCE. Kesariya Stupa has a circumference of almost 400 feet (120 m) and rises to a height of about 104 feet.
- Vaishali– It is said that the Buddha visited this place thrice and spent quite a long time here. The Buddha also delivered his last sermon at Vaishali and announced his Nirvana here.
- Kushinagar– It is one of the four sacred places of Lord Buddha. Buddha delivered his last sermon, attained Mahaparinirvana (salvation) in 483 BC and was cremated at Rambhar Stupa.