Buddha Jayanti, which falls on 4th May 2015 this year, is not just a day to celebrate Lord Gautam Buddha’s birth, but also to celebrate his whole life, from birth to enlightenment and then to his death, which, if charted, goes as follows: birth—623 B.C.; enlightenment—588 B.C. and death—at age eighty. He was born some 500 years before the arrival of Jesus Christ on earth. The two were responsible for the creation of two great religions—Buddhism and Christianity. Both gave mankind new ways of conducting their lives through teachings that were out of the ordinary. Both became gods.
However, there were some dissimilarities as well. For one thing, whereas Jesus Christ was born to a carpenter family, Gautam Buddha was born a prince who had it all—a prosperous kingdom, a beautiful wife, even a son—but he renounced everything and went off in the middle of the night without even saying goodbye to his wife to search for answers to three questions that were not allowing him peace of mind: Why does suffering exist? What causes of suffering? What will end suffering? His arduous odyssey to enlightenment resulted in him realizing the answers—suffering exists universally and everyone suffers from birth, sickness, old age and death besides other things; the cause of much of the suffering is due to ignorance and greed; and, the way to end suffering is by denouncing ignorance and greed and by following the noble eightfold path (right view, right thought, right speech, right conduct, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration).
Gautam Buddha’s birth was as miraculous as his life. Legend has it that a pregnant Queen Maya Devi, while on the way to her maternal house, had labour pains in Lumbini, which lay on the way. She grasped the branch of a tree and gave birth to a son while standing up. The little one, so goes the legend, began to walk straight away, and at every step of his, there sprung up a lotus flower. He was named Siddhartha Gautam. There was a sad ending to this episode too—the queen died just seven days after giving birth. The prince, on the other hand, went on to live a royal life, spending all his time within the walls of the palace.
His father was reluctant to allow him to know about the real life outside, being well aware of the prediction that his son was destined to be an ascetic according to the royal priest’s reading of his horoscope. However, in due time, he did manage to go on a visit around the town and what he witnessed—a sick man, a funeral, and an ascetic—made him question the meaning of life itself. His flight from the palace some time later was the beginning of a lifelong search for answers which he discovered while meditating under the Bodh Tree, after experiencing much trial and tribulation. After gaining enlightenment, he became known as the Buddha (The Awakened One) and travelled far and wide propagating his teachings and gaining many disciples.
Tibet |Feb 12, 2015
Tibetan Losar, the Tibetan New Year is one of the most important festivals, which is held on the 1st to 3rd days of the first lunar month in the Tibetan calendar.
Nepal |Oct 21, 2014
Nepal’s great festival of Dashain is over and done with. For this year, at least! But, everybody’s looking forward to the another big one, that is, Tihar, which is just around the corner.
Nepal |May 14, 2014
First, it would be a good idea to see what’s in store for you when talking about Nepali cuisine, and then go on from there to see what Nepali food must feature in your list of must try foods.
Nepal |Mar 14, 2015
On March 27, 2017 (Friday), the army grounds aligning Tundikhel in central Kathmandu will reverberate under the thundering hooves of many magnificent horses.
Nepal |Dec 26, 2012
Once practiced in secret, the Charya Nritya (dance as a spiritual discipline) is a Buddhist ritual dance.
Nepal |Dec 26, 2012
Excavations in Tilaurkot during the period of 1967-1976, revealed that the earliest coins recorded in Nepal are ‘kushan’, ‘kaniksha’ and ‘havisha’ coins (1st century) and the ‘punch marked’ coins (6th and 5th century B.C.). King Mandeva’s rule in the 5th century gave birth to the Licchavi coins.
Travel Guide |Apr 20, 2022
Manaslu Tsum Valley Trek is one of the most popular trekking destinations in Nepal. This trek takes you to the hidden valley of Manaslu “Tsum” which means vivid. This isolated hidden Shangri-la is home to the Tibetan descendant called Tsumbas and remained restricted till 2008.
Nepal |Apr 29, 2022
Nepal holds a unique place in the world of Buddhist culture and teaching. Lumbini, being the place of birth of Prince Siddhartha, who after leaving his palace and practicing for years. attained full awakening,
Tibet |May 5, 2023
So you want to travel to Tibet? Of course you do. After all, Tibet travel is a much sought after desire of many travelers around the world today. There’s not much mystery left in the world, and even the last bastion of mysterious lands, Tibet, is undergoing rapid transformation every other day.
Nepal |Jan 4, 2013
Newars, the inhabitants of Kathmandu Valley, are a sociable lot, and they are always on the lookout for the slightest excuse to have a bhoye (feast).
Nepal |Feb 13, 2015
The Upper Mustang trek is an outstanding USP of Nepal. Every country has certain USPs (unique selling points) that go towards making their country a favored tourism destination, and the Upper Mustang trek of Nepal is definitely one such USP.
Nepal |Sep 23, 2014
n the beginning of October (25th Sept to 3rd Oct 2014), you will most probably see a goat or two tethered in many a home’s yard. They are meant for sacrifice on Maha Asthami, the eighth day of the greatest festival of Hindus in Nepal, that is, Dashain.