Whose Lumbini?

Enepalese Published on: February 18, 2023

Controversy started after the Lumbini Development Fund provided a place in the assembly hall built inside the Lumbini complex, the birthplace of Buddha to Hindu guru Murari Bapu to recite the Ramayana Ramayana from January 24th to February 3rd .

Lumbini is one of the sacred sites of historical and archaeological importance for Buddhists. Considering its historical and humanitarian value, Lumbini is listed as a World Heritage Site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

The recitation of Ramkatha at this place has left the Buddhist community angry and fuming. In addition, when protesting the reading of Ramkatha, they are faced with the question- ‘Is Lumbini only for Buddhists?’

Usually a place of worship is associated with a particular religious group . In other words, it belongs to the community that practices the religion.For example, Changunarayan in Kathmandu, Pashupatinath, Barah area in Sunsari and Janaki temple in Dhanusha are Hindu worship sites. Likewise, Swayambhu Mahachaitya of Kathmandu, Khasti Mahachaitya (Buddhist), Namobuddha of Kavrepalanchok belong to the Buddhist sect. Some Hindu religious places have issued notices prohibiting non-Hindus from entering. Nothing can be done there against the sentiments of Hindus. It is not found that other communities have objected to the prohibitions in this way. However, there is no such restriction in Buddhist places. This is a matter of personal preference.

Being the birthplace of Gautama Buddha, Lumbini became associated with Buddhism and naturally became a Buddhist religious site. Any religion can visit here without hurting Buddhist sentiments. It can be considered as a symbol of liberal spirit. However, the decision of what to do in a Buddhist place lies within the Buddhist society. That is, the Buddhist place belongs to the Buddhists.
Naturally, the question arises, who is called a Buddhist? Buddhism is not a specific caste, language, religion, society, culture, nation, nationality and a specific community, but a community of people who make the teachings of Gautama Buddha their philosophy of life. Anyone can enter this Jamaat freely.

It can be considered as an indicator. However, the decision of what to do in a Buddhist place lies within the Buddhist society. ie
Usually a religious place is associated with a certain community. That is, the place is considered to belong to that community.

It can be considered as an indicator. However, the decision of what to do in a Buddhist place lies within the Buddhist society.

Buddhism and Hinduism are different religious sects. The life philosophy carried by these two is different. Differences between worldviews and interpretive systems determine these things. Be it Vedic or Hindu, it speaks of the soul and the divine as well as its impermanence. However, the concept of soul and God is lacking in Buddhist philosophy. The background of Buddhist philosophy is impermanence, suffering and anatma. It is also known as ‘Trilakshan’.

Hinduism and Buddhism talk about suffering but there is a stark difference in the interpretation system. According to the theory of causation, the Buddhist view is that suffering occurs and no other entity is responsible for it. According to Buddhism, there is no supreme power in nirvana. According to the theory of karma, one has to enjoy it and no one can lower it. In this, no one should give boons as good and spoil them by cursing. ‘Pratityasamutpada’, which is Gautama Buddha’s original contribution to philosophy, contradicts the fundamental aspects of Vedic values.

In a philosophical relationship, it is natural for one philosophy to refute another philosophy and see it as wrong. Gautama Buddha established his doctrine (Buddhist philosophy) by calling all the religions and philosophies prevalent in the society as false and proving them wrong. Gautama Buddha was called an atheist on the basis of not following the ‘Vedas’. Charvaks and Jains are also studied under the category of atheists because they do not believe in the Vedas. In the East, there are six philosophies (Samkhya, Yoga, Nyaya, Vaishesika, Mimamsa and Vedanta) under theistic philosophy.

Buddhism and Hinduism are different religious sects. The life philosophy carried by these two is different.

Even if harmony develops between two opposite philosophies, there is no coordination, rather defeat or merger may occur during competition. At one time people from the two opposite poles, the Vedic and Buddhist communities, abandoned one for the other. This competition in the field of religion and philosophy continued for a long time. In the course of time, after not being able to suppress the Buddhist religion-philosophy, much later than the creation of the Ramayana, the concept of avatarism was developed to include the Buddha in itself and they started considering the Buddha as the ninth avatar.

In the Ramayana, Buddha is not depicted as an avatar of Vishnu, but as an atheist. Even during the lifetime of the Buddha himself, Vedic fanatics used to insult the Buddha by calling him low. Buddhists have never agreed with this ideological change in the Vedic thinkers over time, rather they have been opposing it.

It is philosophically contradictory to hold a Rama story reading program in Lumbini, the birthplace of Gautama Buddha, saying that one avatar of Vishnu is Rama and the other is Buddha. It seems that they are not paying attention to the fact that it is not according to the Hindu system of thought. It seems that the avatarist concept completely ignores the general fact that not only Gautama Buddha is called Buddha, but anyone who achieves Bodhistlava becomes a Buddha.

In the same way, considering Gautama Buddha, who achieved Mahaparinirvana in 483 B.C. as an avatar, means that Vishnu himself has ended (death). While Hindu thought considers Vishnu as a never-dying, eternal and immortal God. He is descending on earth. Buddha’s Mahaparinirvana is the cessation of the decay of the cause of birth and death so that it never has to be born again. In other words, it was not found that accepting the Buddha as an avatar would destroy the foundation of Vedic values. Originally it was Published on Himal Khabar Patrika written by Basanta Maharjan, and by the permission of writer it was Translated by DBTamang and edited by Shushil Thapa.