Footsteps of Lord Buddha: Lumbini: Birthplace of Lord Buddha

20150316_164218Lumbini, Nepal is the birthplace of Lord Buddha. Lord Buddha’s mother Mahamaya was enroute to Kapilavastu when she was pregnant. On the way she stopped at Lumbini garden and under a tree Lord Buddha was born. It is generally believed that he was born in 623 BC on full moon day of the sixth month of Lunar calendar according to Nepal Era i.e. Baisakh Purnima which falls in April/May. Before giving birth to Gautama ( Lord Buddha), Queen Mahamaya had a magnificent dream. She dreamt that a magnificent elephant with 6 tusks descended from heaven accompanied by chorus of heavenly music and praises, signalling the mark of a great man.

As soon as he was born, he looked at all directions and took 7 steps towards the North and proclaimed the iconic words “Foremost am I in the world. Senior most am I in the world. Best am I in the world. This is my last birth. No more am I to be born”..Lord Buddha  Continue reading

One for Nepal: Peace and Middle Path

Nepal-2I wanted to write about my trip to Lumbini, Nepal but looking at the present crisis brewing in Nepal, its prudent that I write a brief note for peace in Nepal. Lord Buddha was born in Lumbini, Nepal when his mother Venerable Queen MahaMaya was enroute to Nepal from Kapilavastu, is a stunningly beautiful country landlocked between China and India. Nepal has the great Mount Everest which has inspired the best of adventurers & explorers to climb and test their endurance to the maximum. Source:vault17.com

Nepal is divided into two regions: the mountain region encompassing Mount Everest and the plain on the other side also called as Terai region where the majority of Indian origin inhabitants Madhesi reside.

mnepalNepal has inducted six constitutions so far – in 1948, 1951, 1959, 1962, 1990 and 2007. The new constitution which was enforced recently was viewed as an infringement of their rights by Madhesi community. Madhesis have deep roots with Bihar, an Indian state bordering Nepal due to long inter caste marriages. The new constitution forbids children of Nepalese mothers with Foreigners in key government positions. Moreover according to a report published by Knowledge@Wharton “Terai constitutes 51% of the population of Nepal, but according to calculations, it would currently get only 62 out of a total of 165 seats“. So Madhesis are protesting by blocking all the trade related routes between India and Nepal. 

images (1)This has caused intense damage to India and Nepal’s relationship since the life in Nepal has got paralyzed due to non availability of essential items like medicine, LNG and other basic necessities.  Also Nepal had a devastating earthquake in April this year which touched 7.8 magnitude. India is Nepal’s largest trading partner and with trade embargo, important essential items like medical aid, fuel have crippled Nepalese economy.This has caused immense discomfort to common people and as an Indian I apologize. Pic Source:un.org

Due to the blockade Nepalese government signed a memorandum of understanding with PetroChina for importing Oil, LNG etc, ending 40 years of exclusive contract between IOC and Nepal Oil Corporation. This will ultimately lead to loss of revenue for IOC as well as worsen bilateral relationship between India and Nepal. (We should be thankful to China in a way for helping Nepal in distress). 

Going Forward Middle Path: India – Nepal  

India to stop the trade embargo including deploying armed forces at India border with Nepal for smooth transfer of supplies between the two countries.

trp_51359a0d2a385Second, India should not excite or aid Madhesis in any of their endeavor to cause chaos in Nepal. India which prides itself as a secular country where Lord Buddha got enlightened and preached all his life must set itself as an example. India will not tolerate any extremism either within the country or by any means in its neighboring countries. Middle Path: Communicate your concerns with relevant authorities: India has already communicated seven changes to the constitution to the Nepalese government and THE WORK FOR INDIAN GOVERNMENT IS FINISHED. Mr Modi government has done the right thing by urging Madhesis community to resolve the matter in a diplomatic manner instead of jumping around and causing chaos. By law of nature, if the constitution is not economically correct, it will be rectified.

If required India to aid Nepalese government for any collaboration to help in bringing culprits who caused disruption to Nepalese economy. The riots have resulted in 50 deaths in Nepal.

Third, India to proactively support Nepal in any philanthropic work including free medicines to people affected by recent riots and  earthquake. To set up educational institutes in Nepal through joint ventures with leading Indian institutes at a very subsidised cost and aid in free primary education.

India further to keep excellent relations with its neighbors especially China.

India’s foreign policy should be dominated by excellent relation with all its Asian neighbours backed by diplomacy, compassion and brotherhood. 

India needs to learn from its past mistakes in foreign policies especially under Indira Gandhi and apply the middle path in its dealings with neighbors.  Nepalese people are very friendly and many Gurkhas who reside in Nepal also have sacrificed their lives fighting for India.

nepal-orphansMr Modi with you at the hem of Indian politics there is especially a hope, a hope that people will get justice and greatness in any man is to grow both spiritually and intellectually and let others grow. Mr Modi has done so much in such a short time and his efforts are Much Appreciated and Deeply Respected. Let’s not involve TOO MUCH in other countries affairs, we have problems in our own country like everyone else in this Universe. I implore Nepalese government to find the Middle Path, take a relook at the new constitution and see if any concerns can be addressed and rectified. Let’s live in peace at least for the sake of these children and since India is Nepal’s biggest trading partner, keep the economic ties at its zenith. India and Nepal ties go back during the time of King Ashoka who was instrumental in cementing monasteries and pillar in Lumbini when Nepal was part of his empire. Going forward, hopefully Indian companies increase their investment in Nepal resulting in more jobs and economic progress.

Nepal thank you for Lumbini. Thank You, Thank You…We will take care of you…Nature will take care you…King Ashoka is back on Earth and has come to know about his previous births…Everything will be fine

Footsteps of Lord Buddha: Sarnath & Holy Kashi


Monastery_around_Dhamek_stupa,_Sarnath (1)Sarnath
is close to Bodhgaya and takes about 5 hrs from Gaya to arrive at Varanasi by train. Sarnath is one of the four most holy places for people following the words of Buddha or Buddhists and also for Jains.

The best way to reach Sarnath is by flight to Varanasi from anywhere in India or few places abroad. You can also take a train to Varanasi although there is a railway station at Sarnath. As a backpacker I travelled around the country and took the cheapest way. You can take a taxi, auto rickshaw or share a tuk tuk to Sarnath. Continue reading

Spiritual Journey: Footsteps Of Buddha: Bodhgaya, MahaBodhi Temple: Mother of Holy Places

11227575_665266243616454_4357377339887599494_nThe Dude recently came back from his small spiritual trip in Bihar, India.

The following is the story of his journey… Following Footsteps of Buddha

When Buddha was sick and before he took his parinirvana i.e. ( when he left his physical body he had his final Nibbana which is known as Parinirvana in Kushinagar, India), Buddha was asked by his disciples where they should go and pay homage going forward. Although Buddha never encouraged any rites and ritual, he did say that four places should be very important for anyone following footsteps of Buddha.

Lumbini, Nepal: The birthplace of Buddha   

Bodhgaya, Bihar, India : Buddha got his Enlightenment here 

Sarnath, UP, India : Buddha preached his first sermon 

 Kushinagar, UP, India where Buddha took his Parinirvana i.e. left his physical body 

The other important places are Nalanda, Rajgir, Sravasti and Sanchi.

Out of the above four mentioned places the most supreme is Bodhgaya, the mother of all holy places in the world. 

Continue reading