Saying of the Buddha
Mind preceeds all mental states.
Mind is their chief; they are a; mind-wrought.
If with an impure mind a person speaks or acts,
Suffering follows him like the wheel that follows the foor of the ox.
Mind preceeds all mental states.
Mind is their chief; they are all mind-wrought.
If with a pure mind a person speaks or acts,
Happiness follows him like his never-departing shadow.
“He abused me,
He struck me,
He overpowered me,
And He robbed me”.
Those who harbour such thoughts
do not still their hatred.
“He abused me, He strucked me, He robbed me”
Those who do not harbour such thoughts
still their hatred.
Hatred is never appeased by hatred in this world
By non-hatred alone is hatred appeased.
This is a Law Eternal.
There are those who do not realize that one day we all must die.
But those who do realize this settle their quarrels.
Just as a storm throws down a weak tree,
So does Mara overpower the man
Who lives for the pursuit of pleasures,
Who is controlled in his senses,
Immoderate in eating, indolent and dissipated.
Just as storm cannot prevail against a rocky mountain,
So Mara can never overpower the man
Who lives meditating on the impurities,
Who is controlled in his senses, moderate in eating,
And filled with faith and earnest effort.
Lumbini, the Holiest Place : Compiled by Harischandra Lal Singh
The sad plight of Lumbini has led some devotees and thinkers to shed tears. Full justice has not been done to this statement because of the lack of documentation about the same.
The oldest record so far available is the story of Reverend Fuji Guruji of Japan who expressed his view seeing the sad plight of Lumbini during his visit there 1931 in the words, “There is nothing to see there. There is no access road nor is there any place to stay. Therefore, I intend to construct a peace stupa and vihara in Lumbini.” His request for the same was rejected by the Rana government. Frustated by his failure too fulfil his wish, he turned his attention to Rajagriha and other important Buddhist sites for the construction of magnificent Buddhist Peace Stupas. The dream of Rev. Fuji Guruji materialized only in recent years by the construction of a World Peace Stupa in Pokhara and Lumbini. The disciple of Rev. Fuji Guruji, Yunataka Nabatame, became a martyr to this cause when he was engaged in the construction of World Peace Stupa in Lumbini.
Another similar instance is provided by the story of Secretary General of the United Nations U Thant, who visited Lumbini in 1967. At the time of the visit of U Thant, late Sanghanayaka Aniruddha Mahasthavir was at Lumbini. U Thant met him at the premises of the Mayadevi Mandir. Then and there the visiting dignitariy cried uncontrollably. Since then the progress of Lumbini development started. A part from taking initiative for the all round development of Lumbini as the head of the United Nations, U Thant had made some personal contribution for Lumbini.
The importance of Lumbini is growing day by day. As time passes on, it will be the most sacred place on earth hallowed by the birth of the Buddha who has been a great source of inspiration for peace and prosperity in the world through the rational and scientific teachings.
Some impressions of the great writers on Lumbini in
Nepal occupies a unique position among the Buddhist countries of the world. Gautam, The son of a Shakya prince, was born (544 BC) at Lumbini, in present day Nepal, about 15 miles from his father’s capital, Kapilavastu.
Gautam Buddha has left his footprint on the soul of Indian and his work on the soul of mankind. This human teacher eclipsed even the heavenly gods and the places consecrated by his presence were held in great veneration. Before his parinirvana, the Buddha spoke of the four places which a pious believer should visit with faith and reverence. They are the Lumbinivana, where the Tathagata was born; gaya, where he attained Bodhi (enlightenment); the Deer park at isipatana (Saranath), where he prevailed the Law for the first time; and Kushinagar, where he reached the unconditioned state of Nirvana. (Bapat: 2500) years of Buddhism, 1956)
Among the sacred places of Buddhism, Lumbini where the Blessed One was born most inevitably come first. It has been identified with the site of Rummindei in the Nepalese Tarai. As the birthplace of the Buddha, the site grew in sanctity and importance.
Of course, there still stands at the site a pillar engraved with an inscription commemorating the great Ashoka’s pilgrimage to this place in the twentieth year after his consecration. “Here the Buddha was born”, says the emperor, and this statement proves the identity of the sanctified spot beyond any doubt.
The two important places associated with the birth and early life of the Buddha, are Lumbini and Kapilavastu, Both of them are today in the Nepal territory. There is no doubt that Lumbini was the birthplace of the Buddha. it was identified as early as 3 rd century BC by Asoka, and the fifteen feet pillar of chunar stone with characteristic Mauryan polish erected by him stands there as witness.
(R.D. Diwakar: Bhagawan Buddha, 1960)
Lumbini, the holy birthplace, had been known to Buddhists from the Buddha legends, though it would seem that to the legend-makers themselves its exact location was not known. Its geographical bearing is mentioned vaguely “In the Sakya territory beside the Himalayas. From Magadha, where the legends were being made, to the Himalayan foothills, the trek by no means was easy; the way was long and difficult across rivers and forest-lands-and few could venture on the pilgrimage. He who brought Lumbini out of the mist of legends into the light of topography was no other than Emperor Asoka himself. A legend, drawn from distant historical reminiscence, about Asoka’s pilgrimage to Lumbini undertaken in his twentieth reignal year (249 BC) is given in the Divyavadana : it is now confirmed by the discovery of Asoka’s commemorative pillar at the site.
The history of Lumbini is a blank for nearly seven hundred years, after that until we hear of it again from Fa-hsien who did not, however, find it possible to visit it, had been swallowed up by the Tarai overspreading the Himalayan foothills). Hshuan-Tsang did visit Kapilavastu in the same terrain, but found it likewise in the jungle’s deathgrip. It seems from his account that he was able to gather some information about Lumbini, which he does not seem to have visited, from contact with a company of thirty monks who still clung to the ruins of the holy Sakya Capital-particulars about Asoka’s pillar and the ‘oil river’ running nearby. These are the two landmarks of Lumbini today, besides an ancient shrine of unknown age containing a defaced image of Maya.
(S. Dutt, Buddhist Monks and Monasteries of India, 1962)
I have come down here (Butwal) because a tradition which there is no reason to doubt is that the Buddha’s birth in about 550 BC took place in Rummindei in the Bhairava district,
We go there on an elephant which the Governor (Bada Hakim) has kindly placed at our disposal. The great calm animal takes five house to go thirty kilometers, using his trunk to harvest any tufts of rice which come within reach. We perch as best, we can on his broad back, balancing ourselves against the continous jerks and swayings, and we arrive so numb that we choose to go on foot, as we usually do, for the return journey.
On this melancholy plain there is only a small white modern temple. An old sculpture inside it representing the miraculous birth of Siddhartha indifferently accepts the formal offering of a Brahman, who makes it twice daily with listlessness of long habit”. Serenity streams down from the sky and floats suspended in the motionless air, filtering from inanimate objects into the spirit. This is the birthplace of the Prophet, whom such a great part of humanity has sought the light to lead them from suffering to blessedness. Over the centuries the master has redeemed men from subjection to the gods or supervision by them which prevent the serene contemplation of things, and has given men back the courage of solitude in the face of suffering and death. He has extinguished men’s false hopes, but conquered their fears. (G. Tucci, Journey to Mustang, 1952)
When the author first visited this Bethlehem of the Buddhists in 1933, Nepal was, as has already been indicated “€œ cut off from the outside world. The frontiers in the Tarai were not, however, closely guarded. With the help of some Buddhists, I was able to go secretly on foot across what seemed an almost impossible area of borderland, and then to penetrate some six miles into Nepalese territory along narrow paths that led ultimately to the Lumbini grove, where the pilgrim was politely halted. I was, however, allowed time to visit this holy place, which was then isolated from the outer world. Near the column were a few abandoned excavations, the remains of archaeological explorations undertaken by a Nepalese General at the turn of the century. Behind, half overgrown and in the shadow of some old trees, lay a small shrine, crudely constructed from the debris of ruined buildings, but newly whitewashed and well kept. The entrance was a narrow doorway, and beyond this were some steps leading down to a vaulted cellar- a tiny windowless room, the darkness of which was relieved only by the faint light that penetrated through the entrance. Once he had grown accustomed to the atmosphere the outlines of a sandstone relief emerged, depicting the birth of the Buddha, a work dating probably from the 2 nd or 3 rd century AD in the Mathura style of Indian art. The surface had deteriorated, having been worn away or perhaps washed away by rain through the course of the centuries; nevertheless one could see from what remained that this was a work full of character. As in the birth scene depicted in plate 13, Queen Maya, Mother of the Buddha, stands close to a tree and is reaching up into its branches. At this moment the child is issuing out of the right side of the mother, to be received by god Indra, whilst the god Brahma and a serving-woman remain somewhat in the background. Below in a subsidiary scene, one could see another picture of the child immediately after the birth, taking amid prophetic utterances, the legendary seven paces. Peasants from the surrounding countryside had laid a humble gift of flowers in front of the image. Not far from the little shrine was a pool, probably that in which, according to Fa-hsien (early 5 th century), the mother of the Buddha had bathed shortly before the birth. Hsuang-tsang (7 th century) also saw this pool, and commented on the clearness of the water and the flowers floating on its surface.
When I paid my second visit to the Buddha’s birthplace, in 1958, a surprising transformation had taken place. Nepal had ended its isolation from the outside world, and for the celebration of the 2,500 th anniversary of the Buddha’s death, in 1956, a road had been built from the Indian Tarai right to the memorial site in Lumbini Grove.
(Ernest Waldschmidt, Art Treasures of Nepal, 1967)