Lumbinī is a Buddhist pilgrimage site in the Rupandehi District of Lumbini Province in Nepal. It is the place where, according to Buddhist tradition, Queen Mahamayadevi gave birth to Siddhartha Gautama at around 563 BCE. Gautama, who, according to Buddhist tradition, achieved Enlightenment some time around 528 BCE, became the Buddha and founded Buddhism. Lumbini is one of many magnets for pilgrimage that sprang up in places pivotal to the life of the Buddha.
the Puskarini, or Holy Pond, where the Buddha’s mother took the ritual dip prior to his birth and where he had his first bath. At other sites near Lumbini, earlier Buddhas were, according to tradition, born, then achieved ultimate Enlightenment and finally relinquished their earthly forms.
In the Buddha’s time, Lumbini was situated in east of Kapilavastu and southwest Devadaha of Shakya, an oligarchic republic. According to Buddhist tradition, it was there, that the Buddha was born. A pillar discovered at Rupandehi in 1896 is believed to mark the spot of Ashoka’s visit to Lumbini. The site was not known as Lumbini before the pillar was discovered. The translation of Inscription reads: “When King Devanampriya Priyadarsin had been anointed twenty years, he came himself and worshipped (this spot) because the Buddha Shakyamuni was born here. (He) both caused to be made a stone bearing a horse and caused a stone pillar to be set up, (in order to show) that the Blessed One was born here. (He) made the village of Lummini free of taxes, and paying (only) an eighth share (of the produce).” The park was previously known as Rupandehi, 2 mi (2 mi (3.2 km)) north of Bhagavanpura.
Present-day，Lumbini is 4.8 km (3 mi) in length and 1.6 km (1.0 mi) in width. The holy site of Lumbini is bordered by a large monastic zone in which only monasteries can be built, no shops, hotels or restaurants. It is separated into an eastern and western monastic zone, the eastern having the Theravadin monasteries, the western having Mahayana and Vajrayana monasteries. There is a long water filled canal separating the western and eastern zones, with a series of brick arch bridges joining the two sides along the length. The canal is serviced by simple outboard motor boats at the north end which provides tours.
The holy site of Lumbini has ruins of ancient monasteries, a sacred Bodhi tree, an ancient bathing pond, the Ashokan pillar and the Mayadevi Temple, a site traditionally considered to be the birthplace of the Buddha. From early morning to early evening, pilgrims from various countries perform chanting and meditation at the site.
The following is from Nancy’s sharing:
Hi everyone, welcome to my channel, Rising of Bodhisattvas! This is Nancy from the International Buddha Dharma Society for Cosmic Law in America. It’s a great honor to be here sharing the Pilgrimage trip with you. Today is Dec. 5th. It’s almost the end of the year. It’s also almost the end of our Pilgrimage trip. Today, we will visit Lumbini Garden where the Buddha was born, and Kapilvastu where the Buddha grew up.
Lumbini, now in Nepal, is located between the ancient Kapilvastu and R¨¡magr¨¡ma in ancient India. It was a garden built by grandpa of prince Siddhartha, Suppabuddha, for his queen, prince Siddhartha’s grandma, Lumbini. Lumbini was made World Heritage Site in 1997. According to the books, when the Buddha in Tusita Heaven saw that all the conditions were right, he chose to come down and be born from the right side of Queen Mayadevi which happened in Lumbini. Right after he was born, he walked seven steps to each direction, to the east, the south, the west and the north. Lotuses appeared under his feet. He pointed to the sky with his right hand finger and to the earth with his left hand finger and said: Between the heaven and the earth, I am the Supreme One; the three realms are all sufferings, and I will ease them all. Now, let’s go visit Lumbini.
In recent years, a canal was built to reach Lumbini. On both sides of the canal are monasteries of different dominations. The Buddha’s Dharma was divided into pieces and people take what they click with. A golden statue of the baby Buddha was erected also. The old arc gate disappeared. The new gate has electronic display.
The park is about 3 miles long and 1.6 miles in width. It’s also excavated by British archeologist according to Master Xuanzang’s writing. In Lumbini, we first visited the Mayadevi Temple, the main temple in Lumbini. It’s considered the birthplace of the Buddha. Researches showed that it’s constructed by Ashoka King. On the back of the temple is an ancient bathing pond and a garden. The big Bodhi tree by the pond is where people normally light incenses and pay homage to the Buddha. On the other side the temple is an Ashoka pillar which is about 13 meters in height. It’s said that it was built then Ashoka King came here to pay homage to the Buddha. The inscriptions on the pillar are still clear. Walk around in the garden. Stop between the ruins. Meditate and recite sutras under the Bodhi trees. The Buddha never left. He is still here. Every rising thought of ours os known to the Heaven and the Earth. Everything relies on our own mind. All our conditions are incurred by our own mind.
After leaving Lumbini, we were on our way to the city of Shravasti where Jetavana Vihara is. We stopped by Kapilvastu and visited the ruins of the ancient Royal Palace where the Buddha grew up and also a Vihara ruins I Kapilvastu where the Buddha and his disciples stayed when the Buddha returned to Kapilvastu to visit his royal family and the people there.
These two places are very close to each other, only several minutes of driving. When the Buddha returned to Kapilvastu to visit, he did not stay in the palace. He stayed here in this vihara with his disciples and begged in the city during the daytime.
It was late. The ruins were relieved against the sunset. It’s very clean and quiet here. There were no other tourists and very few baggers. The ruin walls are thick and sturdy.
In the palace ruins, you would see an ancient well. Drink some water there. It’s the water that the Buddha grew up with.
Amitabha! The day’s trip ended in darkness. Next time, we will visit Jetavana Vihara in Shravasti, where the Buddha stayed for 25 raining seasons and where many teachings were given. And also, we will visit the Indian national museum where the Buddha’s relics are in display. Thank you everyone for watching. I will see you next time. Bye.