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Lumbini, the birthplace of the Buddha

By Matthieu Ricard on January 27, 2011

The pilgrimage led by Yangsi Khyentse Rinpoche and Shechen Rabjam Rinpoche began on December 9th at the birthplace of Buddha Shakyamuni, at Lumbini in Nepal. On 10th morning, the Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche Memorial Stupa dedicated to universal peace was consecrated by the Lamas and monks of Shechen monastery, together with a hundred monks of the Theravada tradition under the leadership of Ven. Manindra.

The Queen Grand Mother of Bhutan, Ashe Kesang Chödron Wangchuck, who was, on this special occasion, paying her first visit to Nepal at the request of Rabjam Rinpoche, as well as Nepalese Minister of Cultural Affairs Minandra Rijal, and the French Ambassador to Nepal, Jean-Charles Demarquis, graced the celebrations by their presence.

The stupa was built in beautiful sandstone and had been filled with two mandalas and countless precious relics.

Lumbini is located in the south of Nepal, near the present Indian border. It is the place where Queen Mayadevi is said to have given birth to Siddhartha Gautama, who became the Buddha after achieving enlightenment. The dates of the Buddha are not clearly known and various estimates place his birth between 569 and 483 BC and his death between 489 and 403 BCE.

Lumbini lies in the foothills of the Himalaya, 25 km east of the ancient city of Kapilavastu, where the Buddha is said to have lived, as the son of King Suddhodana, until he renounced his princely life to become a renunciant at the age of 29.

image The Mahadevi Temple, build at the very birt place of the Buddha.
imageimage Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche's Memorial Stupa for Universal Peace
imageThe Royal Grand Mother of Bhutan, making offerings to Yangsi Khyentse Rinpoche.