Buddhism Tourism in India
India and Nepal have been the land of Buddha and Buddhism from the ancient times. Buddha was born here as Siddharth in 623 BC in Lumbini which is the part of Nepal now, adjacent to Indian border. His birth year is the matter of debate for the historians, as some claim he was born in 480 BC. Buddha or Shakyamuni was a sage and philosopher whose teachings form the basis of Buddhism. Buddhism is now a hugely followed religion followed by 5.9% world population or more than 375 million people in the world, fourth after Christianity, Islam and Hinduism.
Gautam Buddha had reached the state of Nirvana or he had become an enlightened one. The knowledge he gained by extreme meditation or asceticism became a command to his followers to adopt the middle path in the life, between extreme asceticism and extreme self- indulgence. He showed a noble eight- fold path to his followers, which is the fourth noble truth from Buddha’s four noble Truths. Eight- folds noble truths are right view, right resolve, right speech, right conduct, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness and right concentration.
Dukkha, Rebirth, Sansara the world, Karma, Liberation, Bhavana
Spreading the words
Many years after Buddha, his preachings were spread by his followers to other countries from Sri Lanka, southeast Asia, far-east and China. Big name in this regard is of Ashoka the great, Mauryan king who adopted Buddhism and peace after the bloodbath in battle that changed his heart. He built many stupas and helped spread Buddhism everywhere. He also built a stupa in Buddha’s birth place in Nepal, which still stands tall.
Nepal is a Hindu nation with majority being the Hindus. But Buddhism is an accepted religion in Nepali society, to the point that Buddhist and Hindu temples are in common places of worship for people of both the faiths. There is a veiled thin line between the two religions.
India’s Bihar state and Nepal’s terai plain areas are blessed that Buddha being born and lived there, walked and attained Mahanirvana. Buddhism’s significance is attached to Bodhgaya, Sarnath and Kushinagar and countless Buddhist pilgrimages that hold great importance for the devotees, who come and visit in great numbers every year.