Travel to Nepal
Buddha Jayanti Purnima - The Full Moon of Lord Buddha's Birth
Travel to Nepal
country_image For 2500 years the followers of Lord Buddha have conserated Purnima, the day of the full moon, in late April or early May, as 'The Triple Blessing', heralding the day when their beloved Master was born, the day he later received enlightenment, and the day on which he passed away into Nirvana about 483 BC. Ever since The Blessed One's birth at Lumbini village, near her southern border, Nepal has been hallowed ground for millions of Buddhists round the world.

Prince Gautama Siddhartha was son of an Aryan Hindu king, born miraculously from between his mother's ribs as pictured in countless Nepalese stone reliefs. After a pleasant childhood, he was early married to a cousin, the beautiful daughter of a neighbouring raja. During his twenty-ninth year, when the miseries of illness, old age and death and the merits of asceticism were revealed one after another to him, Gautama developed an abiding compassion for suffering humanity and a growing dissatisfaction with life and all its vanities. Ten years after marriage, on the night his son was born, Gautama unobtrusively left the palace and began his long, wandering search for Truth. Disillusioned by the teach-ings of Brahman hermits, he finally underwent solitary penance in the forested hills of northern India, but insight and enlightenment did not come.

On his birthday the focal point for Buddhist activities is the massive, white-domed stupa, which crowns Swayambhuynath hill, juyst across the vishnumati River from Kathmandu, the largest, most sanctified of all Nepalese Buddhist shrines. Erected by saints over 2,000 years ago, this tremendous circular hemisphere is said to cover and protect the Divine Light of Swayambhu, The Salf-Ezistent One who radiatred as a flam from a lotus blossom atop this hill when the waters left the valley in remotest times. Many believe this chaoitya, or lotus--bud -shaped stupa, contains certain sacred relics of Lord Gautama Buddha. Subnseqeuent saints, monks and kings have surrounded the great stupa with monastic cloisters and a forest of small idols, temples statues and monoature chaityas,  which toda enshrine the entire sacred site.

From the white dome of Swayambhu stupa rises a tall, gided spire, on all four sides of which are painted the tremendous 'All-Knowing' eyes which gaze out in each direction from this highst point in the valley. Lids lowered over half-veiled pupils, these or again accusing and awesome, according to the conscience of the beholder. In lieu of a nose is a gigantic, spiraled red 'question mark', an ancient symbol denoting dharma-virtue- the only path to the 'ocean of happiness'. The tremendous vajra, or 'thunderbolt', ensconced before the stupa is said to represent the power of Buddha's all-pervsading knowledge over the divine strength of Lord Indra, King of the Heavens.

All through the nigh of full moon Swayambhunath is alaze with light from butter lamps and electric bulbs. Its glowing spire, outlined in white moonlight, against the blue night sky is visible for miles around. Devout Buddhists come by hundreds, many from distant places, to spend the night fasting in Lord Buddha's name, chanting prayers for is blessing of World Knowledge, as they have done since time immemorial.

Thus on Lord Buddha's birthday thousands of Buddhists, together with their Hindu brothers, pay homage to his exalted name, just as the tolerant Nepalese hold Jesus Christ in highest reverence.
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Roly Lloyd from Australia
"I recently had the good fortune to go birdwatching in Nepal with my friend Dr Robert Sothman in Nepal. I contacted Tragopan Trek / Travel Nepal Pvt Ltd., a contact found through Birding Pals Nepal. We had excellent feed-back and responses to all our e-mails which gave us confidence to book a bird watching tour through them. We were met at Kathmandu airport by our guide Shankar and had a very comfortable...    Read More

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