April 22, 2017: Varoodhini Ekadasi
April 24, 2017: Varaha Jayanathi, Somashroda Vratam
April 25, 2017: Maasa Sivarati, Sivasannidhi Snanam
The Birth Place of Lord Buddha
Lumbini, for most of us, is popular as the birthplace of Lord Buddha. Located at the foothills of the Himalayas, Lumbini is situated in the Pupandeshi district of Nepal. Lumbini is the Sanskrit word for Lovely, a name that is derived because of the greenery and shady Sal trees that are seen in this region during the ages of Lord Buddha. Lumbini is a place in the South - Western Terai of Nepal evokes a kind of holy sentiment to the millions of Buddhists all over the world. It is the place where Lord Buddha was born in the royal family of King Suddhodana and Queen Maya Devi in 623 BC.
Ancient texts quote that Queen Maya Devi had a dream of a great white elephant entering her womb when she is pregnant. The Earth is believed to have trembled six times yet the baby in her womb remained silent and continued sitting cross-legged for the whole duration of the pregnancy within the womb. Queen Maya Devi is visiting the Lumbini Garden, around 15kms from the Shakya city of Kapilavastu at that time. After taking bath, with her face to the East, she lean with right arm on a Sal tree. The Bodhisattva was then born.
Another story says that Lord Buddha had cloistered upbringing, but was jolted out of complacency of understanding that life included the harsh facts of old age, sickness and death. He left home, wandered and finally attained enlightenment, understanding life in the deepest way possible.
German archaeologist Dr. Fuhrer who discovered that the pillar is the first epigraphic evidence relating to the life history of Lord Buddha and is also the most visible landmark of the garden. The historic importance of the pillar is evidence by the inscription engraved in ‘Bahmi lipi’. It is said that the Indian Emperor Ashoka visited the site in the twentieth year of his ascendancy to the throne and as a homage to the birthplace, erected the pillar.
The most important place of the Lumbini is the stone slab located deep in the sanctum sanctorum. It revealed after a hard and meticulous excavation under three layers of ruins over the site of a favor Maya Devi temple, the stone slab foundation pinpoints the location of the original place, marking the exact spot of the birthplace of Lord Buddha.
The monastery of the Buddhist temple is built inside the surrounding complex of Lumbini in the manner of modern Buddhist shrines in Nepal. The prayer hall contains a large image of Buddha and medieval style murals decorate the walls.
Buddhists attribute Lumbini is considered one of the most precious piligrimage sites apart from the Kushinagar, Bodh Gaya, and Sarnath.