Buddhism in Nepal is known as the second-largest religion followed in Nepal. According to the 2001 Census, 10.74% of the total population in Nepal is Buddhism especially Tibeto-Burman ethnicity people in Nepal and the Newars. Various articles are claiming that Buddhism is founded in India. However, there is no exact report on where exactly Buddhism was founded.
Every people of Nepal are proud to say ” Gautam Buddha is Born in Nepal”. According to UNESCO and the Inscription on the pillar erected by Indian Emperor Ashoka in 249 B.C, Gautam Buddha was born in 623 B.C in the sacred area of Kapilvastu, Lumbini Nepal near the border of Present India.
The ancient Buddhist still practiced in Nepal and the northern part of Present India. However, Tibetan Buddhism is more highlighted in the world due to its political reason. If you compared to Mahayana and Hinayana Buddhism in Nepal and Bihar India, Tibetan Buddhism is fairly known as the new phenomenon that was involved around 1279, during the Yuan Dynasty (Washingtonpost.com).
History Buddhism in Nepal
Many Historians claim that Buddhism was started since the reign of Ashoka and Tibetan missionaries. However, many people believe that Buddhism was started during the Kirat Dynasty and has high respect for Buddhism. Due to which, till this date, Buddhism and Hinduism are always together living in a peaceful manner. However, various unethical practiced were performed by various Rana rulers but was failed to destroy Buddhism in Nepal Like it was destroyed in India a long time ago.
After the overthrow of the Rana Dynasty, Buddhism again gradually developed in Nepal. In modern Nepal, Theravada Buddha has greatly influenced Buddhism in Nepal. Presently there are three main Buddhist Schools in Nepal and they are Tibetan Buddhism, Newar Buddhism, and Theravada Buddhism. Newar Buddhism is one of the oldest Traditional Buddhism started in Nepal and is still prevailing in Nepal.
Major Buddhist Temples in Nepal
- Lumbini- Birthplace of Lord Gautam Buddha.
- Swayambhu Nath- Maha Chaitya is the original name for Swayambhunath.
- Boudhanath Stupa: Khasa Chaitya is the original name used by Newar People in Nepal.
- Muktinath Temple or Chumig Gyatsa is a holy temple for both Hinduism and Buddhist religion.
- Tengboche Monastery also is known as Thyangboche located at Khumbu valley.
- Kopan Monastery located at Budhanilkantha.
- Seto Gumba or White Ghumba Located at Nagarjun.
- Namo Buddha monastery located at Shyampati and is also known as Thrangu Tashi Yangtse.
Tourism is one of the greatest Industries in Nepal after agriculture. And tourism plays a vital role in promoting Nepal Buddhism all over the world. There are thousands of people travel to Kathmandu every day only to visit Boudha Stupa, Swayambhunath (Maha Chaitya). Nepal has an international Buddhist Meditation Center (IBMC) founded in 1985 located at Boudha Marga, Buddhanagar-10, Kathmandu. Many People come to learn Meditation in Nepal. You can Contact IBMC here.
Pokhrel. L. (n.d), Nepal is the birthplace of Buddhism. Retrieved from: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/nepal-is-the-birthplace-of-buddhism/2017/01/27/cc17a5f2-e2a4-11e6-a419-eefe8eff0835_story.html