Buddhism in Nepal
Shakyamuni Buddha is the most important figure in every tradition of Buddhism that existed in every corner of the world. So does in the Nepali Buddhism. Nepal is one of the few countries where most people are Hinduism as well as Buddhism in religion, and many people in Nepal follow Buddhism for centuries as well as millennium. As everyone knows Buddhism has existed in Nepal since the beginning of Buddhism as well as the time period of Shakyamuni Buddha himself.
According to history of Buddhism, Shakyamuni Buddha was born in the Himalayas region of Kapilvastu, Lumbini, which lies in Nepal and was the son of King Suddhodhana and Queen MayaDevi. Around 10.74 % of total population followed Buddhism in Nepal, and there are many cases where Hindu as well as Buddhist people shares some temples for their respective practices and meditation and other Buddhist practices. One supreme example of such heritage is Swayambhunath Stupa. It is one of the few places where both Buddhist and Hindu people gather together to worshipped and practice their religious as well spiritual techniques. Not only Swayambhunath Stupa, but other Buddhist pilgrimage sites are considered holy and sacred by people of Nepal. Even Nepali Buddha statues, stupas, monasteries are respected and worshipped in Nepal.
Various Buddhist tradition in Nepal
Being one of the oldest tradition as well as the existence of Tibetan-Nepalese ethnicities , there are various Buddhist tradition that exist in Nepal. They are:
Both Vajrayana Buddhism and Tibetan Buddhism are mostly same since it is believed that Tibetan Buddhism came from the principals of Vajrayana Buddhism. Since Tibet is very close neighbor of Nepal, Tibetan Buddhism is quite popular among Tibet-Nepalese people and follows various Buddhist celebration and festivals that are important in Tibet. Whereas Newarese Buddhism is mostly followed by Shakya ethnicities (sometimes known as descendent of Shakya Clan during Prince Siddhartha era). Newarese Buddhism is quite popular among newar ethnicities in Nepal.
Buddhist Pilgrimage Sites
Being the birth country of Prince Siddhartha, Lumbini is one of the four most important Buddhist pilgrimage sites in the world and other four being in the land of India. But there are other various Buddhist pilgrimage sites in Nepal that are listed as top Buddhist pilgrimage sites in the world. And they are:
- Swayambhunath Stupa
- Bouddhanath Stupa
- Namo Buddha Stupa
Besides pilgrimage sites in Nepal, Nepali Buddhist people also visits various Buddhist pilgrimage sites in Tibet as well. Some of the most visited Buddhist pilgrimage sites in Tibet are Potala palace, Jokhang temple, Samye Monastery and Palcho monastery etc.
Buddha Statues in Nepal
Nepal is one of the few countries where the skills of craftsmen are recognized worldwide. What's more important is there are thousands of Nepal Tibet Buddha statues around Buddhist monasteries, stupa such as Swayamabhunath Stupa, Bouddhanath stupa etc. Many craftsmen are quite efficient for making Nepalese Buddha statues as well as Tibetan Buddha statues with quite skills and with such efficiency. While Buddhism in Nepal is only followed by few percentage of total population, but large number of Hindu people also respect and follow the principals as well as teachings of Buddhism. For the honor of Lord Buddha, big festival is organized during the birth date of Prince Siddhartha and both Hindu as well as Buddhist people, work hard to make such festival a huge success.