(RNS) Quick: Where was the Buddha born?

To hear many Indians talk, you’d think it was India, where he attained enlightenment and gave his first sermon.

A Buddhist site in Kathmandu. Statues of the Buddha are all over in Nepal, the birthplace of the founder of Buddhism. RNS photo by Vishal Arora

A Buddhist site in Kathmandu. Statues of the Buddha are all over in Nepal, the birthplace of the founder of Buddhism. RNS photo by Vishal Arora


This image is available for Web and print publication. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.

But the people of Nepal know better — and they are eager to correct misconceptions about the Awakened One, considered one of the world’s most revered figures.

Next month, Nepal will circulate a new 100-rupee note with the imprint, “Lumbini: The Birthplace of Lord Buddha.” The currency is part of the government’s most recent effort to correct the record.

It comes amid protests following a promotional video on the private Indian channel Zee TV, which claimed the Buddha was born in India.

Zee TV corrected the error, but Nepal Cable TV Association blocked the channel when the new series on the life of Buddha premiered on Sunday (Sept. 8). The association’s chairman described the move as a way to prevent possible unrest in the country, which is predominantly Hindu but proud of its Buddhist heritage.

“We believe it was a mistake by Zee TV,” said association Chairman Sudhir Parajuli. “The official stand of the Government of India is that the Buddha was born in Nepal, but a few people not having sufficient knowledge proclaim that his birthplace is in India.”

Most scholars agree that Buddha was born in 623 B.C. in the sacred area of Lumbini located in the plains of southern Nepal. An inscription on a pillar erected by the Mauryan Emperor Ashoka in 249 B.C. testifies to it.

Still the misconception persists.

In 2010, Indian-American journalist Fareed Zakaria, host of CNN’s flagship foreign affairs show and editor-at-large at Time magazine, sparked protests in Nepal for stating in a book that the Buddha was Indian.

And just this Monday (Sept. 9) at a Buddhist function in Delhi, the state’s Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit referred to the Buddha, saying, “India has been fortunate that he was born here and today we find that his message spread to millions of people brings them solace and comfort all over the world.”

In April, a former TV journalist from Nepal, Rabi Lamichhane, returned to his country from the United States determined to clear the record. He did so by staging a marathon talk show that lasted 62 hours and 12 minutes titled “Lord Buddha was born in Nepal.” The marathon was certified by the Guinness World Records as the longest talk show.

30 Comments

  1. PS attempts by Nepalis to steal Buddha because of their patriotism will only result in Nepalis looking utterly foolish. Buddha belongs in the true heart of faith. Lumbini is in every heart in which Buddha is born.

    • Lol
      So funny sadda, you sounds truly indian. And the world know how the indians are?

      Nepalese were not trying to steal buddha infact indians were doing that.
      Shame on you Indians.

    • Only indians speak and write like this please review below.

      file:///users/Puran/Desktop/Indian%20liar%20became%20the%20%E2%80%9CNew%20York%20Times%E2%80%9D%20Bestseller%20and%20Program%20Anchor%20of%20%E2%80%9CCNN%E2%80%9D%20-%20Nepal%20in%20the%20World.html

    • Lumbini, Kapilvastu Nepal!!!!! I am tired off all these Indians saying that Nepal was a part of India and that Buddhism was founded in the border. Nepal was never ever a part of India. In fact, it was actually bigger and covered more space in what is now known as India. As time went on, the Indians captured some parts of Nepal but still, Our Idol Buddha was born in Nepal and we have his very own house in Lumbini to prove it. Indians, you guys are just ridiculous and try to take all the achievements. I have even heard some indians say that mount Everest is in India! Ha! China could easily say that Mt. Everest is in China. It can easily defeat both India and Nepal buy, the Chinese people are far better and still have respect unlike the Cocky Indians.

  2. Does that mean Darjeeling, Dehradun , Garwal, Nainital are a part of Nepal because it used to be a part of Nepal prior to Sugauli Treaty [ google it ]?
    Sakyans were driven out of what was once Kosala after thousands were massacred and they found safe haven in Nepal .Today Sakyas are part of important newar community of Nepal that is backbone of Nepali culture. There was nothing called India then. Nepalaya stood well before modern Indian took its shape by the helpless integration of all fragmented states which was once under Maharajas. So it is a futile attempt to claim that Buddha was an Indian or born in India for Lumbini is the birthplace of Buddha and it is in Nepal.

    Every race is a transformation of migrants through many decades or centuries. Buddha cannot be claimed to be born in India and hence Indian pointing to the time of Ashoka. IF so, most indians are Africans because they migrated to India 70,000 years ago.

  3. Btw, you are right, Shiva was a Tibetan! He was a charasmatic tribe leader who was requested to come to what is now india by his counterpart from what is now India. My friend there was nothing called India before 1947 though historians have twisted facts to suit the nation by saying that first India was formed during Bharat’s time [ Read Shakuntala] and then during Ashoka.

  4. Some day INDIA will claim Everest is in India and Tenzing Norgay an Indian. Indians must learn to give up their imperialist attitude that they inherited from British ! A very bad colonial Hangover!!

    • Tenzing Norgay is Indian, I am sorry to say. He took Indian citizenship voluntarily. We Nepalese may like to call him Nepali but the fact remains that Tenzing Norgay was an Indian citizen.

  5. Btw, you are right, Shiva was a Tibetan! He was a charasmatic tribe leader who was requested to come to what is now india by his counterpart from what is now India. My friend there was nothing called India before 1947 though historians have twisted facts to suit the nation by saying that first India was formed during Bharat’s time [ Read Shakuntala] and then during Ashoka.

    • India was called “bharata varsha” and before that “aryavarta”. It was not a geopolitical entity but existed as cultural entity. The world in those times were divided by Indian “rishis” into “dwipas” and within “dwipas” were nations as they existed then (the notion of a nation-state as it exists now is recent and is a western construct). So, India was then called “bharata” or “bharatvarsha” and was placed in “jambu dwipa”.
      As buddhism exists only as a minority faith today, i am not sure if Buddha can be truly called an Indian. Buddha may have been born in India but he is certainly not an Indian.

    • smtuladhar,
      Looks like you have also read the fascinating book by Amish Tripathi named “The Immortals of Melhua” where he has shown Shiva to be a Tibetal who descends down to a place in kailash.
      This is all part of fiction. Nobody knows the truth.

      • Mr. Sridhar, fiction is only good as it gets! Shrotmaya [ knowledge from source xyz] gyan is one thing and Chintanmaya [ Analytical ] gyan is another thing- if Mansarover is in Tibet it makes Shiva a Tibetan. If you are from India – that makes you an Indian unless you have another theory.

    • WE NEPALESE ARE NOT JUST HINDU. WE ALSO CONSIDER BUDDAH AS OUR GOD UNLIKE THE INDIANS. IF BUDDAH WAS BORN IN INDIA, THEN HOW COME IT NEVER SPREAD AND MOST INDIAN PEOPLE DONT EVEN PRAY TO BUDDAH OR DONT EVEN PAY ATTENTION TO BUDDHISM SO INDIANS SHUT THE [expletive deleted] UP!!!!!!!

  6. Praveen…nepal is no longer hindu country , everyones are free to follow any religion.you indian shout or bark..nobodys gonna believe on you.even you indian know the truth but you not speaking from your mouth ..I am not saying to all indian …only to them who are against nepal .so idiots you leave yours life and let other leave their life.dont u have things to do huh..stop barking on things which were never yours.

  7. Buddha was born in MADHES. The place of birth is Lumbini, Kapilvastu. There was no INDIA or NEPAL at that time. Now that part of MADHES is in Nepal. So, birth place of Buddha is in Nepal.

  8. heyyy heyyy hold on….u indians wanna battle with gurkhas?? if u have the power and real faith in god..come on single single fight anyone dare then come here jogbani..border between nepal and india(bihar).. dont underestimate the power of gurkhas..now also we have the same blood running in our veins.. india was conquered by british but couldnt do so to nepal…do u know why?? we believe in our god not try to steal it…shame on youuu…

  9. began shrestha

    dont u dare say……buddha was india…..
    Or else i will say gandhi was african….
    N stop commenting……lets meet n talk 2 each other….
    Tero daat jharena vani k ra….

  10. So sad to hear your comments….all of you. Each one of you is trying to stake a claim on him. First try to follow in his footstep then you will know if he was an Indian or a Nepali?
    This is exactly the problem with our world today. Such bitterness!!!!!!! Is it going to end? Be careful what you say because the next time you maybe born in the very country you are showing so much hatred towards. Please think of the hate you are pushing out in the world. If you love Buddha so much find out what Mitta Bhavana is and send it out in the world.

  11. Nepal doesnt exist at the time of MBuddha birth. So ONLY INIDIA ………..Saaley Nepali naukri karney ka number aaye toh India mey saab ji kartey hain and waisey bakchodi kar rahey hau ki Nepal mey hua tha Buddha. Abey Mahan aatma ka janam Dharti par hita hai wo in choti chhezo ko nahi dekhti ki Nepal ya pakistan. Wo purey bhramand ka udhaar karney aatey hain. नेपाल मेय सिर्फ गोरखा पैदा होते हैं :)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comments with many links may be automatically held for moderation.