Saturday, April 21, 2012

Lumbini-Home of the Buddha-UNESCO Site

The present Lumbini is divided into an ratio of 1:3 which means it is 3 km long for every 1 km wide. In total it's 2 km by 6 km
The holy site of Lumbini has ruins of ancient monasteries, a sacred Bodhi tree, an ancient bathing pond, the Asokan pillar and the Mayadevi temple, where the precise place of birth of Buddha is located. From early morning to early evening, pilgrims from various countries perform chanting and meditation at the site.

What is nice about this area is that it is only monasteries.  Hotels and restaurants are forbidden, which makes a more peaceful site. The "Secret Garden" continues on through the grounds with quotes posted by Buddha on the trees and in secret areas. There are monasteries from different countries of South East Asia: Mynamar, Thailand, and Vietnam. There is a Vipassana center for meditation, a Buddhist nunnery, and my favorite was the great Stupa monastery with the tall ceilings and the many portraits inside.

Many people say that you only need a couple hours for Lubhini to see the Buddha stupa and go to the temple. I spent almost 8 hours exploring Lubhini sitting and reading and writing. Tourists just go to see the Buddha monastery leaving the other temples quiet and peaceful. It was not even just the peaceful element, but these monasteries were just so nice. They have little garden, lake areas, and the Buddhist symbols for luck (I forgot the name you walk around the temple turning them clockwise for good wishes).The premises were kept in almost perfect condition: the grass, the many flowers, fountains, and streams. 
One of the temples reminded me of my Golden temple visit in South India and others reminded me of Southeast Asia especially Cambodia. There were such nice places to meditate and just reflect on the quotes of the Buddha and my current life.  There were not many people around and often I felt like I was the only one there walking through the dirt roads and grass from place to place.  It was just what the doctor ordered, " A day of Peace and Reflection."
Looking at the main guide, I visited all the main monasteries and stupas.  I wanted to go to the museum, but did not end up finding it. “Oh well Priscilla you can not have it all.....”

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