Lumbini: The Birthplace of Lord Buddha

“Your life is the message to the world. Make sure it’s inspiring.”

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Lumbini is widely accepted as the birthplace of Buddha and has become a pilgrimage site for Buddhists around the world. There are temples representing over a dozen countries, and it was interesting to see the different representations of Buddha, the styles of architecture, and the diverse rituals that were performed based on the temples origin and type of Buddhist sect it represented.

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Monks and Children: 3635km

“Be so happy than when others look at you, they become happy too.”

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I spent the morning with Tibetan Buddhist monks, and the afternoon with children, the perfect recipe for a great day. The village I have been staying in is a few kilometers away from one of the most iconic monasteries in the area. I got a tour of some of the inside temples, then sat down for breakfast with a few of the monks, and had tea throughout the morning with others. Since the tea culture is so prevalent here in India, and you could never say no to a glass, I must have had at least six or eight “chai” while I was there. At the end of my visit I ended up in a prayer room just as a few monks entered to pray (at least I assume that is what they were doing). They were chanting, playing different instruments, and occasionally doing odd things such as throwing rice and dripping water into a cup. Halfway through, one monk handed me a ritz cracker, and a few minutes later, another handed me five peanuts and a chocolate. Why they did this, I will never know. It was interesting to see that they weren’t the stoic monks I tend to picture. As they prayed, they checked their watch, picked their nose, and moved around quite a lot. I guess they are only human as well!

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