nepal

  • A Shamarpa without Borders Paid Member

    KATHMANDU, Nepal—It was the kind of ceremony that the honored guest seemed to be directing from the Beyond: thousands of students and admirers, from peons to a Nepalese government minister, converging on a half-built monastery to attend the traditional cremation rite of a vajra master that, even in death, stirred up an international fuss. They came to honor the 14th Shamar Rinpoche, Mipham Chokyi Lodro (1952–2014), a spiritual force who understood that staying true to his calling as the second-highest ranking lama of the Karma Kagyu order wouldn't win him any dharmic popularity contests. To many, he was a polarizing figure, an uncompromising traditionalist. More »
  • Bridging the Gap Paid Member

  • Recent discovery of “earliest Buddhist shrine” a sham? Paid Member

    In the December 2013 issue of the archaeological journal Antiquity there appears an article by several authors, headed by Prof. Robin Coningham of Durham University. Its appearance has been successfully managed to secure international publicity. The article was embargoed until a specified hour, timed to immediately succeed an announcement to the press in the USA. More »
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    Findings shed light on when the Buddha (might have) died Paid Member

    (RNS) Scientists have uncovered the first physical evidence showing when the great religious leader known as the Buddha passed away, a date crucial to scholars and adherents of Buddhism. Excavations in 2011 and 2012 at a site known as the Buddha’s birthplace imply he died—or, more accurately, experienced his “great passing away”—in the 6th century B.C., roughly 100 years earlier than the scholarly consensus. The debate over the timing is not just academic: Buddhist countries such as Thailand use a dating system pegged to the year of the Buddha’s death, and some of his prophecies imply no one will achieve enlightenment a certain number of years after his passing. More »
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    Nepal battles misconceptions over Buddha’s birthplace Paid Member

    (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. But the people of Nepal know better—and they are eager to correct misconceptions about the Awakened One, 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. More »
  • Building the Buddha's Birthplace Paid Member

    People around the world are celebrating Vesak this month (the exact date of the holiday varies according to different calendars used in different countries and traditions), which honors the life of the Buddha. Even though the holiday encompasses the birth, enlightenment, and death of Siddhartha Gautama, many people celebrate it as the Buddha's birthday. More »