May 09, 2010
Happy Mothers Day!
The story goes like this: At the time of the Buddha's birth more than 2,500 years ago, Lumbini was a grove of natural grandeur, bursting with rare and beautiful flowers, where bees of five different colors hummed. Queen Maya Devi was passing through this earthly paradise on the way to her parent's house in Devadaha, capital of the Koliya kingdom, from Kapilavastu when the pangs of labor hit. After bathing in a nearby pond the queen walked 25 paces, took support of a Saal tree branch and gave birth standing up. She died a week later.
The photo above is of a recreation of Pushkarini, the sacred pond where Maya Devi is believed to have bathed before giving birth to Siddhartha. Next to the pond is the Maya Devi Temple, made of brick, which lies at the heart of this area in Lumbini called the Sacred Garden. Inside the building, named after the Buddha’s mother, one can find a nativity sculpture depicting the hallowed birth scene, as well as a stone believed to mark the exact spot where the auspicious birth took place. A sheet of bulletproof glass preserves the stone.
Image: Courtesy of Ajay Pillarisetti