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Buddhist Heritage Sites of Kathmandu, Nepal (In Nepalese)

Today’s The World Around Us will be presented in Nepali and English, with subtitles in Arabic, Aulacese (Vietnamese), Chinese, English, Nepali, French, German, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Malay, Persian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Thai.

Welcome, noble viewers. Around 623 BC, the enlightened Master Gautama Buddha was born in the garden of Lumbini in western Nepal. On this special time of year celebrating Buddha’s birth, we would like to invite you to revisit the living spiritual and cultural legacy of the Buddha: World Heritage Sites in Kathmandu, capital of Nepal.

Kathmandu is nestled in a valley that ties together 130 monuments and several pilgrim sites of Hinduism and Buddhism. Legend has it that the Kathmandu Valley was originally a lake but Divinely transformed into a haven.

It is said that the place, Kathmandu Valley, was a lake. In the lake, a lotus flower blossomed and in the middle, the light is seen in the buds. And it is said that Manju Sri came to Nepal and he made this place habitable.

An urban crossroads of Asian civilizations, Kathmandu includes another two sister cities, Patan and Bhaktapur. The tri-cities shares large, connected architectural urban compounds known as Durbar Square.

This Kathmandu Durbar Square is one of the most important places for the Nepalese history. In the Malla Dynasty period between 15th to 17th centuries, there were three kingdoms in Kathmandu Valley: Patan, Bhaktapur and Kathmandu. These three queen cities are most important in the history of Nepal.

Two hundred fifty years ago in this Durbar Square, there was a palace called the Laiku in Newari, the local language, and then after, 100 years ago, it was named the Hanuman Dhoka Palace.

Near the Durban Square is Kathmandap, one of the oldest two-story pagodas in the city worshiping Bodhisattva Gorakshanath.. He was the disciple of Machindranath, the founder of Hatha Yoga. Kathmandu is named after the Kathmandap pagoda, around which hundreds of Buddhist monasteries were built throughout the history.

Now we are standing on the front side of the Kasthamandap. The Kasthamandap is the only temple which was built by a single tree. While the Kathmandu was the center for the trading route for India and China, Tibet, at that time, traders, the businessmen, when they will go from China to India, and India to Nepal, they’d take shelter in this place, at this Kasthamandap.

Kathmandu Valley was ruled by the Buddhist spiritual masters just 150 years ago. While king and the ruling people of this area used to take any decision for the country and for the decisions of the city, they asked the Buddhist people and they’d go to the Buddhist monasteries. Within one kilometer diameter, there are 300 Buddhist monasteries, over here.

Durbar Square in Patan is known for the temple of Krishna as well as high class courtyards such as Keshab Narayan-chowk, Mul-chowk, and Sundari-chowk. The temple of Krishna has 21 shrines in the form of golden pinnacles.

The Malla King Siddhi Narshinga of Malla specially built these palaces – Krishna Mandir, and many temples here. There are seven, eight chowks, only two chowks are now popular – Mul-chowk and Keshav Narayan-chowk, The most important is Sundari-chowk in which Siddhi Narshinga Malla bathed and formed a stone's light.

In 1979, United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designated the Durbar Square of Hanuman Dhoka, Patan and Bhaktapur World Heritage Sites of Nepal. When we return, we will look at the two most holy Buddhist pilgrim sites, Boudhanath Stupa and Swayambhunath Stupa. Please stay tuned to Supreme Master Television.

Welcome back to The World Around Us. Each year, Kathmandu, Nepal attracts hundreds of thousands of people from around the world with her stunning World Heritage sites. Among them, the magnificent Swayambhunath Stupa and Boudhanath Stupa are the two most holy Buddhist pilgrim sites of the Kathmandu Valley.

In Sanskrit language, the Shoyambhu means self-existing. People of the Kathmandu valley every year, they come here; they celebrate different types of festivals. In the Buddhism of Kathmandu Valley, which is called Vajrayana and Mahayana Buddhism, that Buddhism is running on the basis of the Shoyambhu.

They use a small chaitya (Buddhist shrine) and at first they worship the chaitya and then they start in their activities. So this is the main [significance] for the Kathmandu Valley. In the Kathmandu Valley, you can't see another site like this.

It is very peaceful for Buddhists and non-Buddhists, for everybody. And many monkeys you can see and they are very peaceful. Monks of these places, every day in the morning, they worship to chaitya and five Buddhas.

Boudhanath Stupa is located 11 kilometers northeast from the center of Kathmandu. It has a huge gorgeous mandala shape that shows the influence of Tibetan Buddhism. In ancient times it was one of the largest stupas in the world.

Actually Nepal is known as “the country of temples.” There are lots of , Hindu temples and Buddhist temples. Boudhanath is the very very important and very significant holy place for the Buddhist people. The stupa itself is actually the mind nature of the Buddha. There is body, speech and the mind.

The history of the Boudhanath Stupa can be traced back to the 5th century. It is believed that the relics of Buddha Kasyapa are buried in the Boudhanath Stupa. Boudhanath Stupa has striking bright colorful roofs, circled by the beautiful lights of offerings. Around the stupa, there are prayer wheels everywhere.

The whole dome is actually a kind of vase, a vase that we put the holy water in the spring. This is a kind of a holy vase and then you can see the mandala over there and there is the lotus flower. And to hold the mandala and the lotus flower there is one vase and there is the stupa. Inside the stupa, there is a lot of sutras there. There are a lot of statues, a lot of relics.

One more important thing about this Boudhanath, is people believe Buddha kashyap's relics are inside here. So that’s why many, many people from far and wide people come here to pay homage like that.

Pilgrims from all over the world come to purify their souls and repent for their wrongs. They make offerings with while colors, flowers, and incense which all symbolize the pure realms.

A person who comes here, who pays respect, who pays homage, who offers the flowers, incense, and other things like perfumes, and those who make their prayers, their wish will be fulfilled or their dream will come true. So that’s why this stupa is also known as a “wish fulfilling” stupa. In the spiritual ways, when you circle this stupa from the right to the left, I mean clockwise, so it is not only just walking, but you are gaining the kinds of merits and good luck.

People do it for the confession. Whatever they have done in the previous life or this life, they want to clear their karmas. Because in a spiritual way we believe in karmas, action and result. What kind of action is there, the result will come like that. This is a strong point of view from the Buddhism.

The art and life of the Nepali people have developed naturally around the image and teachings of the Buddha. Thangka, a Tibetan Word meaning “to roll up,” is one such art, originating from the Tibetan and mountain people of Nepal.

These paintings are made on cotton canvas, When they go for pilgrimage, they carry [it] with them, so rolling it and put inside some pipes, so for [it to be] safe. So it is called Thanka: “roll up.” On preparing cotton canvas we use mineral colors, like white clay and some natural glue.

We paste on a cotton cloth and dry it in the sun for a few days, then we rub on a smooth surface with a fine stone. And then we start sketching, fill colors and put gold. We use 24-karat real gold for these paintings and mineral colors. So these paintings are used for Buddhist practices, for meditation, for visualization. So every Buddhist family keeps a few of these paintings in their houses.

Based on their belief in karma (retribution), most Nepali Buddhists and other citizens are vegetarians.

We have to treat them as our mother. According to Buddhism, they have been once our mother in the previous life, or they have been so many times our mother. So that’s why according to Buddhism how can you kill your own mother

The vegetarian lifestyle is also the precondition for the Buddhist practice of meditation.

In the meditation course, to be a vegetarian it is utmost important because if we have got dual power, our mind will be disturbed. And by vegetarian we can preserve the Earth and preserve the universe. That is all for the salvation and the Nirvana and enlightenment.

For thousands of years, Buddha’s compassionate teaching has lived on in the Kathmandu Valley and in Nepal, through splendid monuments as well as the peaceful people and loving atmosphere. That is how the Kathmandu holy sites soothe the pilgrim’s heart. May Kathmandu continue to be a place on Earth for finding the Divine love and Buddha nature within.

Be veg, go green, save the planet!

Thank you for being with us on The World Around Us. Please stay tuned to Supreme Master Television for Words of Wisdom, after Noteworthy News. May Heaven shower you with miracles every day.

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