Nepal – the country of the Buddha and the Mt. Everest

Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without – Buddha

MISTAKEN BUDDHA BIRTH PLACE IN ‘WISDOM OF THE AGES’ : A COURSE BOOK FOR US UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on September 24, 2012


[ The author, Dr. Wayne W. Dyer, who appears for his talks almost everyday on PBS TV[2] shows in United States of America, seems not to have checked Lumbini Ashokan Pillar inscription, [” .. Hida Bhagavam Jateti Lumini Game” [3] discovered by Anton A. Fuhrer on December 1, 1896. Further more, while he was writing the book, he seems not to have been well informed of recent Lumbini archaeological finds also. If he had in anyways, he would have certainly written the “Founder of Buddhism, one of the world’s major religions, the Buddha was born Prince Siddhartha Gautama in Nepal at the border of northeast India” instead. ]
By B. K. Rana
Early morning yesterday, one of my friends, K. Kadaria called me over a phone and said “I just read a book named :’Wisdom of the Ages’ written and published in 1998 by Wayne W. Dyer. The author has written that the “Founder of Buddhism, one of the world’s major religions, the Buddha was born Prince Siddhartha Gautama in northeast India, near the border of Nepal.”So, we needed debating with the author. This is in a course book for undergraduate students at  the Bunker Hill Community College, Boston in  Massachusetts,  USA.”
He sent me a brief email message also which I  immediately  forwarded to my email-list and,  as anticipated, prompt response arrived from  a few scholars from different parts of the world. Among those response was  in an email message from a renowned linguist, Professor Madhav Pokharel of Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, Nepal,  in which he has written, “both China and Japan have officially endorsed Lumbini of Nepal being the Buddha’s  birth place, however, while doing researches in China for one year and two years in Japan, I heard that in government prescribed books in  both of these countries students are taught the Buddha  was born in India”[1]. Prof. Pokharel says there is a need for finding the truth out and making a correction to it also.
The book in discussion and its author, Dr. Wayne W. Dyer http://www.drwaynedyer.com/, acclaimed  as one of the internationally best selling authors, a motivational speaker and named also as “Modern Master”, has discussed,  in the book “Wisdomof the Ages: 60 Days to Enlightenment”,  a total of 265  different thinkers of the past and present world  from: Pythagoras and Blaise Pascal, Buddha, Lao-tzu, Patanjali  to many others and down the end himself also.A chapter titled as ‘Knowing’ is dedicated to Buddhist philosophy. The chapter starts from page 5 in which the author writes: “Founder of Buddhism, one of the world’s major religions, the Buddha was born Prince Siddhartha Gautama in northeast India, near the border of Nepal”. This is flatly incorrect information. Our students must be told or taught the  truth and no imparted false knowledge.
The author, Dr. Wayne W. Dyer, who appears for his talks almost everyday on PBS TV[2] shows in United States of America,seems not to have checked Lumbini Ashokan Pillar inscription, [” .. Hida Bhagavam Jateti Lumini Game” [3]discovered byAnton A. Fuhrer on December 1, 1896. Further more, while he was writing the book, he seems not to have been well informed of recent Lumbini archaeological finds also. If he had in anyways, he would have certainly written the “Founder of Buddhism, one of the world’s major religions, the Buddha was born Prince Siddhartha Gautama in Nepal at the border of northeast India” instead.
The book in question was published in 1998 by Harper Collins,in other words some 14 years ago and its first Quill edition came out in 2002 already. After these long years, discussing this way may seem  ‘partisan’ to some of our readers. But the point here is that students deserve right information. We need to feed them facts of human history. But neither we are telling Dr. Wayne W. Dyer deliberately weote “the Buddha was born Prince Siddhartha Gautama in northeastIndia, near the border of Nepal.”Not every writer can visit Lumbini Garden in Nepal and read the Ashokan inscription before writing a book on the Buddha. It is not practical also to do so.  The author has utilized second hand information available to him.

No Confronting with the authors:
We can’t confront each and every author on the Buddha birth place and Kapilvastu also. A Nepalese scholar, Ram B. Chhetri, currently residing in Virginia, USAalso wrote  in reply yesterday,  “ What about Jesus Christ born in China ? We can’t go on confronting people writing whatever they feel like writing.” The point he makes here is that people have been writing on their own ways and  this is how they write; we can’t tell them do what we like.
It would be worth mentioning here of Orissan scholars’ claim that the Buddha was born in Kapileshowr in Orissa, not in Lumbini of Nepal, which has been already discredited by some Orissan historians themselves like Karuna Sagar Behara, Kailash Chandra Dash and others also.On Saturday Aug 1, 2009 I had put a question to a Yahoogroups of Indologists, “Where was Buddha born?” Prof. Rajesh Kochhar, an  Indologists from India had replied:“ Orissa is very poor. It will benefit greatly from tourism if Buddha were born there? Can we not rotate Buddha’s birth place like the Olympics or the cricket match venue?” He meant that the birth place of certain historical personages always made full of controversies.
Steve Farmer, a neurobiologist and  very bright mind  had even put this way :“ There is an old medievalist story about the fact that multiple Christian pilgrimage sites boasted of having the head of St. John the Baptist. The story goes that the issue was resolved by deciding that one site contained the head of St. John the Baptist when he was a young man and the other his head when he was an old man. Maybe the same kind of resolution might be applied here, mutatis mutandis, as a variant of Rajesh’s idea?”
[1] नेपालको लुम्बिनीमा अनेक अनुसन्धान गर्दै आएका, बुद्धको जन्म थलो भनेर लुम्बिनीलाई सरकारी मान्यता दिई आएका चीन र जापानका पाठ्य पुस्तकमा पनि बुद्ध भारतमा जन्मेका थिए भन्ने कुरो लेखिएकै छ र अझै संशोधन भएको छैन भन्ने कुरो मैले चीनमा १ वर्ष बस्ता र जापानमा २ वर्ष बस्ता सुनेको कुराको सत्यता पनि जाँचेर सच्याउन प्रयत्‍न गर्नु पर्ने र चासो राख्‍नु पर्ने खाँचो छ ।
[2]Public Broadcasting Service Television, one of   the most watched TV Channels in the USA.
[3]DEVANAPIYANA PIYADASINA LAJINA VISATI-VASABHISITENA

ATANA AGACHA MAHIYITE HIDA BUDHE JATE SAKYA MUNITI SILA-VIGADABHI-CHA KALAPITA  SILATHABHE CHA USAPAPITE HIDA BHAGAVAM JATE TI LUMINI GAME  UBALIKE KATE ATHABHAGIYA CHA 

The text of the inscription in English reads: “Twenty years after the coronation, Beloved-of-the-Gods, King Piyadasi (Ashok) visited this place and worshiped because here, Lord Buddha, the sage of Sakyas was born ….”.http://tinyurl.com/yf55jj9

@The Himalayan Voice

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