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The Kathmandu Valley, the capital, is the political, commercial and cultural hub of Nepal. Spread across an area of 360 square kilometers and at an altitude of 1336 meter above the sea level, Kathmandu is an exotic and fascinating showcase of a very rich culture, art and tradition. The valley, roughly oval bowl measuring 24 km east-west and 19 km north-south, is encircled by a range of green terraced hills and dotted by compact clusters of red tiled-roofed houses.

A remarkable legend speaks that the valley was once covered by a lake until the Bodhisattva Manjushri raised his sword of wisdom and sliced a passage through the mountain walls, draining the water and creating the first settlements.

The valley embraces most of Nepal's ethinc groups, but Newars are the indigenous inhabitants and the creators of the valley's splendid civilization.

Not very long ago, it was said that there were just as many houses as there were temples and shrines in Kathmandu valley. Now, of course, that fact does not hold true because of the rapid urbanization and population growth in the last three decades. Nevertheless, the valley still exhibits a living, breathing entity,a vital culture that has miraculously survived till now.

The valley consists of three fabulous cities of great historic and cultural interest. These legendry cities go by the names of:

  • Kathmandu
  • Lalitpur or Patan
  • Bhaktapur

Nepal Buddhist Society was founded in 2002 and it was registered at District Administration office, Kathmandu on registration no 296/059/060 and at social welfare society on registration no 15432. Since its establishment the organization support to those children who are apart from education. Similarly the organization help to take care them and financial support to development of monastery in 75 districts of Nepal and it also has provided free meditation camps. This society is involved to develop under developing areas, help to those people who are suffered by natural disasers and rescue the foreign people who are suffering various trouble in Nepal.

Mr. Dhan Bahadur Pandu Lama a chief founder of the central Nepal Buddhist Society, has directed to the it’s committee members that if sufficient fund collected from different sectors visit field and financial support to poor students and make water resources to needy prople without any racism.

buddha eye, wisdom eyes

Every stupa (Buddhist shrine) in Nepal, there are pairs of eyes staring out from the four sides of the main tower.The mysterious eyes, painted on all four sides of the stupa's spire, represent the eyes of the Buddha and face the four cardinal directions--east, west, north, and south.

These are Called Buddha Eyes (also known as Wisdom Eyes), and they look out in the four directions to symbolize the omniscience (all-seeing) of a Buddha.
The Buddha eyes are so prevalent throughout the country that they have become a symbol of Nepal itself.we can Find Many Handicraft symbolizing Buddha Eyes.ie:Pendents, Thanka paintings Rings etc. 

A Nepal Buddhist Prayer Beads,, namely the buddhism malas is a string of prayer beads, comparable to a rosary, used when reciting mantras or counting prayer. Tibetan Malas are usually made with 108, 27, 21 or 19 beads. They are used to count prayers or mantras. Buddhists use counters to keep track of how many times around a mala they have counted. Malas made of wood are the most common, but some of our most popular are made of turquoise, copper, lotus seed and yakbone bone. Check out our handmade turquoise malas, handmade copper malas, handmade lotus seed malas and handmade yakbone malas.

babao tibetan bracelet

The eight auspicious symbols of Tibetan Buddhism consist of: a parasol, a pair of fishes, a treasure vase, a lotus, a white-spiraling conch shell, an endless knot, a victory banner, and a golden wheel.

Groupings of eight auspicious symbols were originally used in India at ceremonies such as an investiture or coronation of a king. An early grouping of symbols included: a throne, a swastika, a handprint, a hooked knot, a vase of jewels, a water libation flask, a pair of fishes, and a lidded bowl. In Buddhism, these eight symbols of good fortune represent the offerings made by the gods to Shakyamuni Buddha immediately after he gained enlightenment. The following expounds upon these symbols.

tibetan prayer box

One of the most stunning pieces of Tibetan jewelry is the famed Gau pendant. Also called a prayer box pendant, this jewellery piece often features rare and unusual gemstones and incredible carved silverworks.

In Buddhism, the Gau is actually a portable shrine that holds an image wrapped in silk that represents the owner's personal deity. Some Ghaus have a small opening allow you to see the personality deity.

People of other faiths use the Gau as a prayer box. Wearers write their prayer concerns on a slip of paper and place it in the box.

The dorje is the symbol of enlightenment. The shape of the dorje symbolizes the two forms of truth, relative and absolute. The connection of the two truths in the middle is known as the sphere of actual reality. On the outer parts of the dorje there are two discs that represent the five Buddha families, the five elements, and the five skandhas. In Tibetan the word dorje means, “the indestructible stone.?The dorje is a spiritual weapon used to banish non-truths and bring in the truth. The dorje is often used in a Tibetan Buddhist ritual, where it is twirled in order to bring in truth.

In Buddhist practice, singing bowls are used as a support for meditation, trance induction and prayer. For example, Chinese Buddhists use the singing bowl to accompany the wooden fish during chanting, striking it when a particular phrase in a sutra, mantra or hymn is sung. In Japan and Vietnam, singing bowls are similarly used during chanting and may also mark the passage of time or signal a change in activity.

The use of singing bowls in Tibet is the subject of much debate and many stories. Some people say they were used for meditation while others say they were magical tools for transformation of self and of matter.

Singing bowls are played by the friction of rubbing a wooden, plastic, or leather wrapped mallet around the rim of the bowl to produce overtones and a continuous 'singing' sound. Audio Sample (help·info) Genuine antique singing bowls produce a complex chord of harmonic overtones. Singing bowls may also be played by striking with a soft mallet to produce a warm bell tone. Audio Sample (help·info)

Antique singing bowls are unique because they are multiphonic instruments, producing multiple harmonic overtones at the same time. Antique singing bowls are the fruit of sophisticated metallurgy, techniques currently deemed lost and provide a unique study in the Timeline of materials technology as do high quality bells and other instruments. The overtones are a result of their metalworking and fabrication which consists of multiple metals and were produced by a sophisticated hammered or beaten technique with . The majority of new bowls are cast metal and not hammered and beaten with Metalworking hand tools, and produce only one tone.

Both Antique and New Bowls are widely used as an aid to meditation (see the "Meditation and the brain" section in Meditation) and as a tool for trance induction. They are also used in yoga, music therapy, sound healing, religious services, performance and for personal enjoyment.

Klachakra Pendant

The Klachakra symbol means 'The one with ten powers'. It is very protective and dispels negativity. It consists of seven individual syllables combined together with three other components to make a total of ten very powerful elements within the image. - The Ten Powers are described as ten existences - body, awareness, space, wind, fire, water, earth, stable, moving, and the gods unseen and uncreated. Each part of the Kalachakra symbol has deep specific meaning, and is a great study unto itself.

The use of Tibetan masks extends throughout the Himalayan region, from locations as diverse as the tropical lowlands of Nepal --- the Terai --- to the high mountain villages of the Sherpas to the monasteries of Tibet and Bhutan. Most Himalayan masks are created locally of indigenous materials for particular ceremonies and are put away for the remainder of the year. We handpicked all our Tibetan Buddhist Masks in Nepal & Tibet which promises you 100% good quality and your online shopping satisfaction!

A "Thangka," also known as "Tangka", "Thanka" or "Tanka" (Pronunciation: [toːnkoː], the 'th' as an aspirated 't' and the 'a' as in the word water) (Tibetan: Nepal Bhasa:पौभा) is a painted or embroidered Buddhist banner which was hung in a monastery or a family altar and occasionally carried by monks in ceremonial processions. In Tibetan the word thang means flat, and thus the Thangka is a kind of painting done on flat surface but which can be rolled up when not required for display, sometimes called a scroll-painting. The most common shape of a Thangka is the upright rectangular form.

Originally, thangka painting became popular among traveling monks because the scroll paintings were easily rolled and transported from monastery to monastery. These thangka served as important teaching tools depicting the life of the Buddha, various influential lamas and other deities and Bodhisattva. One popular subject is The Wheel of Life, which is a visual representation of the Abhidharma teachings (Art of Enlightenment).

While regarded by some as colorful wall hangings, to Buddhists, these Tibetan religious paintings offer a beauty, believed to be a manifestation of the divine, and are thus visually stimulating.

 
 
 
 
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Nepalese silver jewelry contains 90% sterling silver with varieties pricious and semi preicious stone on it. Nepalese silver jewelry are manufactured employing its expert craftmanship all by hand. This handcrafting is special unique quality that makes quite apart from those other countries producing as "one of a kind".

om pendant, om mantra pendant

The Nepalese people are used to using sterling silver, turquoise, coral and lapis lazuli to craft bracelets, pendants, rings, necklaces with the buddhist symbols like the om mantra worlds -Om Mani Padme Hum, the Tibetan Six-words Proverb, Tibetan Eight Sacred Buddhist Symbols, klachakra symbols and so on. The Nepalese people believe with these world on the jewelries, will help those who wear it enjoy and understand the life and buddhist ideas.

There are different varieties of silver jewelry are papular to export in foreign countries. They are Belt-Buckets, Bracelets, Broaches, Earings, necklaces, Pendents, Rings, Bells, suckles, Wallets, Pancebs, callies, Phulises Lightercases, snuf-bottles, spoons, Icons, etc. All of our jewelries are handmade by the Nepalese people one by one. Unique and special.

om pendant, tibetan om pendant

Nepalese silver jewelry are very papular in all over the world. His Majesties Government of Nepal has given fully support to develop the silver craft-men and exporters. Designs and motifs used in jewellery are influenced by Hinduism and Buddhism and foreign designs are also recraft in order. The productions are rappedly growing higher.

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Tibetan Buddhists believe that saying the mantra (prayer), Om Mani Padme Hum, out loud or silently to oneself, invokes the powerful benevolent attention and blessings of Chenrezig, the embodiment of compassion. Viewing the written form of the mantra is said to have the same effect -- it is often carved into stones, like the one pictured above, and placed where people can see them. Spinning the written form of the mantra around in a Mani wheel (or prayer wheel) is also believed to give the same benefit as saying the mantra, and Mani wheels, small hand wheels and large wheels with millions of copies of the mantra inside, are found everywhere in the lands influenced by Tibetan Buddhism.

People who learn about the mantra naturally want to know what it means, and often ask for a translation into English or some other Western language. However, Om Mani Padme Hum can not really be translated into a simple phrase or even a few sentences.


All of the Dharma is based on Buddha's discovery that suffering is unnecessary: Like a disease, once we really face the fact that suffering exists, we can look more deeply and discover it's cause; and when we discover that the cause is dependent on certain conditions, we can explore the possibility of removing those conditions.

Buddha taught many very different methods for removing the cause of suffering, methods appropriate for the very different types and conditions and aptitudes of suffering beings. For those who had the capacity to understand it, he taught the most powerful method of all, a method based on the practice of compassion. It is known as the Mahayana, or Great Vehicle, because practicing it benefits all beings, without partiality. It is likened to a vast boat that carries all the beings in the universe across the sea of suffering.

tibetan bracelets, turquoise bracelets, fine tibetan bracelets

Within the Mahayana the Buddha revealed the possibility of very quickly benefiting all beings, including oneself, by entering directly into the awakened state of mind, or Buddhahood, without delay. Again, there are different ways of accomplishing this, but the most powerful, and at the same time the most accessible, is to link ones own mind with the mind of a Buddha.

In visualization practice we imagine ourselves to be a Buddha, in this case the Buddha of Compassion, Chenrezig. By replacing the thought of yourself as you with the thought of yourself as Chenrezig, you gradually reduce and eventually remove the fixation on your personal self, which expands your loving kindness and compassion, toward yourself and toward others, and your intelligence and wisdom becomes enhanced, allowing you to see clearly what someone really needs and to communicate with them clearly and accurately.

In most religious traditions one prays to the deities of the tradition in the hopes of receiving their blessing, which will benefit one in some way. In the vajrayana Buddhist tradition, however, the blessing and the power and the superlative qualities of the enlightened beings are not considered as coming from an outside source, but are believed to be innate, to be aspects of our own true nature. Chenrezig and his love and compassion are within us.

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Tibetan Buddhist prayer wheels are a unique cultural religious concept found only in Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan, and other areas where Tibetan Buddhist practice is engaged. They resemble an inscribed religious amulet (such a Jewish Mezuzah, a Muslim Surah amulet, or a Mongolian protection package) in that they contain a piece of scriptural writing, but unlike the inscribed religious talismans of other cultures, they are activated by spinning them, which causes the prayer inside to revolve.

Prayer wheels are made in many forms in Nepal, including elaborate precious metal-work with incrustations of semi-precious stones, to be utilized in temples -- but for sheer folkloric cheerfulness, simple hand-carved wooden prayer wheels such as these, ornamented only with brightly colourful paint, can;t be beat. They are desktop size and look great in an office, where they can be spun by anyone who passes by and wants to shower blessings on all who come near them. As with any hand-made folk-crafted item, no two are alike, but the pair shown here are representative of the range in styles.

Tibetan Buddhists believe that saying this mantra, out loud or silently to oneself, invokes the powerful benevolent attention and blessings of Chenrezig, the embodiment of compassion. Viewing a written copy of the mantra is said to have the same effect -- and the mantra is carved into stones left in piles near paths where travelers will see them. Spinning the written form of the mantra around in a Mani wheel is also supposed to have the same effect; the more copies of the mantra, the more the benefit.

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  om mani stone  prayer wheel  nepal prayer wheel  nepal prayer wheel  prayer wheel  
     
     
 

Traditionally wheels were not used at all in Tibet except for spiritual purposes -- carts and similar wheeled devices were known from other cultures, but their use was intentionally avoided. The earliest known mention of prayer wheels is in an account written by a Chinese pilgrim, in 400 AD, while traveling through the area now known as Ladakh. The idea is said to have originated as a play on the phrase "turn the wheel of the dharma," a classical metaphor for Buddha's teaching activity. Mani wheels are found all over Tibet and in areas influenced by Tibetan culture. There are many types of Mani wheels, but small hand-held wheels, like the one shown here, are the most common by far. Tibetan people carry them around for hours, and even on long pilgrimages, spinning them any time they have a hand free.

Larger wheels, which may be several yards (meters) high and one or two yards (meters) in diameter, can contain myriad copies of the mantra, and may also contain sacred texts, up to hundreds of volumes.

They can be found mounted in rows next to pathways, to be spun by people entering a shrine, or along the route which people use as they walk slowly around and around a sacred site -- a form of spiritual practice called circumambulation.

Wheels are also placed where they can be spun by wind or by flowing water. Smaller mounted wheels can be spun by the heat rising from a flame or by steam from a stove, or placed on a tabletop to be spun by hand.

Tibetan Buddhist Mani wheels are always spun clockwise, as viewed from above, for any or all of several reasons: It rotates the syllables of the mantra so that they would pass a viewer in the order that they would be read, it follows the direction of the sun, and it matches the clockwise circumambulation of stupas. Practitioners of Bon, the pre Buddhist spiritual tradition of Tibet, spin their prayer wheels counter-clockwise, the same direction they use in circumambulation.

Much of Tibetan culture has now had to take refuge outside its homeland. In Tibet under Chinese rule, mechanical wheels are everywhere, on trucks and busses and cars and tanks, but spiritual training and practice, and even learning the Tibetan language, are severely restricted.

With the introduction of Tibetan Buddhism into the West, new types of Mani wheels have come into being. His Holiness the Dalai Lama has said that having the mantra on your computer works the same as a traditional prayer wheel. Since a computer's hard disk spins hundreds of thousands of times per hour, and can contain many copies of the mantra, anyone who wants to can turn their computer into a prayer wheel.

People who feel more strongly connected to prayers other than the Om Mani Padme Hum mantra of Chenrezig can create prayer wheels, of either the mechanical or the electronic type, with the prayers that mean the most to them -- and people who feel a connection to the modern ecumenical or "Great Awakening" movements can include prayers from many traditions, written in any number of languages.

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  tibetan prayer flag

Prayer flags are inscribed with auspicious symbols, invocations, prayers, and mantras. Tibetan Buddhists for centuries have planted these flags outside their homes and places of spiritual practice for the wind to carry the beneficent vibrations across the countryside. Prayer flags are said to bring happiness, long life and prosperity to the flag planter and those in the vicinity.

Dharma prints bear traditional Buddhist symbols, protectors and enlightened beings. As the Buddhist spiritual approach is non theistic, the elements of Tantric iconography do not stand for external beings, but represent aspects of enlightened mind i.e. compassion, perfect action, fearlessness, etc. Displayed with respect, Dharma prints impart a feeling of harmony and bring to mind the precious teachings.

 
  singing bowl

Singing Bowls, bells and cymbals (tingshas) are from the magical Himalayas of Nepal and Tibet. They are made from a mixture of metals and when rubbed with a mallet, they produce a complex and beautiful sound full of wonderful harmonics and overtones.. These instruments have been used for centuries to produce relaxation and facilitate meditation. Singing bowls and bells come complete with a wooden playing mallet for striking and rubbing to create your own melodies. As all items are hand crafted, sizes, colors and prices may vary according to supply

The general rule is that a larger, thicker bowl will produce a deeper range of tones than a smaller, thinner bowl. The variable is the amount of internal tension present in the bowl. Remember that these are musical instruments, and originally tuned for various frequencies and pitches.

 
 

All flags from Radiant Heart are hand printed on good quality 100% cotton fabric with nontoxic colorfast textile paints. The details in each design are quite precise and the colors are pure and bright.

Dharma flags may be placed either inside of a building to increase the spiritual atmosphere or outdoors where the wind can carry their prayers. Traditionally, they are fastened to eaves or sewn onto ropes to be displayed horizontally or they are fastened to wooden poles for vertical display. Sets of five color flags should be put in the order: yellow, green, red, white, blue (from left to right or from bottom to top.) The colors represent the elements: earth, water, fire, cloud, sky.

Because the symbols and mantras on these prints are sacred, we ask that they be treated with the traditional Tibetan respect - please do not place them on the ground or use them in articles of clothing. When disposing of an old print please burn it.

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Featured Handmade Tibetan Jewelry

The most precious & widely used gemstones in Tibetan artworks & Tibetan jewelry - turquoise & coral. Coral is known to be used as a gem since prehistoric times. Has a history of religious meaning and is one of the seven treasures in Buddhist scriptures. Turquoise is one of the world's earliest-used gem materials. Ranked with the jades of the Orient and lapis in the Near East, turquoise has been revered for thousands of years. Coral was long thought to be a strong talisman against bleeding, evil spirits, and hurricanes.

This Handmade Tibetan Double Stone Stirling Silver Necklace is handcrafted by the Tibetan Craftsmen from stirling silver and top-grade natural turquoise and red coral.

This Handmade Nepal Buddha Eye Pendant was made in Nepal from stirling silver & turquoise. Buddha eye is the Nepali character for the number 1, which symbolizes unity of all the things as well as the one way to reach enlightenment—through the Buddha's teachings. Above this is a third eye, symbolizing the all-seeing wisdom of the Buddha.

This Handmade Nepal Necklace was made in Nepal from Turquoise, Red Coral, Lapis Lazuli & Stirling Silver. Very Charming Nepalese Necklace.

Om Mani Padme Hum can not really be translated into a simple phrase or even a few sentences. By pray the OM Mantra words, all of the Dharma is based on Buddha's discovery that suffering is unnecessary: Like a disease, once we really face the fact that suffering exists, we can look more deeply and discover it's cause; and when we discover that the cause is dependent on certain conditions, we can explore the possibility of removing those conditions.

This pair of Nepal Earring was handmade in Tibet from sterling silver and Turquoise.

One of the most stunning pieces of Tibetan jewelry is the famed Ghau pendant. Also called a prayer box pendant, this jewelry piece often features rare and unusual gemstones and incredible carved silverworks. In Buddhism, the Ghau is actually a portable shrine that holds an image wrapped in silk that represents the owner's personal deity. Some Ghaus have a small opening allow you to see the personality deity.

Tibetan Buddha Statues come in the shape of every possible Buddhist deity. In general, Buddhism is a practice of finding peace within oneself. Tibetan Buddhism is practiced by people who live in Tibetan, and there are some practices that are unique to Tibetan Buddhism.

In Buddhist practice, singing bowls are used as a support for meditation, trance induction and prayer. For example, Chinese Buddhists use the singing bowl to accompany the wooden fish during chanting, striking it when a particular phrase in a sutra, mantra or hymn is sung. In Japan and Vietnam, singing bowls are similarly used during chanting and may also mark the passage of time or signal a change in activity.

The conch shell is an emblem of power, authority, and sovereignty; its blast is believed to banish evil spirits, avert natural disasters, and scare away poisonous creatures. In Indian culture, different types of conch shells were associated with the different castes and with male and female.
This Nepal Buddhist Mask - Sakyamuni was made in Nepal from copper.
 
     
 

The Meaning of the Mantra

People who learn about the mantra naturally want to know what it means, and often ask for a translation into English or some other Western language. However, Om Mani Padme Hum can not really be translated into a simple phrase or even a few sentences.
All of the Dharma is based on Buddha's discovery that suffering is unnecessary: Like a disease, once we really face the fact that suffering exists, we can look more deeply and discover it's cause; and when we discover that the cause is dependent on certain conditions, we can explore the possibility of removing those conditions.

Buddha taught many very different methods for removing the cause of suffering, methods appropriate for the very different types and conditions and aptitudes of suffering beings. For those who had the capacity to understand it, he taught the most powerful method of all, a method based on the practice of compassion. It is known as the Mahayana, or Great Vehicle, because practicing it benefits all beings, without partiality. It is likened to a vast boat that carries all the beings in the universe across the sea of suffering.

Within the Mahayana the Buddha revealed the possibility of very quickly benefiting all beings, including oneself, by entering directly into the awakened state of mind, or Buddhahood, without delay. Again, there are different ways of accomplishing this, but the most powerful, and at the same time the most accessible, is to link ones own mind with the mind of a Buddha.

In visualization practice we imagine ourselves to be a Buddha, in this case the Buddha of Compassion, Chenrezig. By replacing the thought of yourself as you with the thought of yourself as Chenrezig, you gradually reduce and eventually remove the fixation on your personal self, which expands your loving kindness and compassion, toward yourself and toward others, and your intelligence and wisdom becomes enhanced, allowing you to see clearly what someone really needs and to communicate with them clearly and accurately.

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In most religious traditions one prays to the deities of the tradition in the hopes of receiving their blessing, which will benefit one in some way. In the vajrayana Buddhist tradition, however, the blessing and the power and the superlative qualities of the enlightened beings are not considered as coming from an outside source, but are believed to be innate, to be aspects of our own true nature. Chenrezig and his love and compassion are within us.

buddha eye pendantbuddhist jewelryom mantra jewelrydorje jewelrybuddist bracelettibetan malas

Although Buddhism originated in India, the teachings of the Buddha and the lineages of awakening were preserved, deepened and clarified in Tibet. The invasion of Tibet by Communist China led to the exile of many of the most highly experienced and respected Tibetan Buddhist meditation masters, who almost immediately began teaching Western students. Many of these students have now become accomplished teachers themselves.

This dharmic feast, now spread out before us in the West, includes a growing array of insights and practices of more and more astonishing richness, power and clarity, from a host of superb teachers, translators editors and publishers, all attracting committed students and curious visitors. And now the Internet makes it even easier to locate resources to further ones interest.

What the Internet won't do is make it easier to sit down on a meditation cushion, or face the ways we mislead ourselves. It can, though, help find people to study with, and practice with, and to laugh with at the many ways we find for misleading ourselves.

An ancient prophesy speaks of the darkest hour of the dark age, when the rivers of materialism burst their banks, and plague, famine, greed and warefare beset desperate people everywhere. That Dark Age -- which may be right about now -- will also be known as the Golden Age, because many living buddhas will choose to be born at that time, bringing the precious healing Dharma to anyone ready to receive it.  May it be so!

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Buddha was born in Shakya kingdom which lies in Rupandehi district, Lumbini zone of Nepal. 10.74% of Nepal's population practice Buddhism, consisting mainly of groups of Tibeto-Burman origin.

Buddhist influences are evident in the culture of Nepal owing to the fact that Buddha was born in a part of Ancient India within the borders of present-day Nepal and his clan Shakya moved to Kathmandu valley and have incorporated into Newars. Nepal has strong Buddhist background and has played role in spread of Buddhism to Tibet. Nepalese princess Bhrikuti played a significant role in development of Buddhism in Tibet and Far East. Tibetan Buddhist architecture has long been influenced by Nepalese artists and sculptors like Araniko. The sacred Buddhist texts in Mahayana Buddhism are mainly written in Ranjana script (the script of Newars) or scripts like Lantsa which are derived fron Ranjana.

In the Tibeto-Burman tribes, Tibetan Buddhism is the most widely practised form. Newar practice Newar variant of Vajrayana Buddhism and Theravada Buddhism. Many Buddhist groups are also influenced by Hinduism.

Buddhism is the dominant religion of the thinly-populated northern areas, which are inhabited by Tibetan-related peoples, namely the Sherpa, Lopa, Manangi, Thakali, Lhomi, Dolpa and Nyimba. They constitute a small minority of the country's population.

Ethnic groups that live in central Nepal, such as Gurung, Lepcha, Tamang, Magar, Newar, Yakkha, Thami and Chepang, are also followers of Buddhism. These ethnic groups have larger populations compared to their northern neighbours. They came under the influence of Hinduism due to their close contacts with the Hindu castes. In turn, many of them eventually adopted Hinduism and have been largely integrated into the caste system.

The Kirant tribes, especially the Limbu and the Rai, have also adopted Tibetan Buddhist practises from their Buddhist neighbours. The Jirel, which is considered a Kirata tribe, have also adopted Tibetan Buddhism.

History

Buddhism during pre-Licchavi preiod (before 400)

Shakya clans of Lumbini

Buddha was born in Lumbini (which is now in Nepal). According to Tripitaka, he visited his father's kingdom and converted his family and clan to Buddhism. The Shakya clans later moved to Kathmandu valley and helped establish Buddhism there.

Kathmandu valley

Buddha visited Kathmandu valley during the reign of Kirat king Jitedasti.

Emperor Ashoka from India put up a pillar at Lumbini, the birthplace of the Buddha in the 2nd century BC. It is also believed that Ashoka went to Patan and had four stupas built there. It is believed that his daughter Charumati established the village of Chabahil, which is located between Kathmandu and Bodhnath. There is a stupa and monastery in Chabahil that are said to date back to her time.

It is said that upon the expansion of the Mauryan dynasty into the Terai plains in Nepal, Buddhism was adopted by the ancestors of the Tharu and flourished until the resurgent Licchavi repelled its adherents in AD 200. But, in fact, the Tharu are the remnants of ancient Sakya, Koliya, Mourya and many other ancient tribes. Thus, obviously, Buddhism in Nepal has been flourishing since Buddha's time if we consider ancient Kapilvastu and Devdah in Nepal.

Buddhism during the Licchavi period (400-750)

The Licchavi period saw the flourishing of both Hinduism and Buddhism in Nepal. Excellent examples of Buddhist art of the period are the half-sunken Buddha in Pashupatinath, the sleeping Vishnu in Budhanilkantha, and the statue of Buddha and the various representations of Vishnu in Changu Narayan.

Ancient Buddhist texts claim that Mulasarvasti Vadavinaya (better known as the Shakyas of Kapilvastu, Bhikshu Ananda, and the Baniyas of Sravasti) came to Nepal, then known as Newal, from Tibet.

Another Buddhist text, the Manjushrimula Kalpa, mentioned Manadeva as the King of Nepal Mandala. Researchers believe the Mulasarvastivadavinaya was written in the 2nd century CE, and that the Manjushriulakalpa was written during Manadeva's reign. The Swayambhu Purana, the ancient Buddhist Purana text, and a Licchavi inscription all mentioned Nepal Mandala.

Buddhist inscriptions and chronicles and Tibetan sources also record a few tantric Buddhist deities, namely Aksyobhya, Amitabha, Vajrayogini, Vajrabhairava, Usnisavijaya and Samantabhadra. Strong influence from Animist cults resulted in belief in Buddhist deities such as the Pancaraksas.

Religious tolerance and syncretism were stressed during the Licchavi period. King Manadeva paid homage at both Hindu and Buddhist sites. His family subsequently found expression for their beliefs in various different religions.

The worship of the Caitya and the Rath Jatra cart festival of Avalokitesvara were introduced around this period. Many ancient sites in the Kathmandu Valley were identified with major Buddhist Caityas, such as Swayambhu Mahacaitya, Boudnanath Stupa, Kathmandu and the four "Ashoka" stupas of Patan, and another two hundred stone caityas dating from the Licchavi Period, were testified to the widespread antiquity of caitya worship.

It is possible that this practice, in its earliest incarnation, was related to the worship of stones, which may have originated in the early, rival Kirata inhabitants of the Valley, prior to the Licchavis. According to one of the earliest Licchavi inscriptions, Caitya worship ordinarily consisted of ritual circumambulation of the caitya and offering standard items such as incense, colored powder, oil lamps and ablutions. At times, the inscriptions indicate, it could even involve resurfacing an existing Caitya and covering the new surface with many elaborate paintings.

Caitya worship was an important factor in bringing more of the proto-Newar tribal inhabitants into the Buddhist fold, as it was a devotional practice designed for the general public. Thus, the masses probably began practicing the cart festival of Avalokitesvara/ Matsyendranath (Bungakya) during the latter half of the seventh century A.D.

This festival was celebrated by hundreds or even thousands of people, who helped to construct and transport a huge, wheeled cart that bore the image of Avalokitesvara for several days or weeks along a specific route. The introduction of this festival must have been an instant success among the majority of the Kathmandu Valley population. This strengthened Buddhism's standing in relation to the other Hindu and Animist faiths of the Valley at the time.

Forty stone inscriptions made some mention of Buddhism throughout the Licchavi period. Most of the references are concerned with monasticism. However, almost nothing is known about the day-to-day life in the Vihara monasteries or how they functioned administratively.

The names of the fifteen Buddhist monasteries are known, and it is clear from the context in which some of these are named that they are among the most important religious sites of that time. It is not known for certain what schools of Buddhism were most prominent at the time. But the strongest early influences (aside from an even earlier probable substratum of Pali Buddhism) probably came from the Mahasanghika, Sammitiya and the Sarvastivada schools. The Makhyamaka and Yogacara schools were thought to be more influential in the later period with the emergence and growth of the Vajrayana school.

Inscriptional evidence also proves that there was a string of traditional methods of making religious gifts. These offerings were used for earning blessing and making merit, and the women of the Buddhist seem to have taken the lead in offering these gifts. Strikingly, parallel points within the Buddhist cave contain inscriptions of Maharastra, which predated the Licchvi Nepal. The references in the Licchavi inscriptions to the Mahayana and Vajrayana will be mentioned below in connection with Buddhist art and notable Buddhist figures of the Licchavi period.

Buddhism during the Thakuri period (600-1200)

The first Thaukri king, Amsuvarma, married his daughter Bhrikuti to the ruler of Tibet, King Songtsen Gampo. According to legend, she received the begging bowl of the Buddha as part of her wedding dowry. It is believed that she introduced Buddhism into Tibet. she is also believed as a reincarnation of the Green Tara of Tibetan Buddhism, who is seen in many Buddhist Thangkas. Thakuri period is known as the golden time for Buddhism.

Buddhism during the Malla dynasty (1200-1769)

The Malla dynasty saw to the golden period of the syncretism of Hindu and Buddhist art forms by the Newar. The Paubha, the Newari counterpart of the Tibetan Buddhist Thangka, flourished in this period.

Buddhism during the Shah dynasty (1769-1846)

The Shah dynasty saw the decline of Buddhism in Nepal where it eventually merged with Hinduism as the Hindu Gurkha rose to prominence. In the north, the Mustang kingdom ruled by the Buddhist Lopa and the Thakali saw to the flourishing of Vajrayana (Tibetan Buddhism) in the North.

Buddhism during the Rana dynasty (1846-1951)

Modern Newar Buddhist practises in Nepal have largely been absorbed into mainstream Hinduism, although certain distinct practises, artforms and castes do remain. In the north, people of Tibetan origin continued to be the much-unchanged practises of Tibetan Buddhism, especially in the case of the Nyimba of Northwest Nepal. On the other hand, the Thakali, who had traditionally played an important role in the Nepali society but yet retained Tibetan Buddhism, have begun to embrace Hinduism as well in the recent years.

Shah Dynasty (1951-2006)

 

After the overthrown of Rana dynasty in 1951, Buddhism gradually developed in the country. Theravadin Buddhist played a great significance role for the Buddhist revival campaign in modern Nepal since 1920s. This revival movement has changed Buddhism from ethnic-religion of some ethnic groups and castes into beyond the caste and ethnic religion in Nepal. Presently, there are three main Buddhist schools; Tibetan Buddhism, Newar Buddhism and Theravada Buddhism.

Tourism is another important factor for promoting Nepali Buddhism to the world. Every year, Kathmandu can receive more than 10,000 travellers from all over the world just to visit the Boudha Chetiya and the Swayambhu Chetiya stupas. These are the remarkable and significant architect, which only found in Nepal. Apart from these two main Buddhist monuments there are hundreds of Buddhist monuments every corner of streets of Kathmandu and some other main cities of Nepal.

End of Shah Dyanasty (2006-present)

Nepal became secular country. All religion got equal opportunities to propagate according to their believe. Thus, the role the Buddhist tradition played, is playing and will play to smoothly run social, strengthen it and extend it widely from the narrow frontiers is a great thing worth appreciation.

 

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