Buddhism in Nepal

What is the scenario of buddhism in modern Nepal. What is the population of buddhist or follower of buddhism in Nepal.  Buddhism in Nepal explained.


Buddhism is one of the major religion in Nepal. Even though demographically speaking buddhism is not the largest by population. I will explain it.

Religion In Nepal (according to 2011 census) 
Hinduism - 81.3%
Buddhism - 9.0%
Islam - 4.4%
Kiratism - 3.0%
Christianity - 1.4%
Sikhism - 0.2%
Jainism - 0.6%
Other - 0.6%

Buddha in Hinduism mythology and religious text.

As you can see hinduism is largest in population. But the thing is in Nepal hinduism and buddhism is infused together. You can see a lot of hindu people worshipping with buddhist in temples like soyambhunath stupa. This is specially common in Kathmandu valley. The reason behind this is hindu mythology consider Lord Gautam Buddha as incarnation of Lord Vishnu; ninth incarnation to be exact. In some the religious text of hinduism, it is said that, Lord Vishnu incarnates as Buddha Avatar to teach and end animal slaughter and end evilness of humanity.

History of Buddhism in Nepal

Buddha was born in Nepal in Shakya Kingdom of Kapilvastu. His formal name was Siddhartha and was born in 623 B.C. In Nepal mostly Tibeto-Burman ethnic groups like Sherpas, Tamang and Bhotia people who live in northern part of Nepal, situated near Tibet follow buddhism. Buddhism in Nepal  started its influence around the time of Ashoka through Indian and Tibetan missionaries. First adoption of this religion was done by Kirati, Licchivi, and Newari people; they embrased the teaching of Buddhas. Though in modern Nepal's mountainous and hilly area we can see shared deities as well as temples by both hindu and buddha. Unlike in other countries it is not odd to see people worshipping buddha along with hindu gods in temples of Nepal. In Nepalese Buddhism there are nine main religious text called "NAVAGRANTHA" which translates to nine dharma jewels. These text are listed below.
  • Lotus Sutra
  • Golden Light Sutra
  • Lalitavistara Sutra
  • Tathagathaguhya Sutra
  • Lankavatara Sutra
  • Samadhiraja Sutra
  • Ten Stages Sutra
  • Gandavyuha Sutra
  • Astasahasrika Prajnaparamita Sutra.

Different era of buddhism in Nepal.

PRE-LICHAVI BUDDHISM
Buddhism was first brought by emperor Ashoka. At that time he built a pillar where the buddha was born.

BUDDHISM DURING THE LICCHVI KINGDOM
This is the time period when the buddhism was flourished. Various arts and temples were built during this time period, which can still be seen today in various parts of Nepal, mostly in Kathmandu.

BUDDHISM DURING MALLA DYNASTY
Malla dynasty was the golden period of art. Various art forms like Paubha, Thangka were also developed during this time period.

BUDDHISM DURING THE RANA DYNASTY
During the autocratic Rana regime, several Theravada Buddhist were banished. Though other form of buddhism were flourishing during this time period some of the part of the culture faded away. But this was the time when the birthplace of lord Buddha was rediscovered, by the contribution of General Kadga Samsher Rana.

BUDDHISM DURING SHAH DYNASTY
This was the time period that revolutionized the Buddhism forever. Buddhism was developing in the country after the end of Rana Dynasty. That development ended up as a major religion anddifferent ethnic   group started to reunite with single belief.

MODERN NEPAL
There is a significant place for buddhism in Nepal. Everyone in the country praise buddhism including hindus.  There are three world famous buddhist schools in Nepal. They are: Tibetan Buddhism, Theravada Buddhism and Newar Buddhism. There are significant architectural sites which are certified and preserved as World Heritage Centre by UN. People from all over the world come to see the tradition and culture closely.

 

Buddhism in Nepal Buddhism in Nepal Reviewed by Author-RPD on April 05, 2019 Rating: 5

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