Hotel Shanker Lazimpat Kathmandu 44600 Nepal

Now, Nepal has to make an urgent inventory of what it has to offer to attract the waiting hundreds of millions of Chinese Mahayana Buddhists. Lumbini, the birthplace of Buddha and Buddhism, is no doubt the number one draw, and the sooner that long-delayed international (or, regional, whatever the case may be, it doesn’t matter) airport is completed, the better. Listen up people, it would be a good idea to acquire property around that area, if you are interested in some solid investment. Imagine a lakh or two Chinese Buddhists coming in every other month to Lumbini, and it all makes excellent sense. Now, let’s delve a bit into Mahayana Buddhism and what we have here. One section of the Lumbini Gardens is the Mahayana Monastic Zone, where you will find many striking structures made by different countries. These include Dharmodaya Sabha, with a bahal (courtyard), gumba (monastery), and stupa, like those of a typical Nepali monastery complex; the Manang Stup, constructed by Buddhists of Manang district, which reflects Tibetan Buddhism style; the Korean monastery, the Vietnamese monastery, and further on, monasteries built by French and Austrian Buddhists. Also present is the Japanese monastery, the Ladakh monastery, and two German monasteries. And, yes, you will also find the China Temple (Chinese monastery) here, with similar architecture as seen in Tinanmen Square in Beijing. So, these are great attractions that need to be fully highlighted through strong, interesting, and consistent promotion. Here’s an interesting paragraph I came across on some online site: “Mahayana Buddhism in South Asia died out in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries CE…Theravada Buddhism flourished in Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia. But the Newars’ Buddhism is the only surviving remnant of the Sanskrit-based, Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism of South Asia. They are the only Buddhists in the world whose scriptures are still in Sanskrit…The Newars’ Buddhism is therefore of world-historical importance, and the old royal cities of Nepal – Kathmandu, Lalitpur (Patan), and Bhaktapur – which form its centres are quite rightly UNESCO-designated World Heritage sites.” So, this means there’s plenty more for all those millions of Chinese Mahayana Buddhists to see in Nepal, particularly in Kathmandu Valley, particularly if they are interested in all things to do with Mahayana Buddhism. For them, Hiranya Varna Mahavihar, the Golden Temple is a prime destination, where they will be able to pay homage at the Ratna Chaitya Swayambhu Stupa, and to Guru Vajrasattva and Pragya Paramita (holy scripture), as well as to the gods Amoghapasha Lokeshwara, Arya Tara, Vajrabir Mahakala, Namasangiti, and the four Lokeshwaras. Buddhism in its entirety is too complex a subject to be understood at a single go, but the fundamentals are easy enough to understand. It is also easy enough to understand that Nepal’s Lumbini and Kathmandu Valley hold the answers to many of the questions a Buddhist may be harboring. This includes those of different traditions, including Mahayana, and what is most important to understand, from a tourist point of view, is that the hundreds of millions of followers of Mhayan Buddhism in China could well be the answer to Nepal’s tourism woes.


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