International Monasteries in Lumbini

Currently, there are 32 Buddhist monasteries within the Lumbini Master Plan Area. One is located in New Lumbini Village, 29 are situated in the Monastic Zone, and two are found in the Sacred Garden. Notably, the World Peace Pagoda of Japan is positioned in New Lumbini Village, while Rajkiya Buddha Vihara, Nepal, and Dharmaswami Maharaja Buddha Vihara, Nepal, are situated in the Sacred Garden of the Master Plan area. These Buddhist establishments in Lumbini host religious and spiritual programs throughout the year, organizing events on a daily, occasional, or annual basis. Each monastery in Lumbini boasts unique cultural traditions and architectural features that draw visitors from around the world.

Buddhist Scriptures have their origins in the oral teachings and instructions of Lord Sakyamuni Buddha, embodying his spirit. It is believed that he preached in the Magadhi language, later recorded on palm leaves in the Pali language. Many inscriptions on Buddhist shrines are also written in Pali. During the first Buddhist Council in Rajgri, two disciples, Upali and Ananda, recited these teachings from memory. Upali recalled the entire Vinaya-pitaka, while Ananda recited the Sutta-pitaka.

The Buddhist scriptures are broadly categorized into Theravada and Mahayana canons. The Theravada school classifies these sacred scriptures into three groups, known as Tripitaka:

Vinaya-pitaka: Contains the rules of monastic order for monks and nuns.

Abhidhamma-pitaka: Includes philosophical discourses providing a theoretical framework to the Buddhist path to enlightenment.

Sutta-pitaka: Encompasses discourses on the sermons of Lord Sakyamuni Buddha or one of his main disciples.

The most comprehensive version of Tripitaka is in the Pali language, believed to be the words of Lord Sakyamuni Buddha and his major disciples, preserved in the oral tradition before being written down in the first century BC.

The Mahayana Canon also includes Tripitaka of disciplines, discourses, and dharma analysis. Mahayana sutras are believed to have been recorded by unknown authors between the first century BC and the fifth century AD. Some scholars consider these to be later interpretations with profound wisdom and spiritual values.

Currently, Theravada Buddhism is predominantly practiced in countries such as Cambodia, Thailand, Laos P.D.R., Sri Lanka, and Myanmar. Theravada adherents aim for self-enlightenment and becoming an ideal Arhat or Arahant, seeking personal nirvana for personal salvation. Mahayana Buddhism, the predominant form in various Asian countries, emphasizes rituals, ceremonies, and local cultural influences. The Vajrayana sect of Mahayana Buddhism, practiced in Nepal, Tibet, and Bhutan, follows tantric formalities, mantras, and mudras. It is estimated that around 35% of Buddhists worldwide practice Theravada, while around 54% follow Mahayana, and 4% adhere to the Vajrayana sect.

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