Where was the Buddha born?
To hear many Indians talk, you’d think it was India, where he attained enlightenment and gave his first sermon.
But the people of Nepal know better — and they are eager to correct misconceptions about the Awakened One, considered one of the world’s most revered figures.
Next month, Nepal will circulate a new 100-rupee note with the imprint, “Lumbini: The Birthplace of Lord Buddha.” The currency is part of the government’s most recent effort to correct the record.
It comes amid protests following a promotional video on the private Indian channel Zee TV, which claimed the Buddha was born in India.
Zee TV corrected the error, but Nepal Cable TV Association blocked the channel when the new series on the life of Buddha premiered last week. The association’s chairman described the move as a way to prevent possible unrest in the country, which is predominantly Hindu but proud of its Buddhist heritage.
Most scholars agree that Buddha was born in 623 B.C. in the sacred area of Lumbini located in the plains of southern Nepal. An inscription on a pillar erected by the Mauryan Emperor Ashoka in 249 B.C. testifies to it.
Still the misconception persists.