Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

11/26/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Shrine discovered in Maya Devi Temple at Lumbini in Nepal

A Sixth Century B.C. timber structure buried within the Maya Devi Temple at Lumbini in Nepal is now being heralded as the world's oldest Buddhist shrine. Archaeologists say that the shrine appears to have housed a tree, which links the structure to the Buddha nativity story, According to legend, Buddha's mother gave birth to him while holding on to a tree branch.

Each year, tens of thousands of Buddhists visit Lumbini, 175 miles southwest of Katmandu.

Each year, tens of thousands of Buddhists visit Lumbini, 175 miles southwest of Katmandu.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

11/26/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Asia Pacific

Keywords: Buddha, shrine, Nepal, faithful, shrine


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The discovery of the shrine may settle the dispute over the birth date of the Buddha. In the journal Antiquity, every year thousands of Buddhists make a holy pilgrimage to Lumbini which is identified as the birthplace of Siddhartha Gautama, who became the Buddha.

The exact time-line when Buddha lived has yet to be settled upon, in spite of the many texts chronicling his life and teachings. Estimates for his birth stretch as far back as 623 BC, but many scholars believed 390-340 BC a more viable time frame.

The earliest evidence of Buddhist structures at Lumbini dated no earlier than the Third Century BC, in the era of the emperor Ashoka.

Archaeologists began excavating at the heart of the temple while leaving the meditating monks, nuns and pilgrims undisturbed. A wooden structure with a central void which had no roof was unearthed. Brick temples built later above the timber were also arranged around this central space.

Fragments of charcoal and grains of sand found with the structure were tested using a combination of radiocarbon and optically stimulated luminescence techniques.

"Now, for the first time, we have an archaeological sequence at Lumbini that shows a building there as early as the 6th century BC," archaeologist Prof Robin Coningham of Durham University says.

Kosh Prasad Acharya, who teamed with archeologists from Britain's Durham University, says that Buddha is generally thought to have been born in about the sixth century B.C. at the temple site.
A pillar installed by Indian Emperor Ashok with inscriptions dating to the third century B.C. was considered to be the oldest Buddhist structure, Acharya says.

"This finding further strengthens the chronology of Buddha's life and is major news for the millions of Buddhists around the world," Acharya said in an interview.

"Very little is known about the life of the Buddha, except through textual sources and oral tradition," Durham University archaeologist Robin Coningham said in a statement. "Now, for the first time, we have an archaeological sequence at Lumbini that shows a building there as early as the sixth century B.C."

Each year, tens of thousands of Buddhists visit Lumbini, 175 miles southwest of Katmandu.
Followers believe Siddhartha, a prince, left his family and kingdom and meditated in the jungles of Nepal and India before achieving enlightenment.

A birth foretold: click here to learn more!

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for February 2015
General Intention:
That prisoners, especially the young, may be able to rebuild lives of dignity.
Missionary Intention: That married people who are separated may find welcome and support in the Christian community.



Comments


More Asia Pacific

Modern day plague: Swine flu deaths pass 800 in India Watch

Image of A lack of knowledge about swine flu in India is helping to stoke panic.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

There is heightened concern - if not outright panic at the alarming cases of swine flu being reported in India. At least 800 known people have died of the disease, and medical authorities there are struggling to contain the current outbreak. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Would you spend two months on a train? World's largest railway opens in China Watch

Image of China has opened a railroad that runs to Spain, in order to bring cheap goods to Europe faster and cheaper.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

China has successfully built and tested the world's largest railway line, sending a cargo train on a 16,156-mile round trip to Spain and back. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The train arrived with cheap goods and returned with expensive olive oil during the ... continue reading


At nearly $305 million, Gauguin becomes most expensive painting of all time Watch

Image of The painting depicts two young women wearing brilliant colors before a landscape. One is in native dress, the other in a colonial, missionary style dress.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A Paul Gauguin oil painting of two Tahitian girls, staring out into space with questioning glances, appropriately entitled "Nafea Faa Ipoipo" or "When Will You Marry?" has gone on to become this world's single most expensive painting. The nation of Qatar bought ... continue reading


Climate change disasters forcing Indian parents to sell children into slavery Watch

Image of Uprooted by climate-related disasters, many Indian children are tricked, forced into prostitution or forced labor.

By Nita Bhalla, Thomson Reuters Foundation

Disasters resulting from climate change are pushing poor Indian families into poverty so deep that they are lured by traffickers into selling their children into bonded labor or prostitution, Nobel Peace Laureate Kailash Satyarthi said on Thursday. NEW DELHI ... continue reading


Name and shame: Smartphones join the forceful battle against sexual harassment in India Watch

Image of In India, there were 309,546 crimes against women reported to the police in 2013, up from 244,270 the previous year, according to the National Crime Records Bureau.

By Nita Bhalla, Thomson Reuters Foundation

Indian women armed with Smartphone's are using the influence of social media to fight sexual harassment by filming and publicly shaming men who molest them as greater awareness of violence against women spreads. NEW DELHI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - In the ... continue reading


Terrifying TransAsia plane crash, caught on tape, adds to the list of fatal Asian air tragedies Watch

Image of A TransAsia Airways ATR 72-600 crashes into a Taipei river, killing at least 26 with 17 still missing.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

26 people are reported dead after a TransAsia Airways airplane crashes into the Keelung River. Following its takeoff from the Taiwanese capital Taipei, the plane clipped its wing on a bridge. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The terrifying crash, that leaves 17 ... continue reading


Angry North Korea makes first credible threat to U.S. in decades, officials alarmed Watch

Image of North Korea has vowed to annihilate that United States because of remarks made by President Obama.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

North Korea is up to its old and familiar tricks, threatening to attack the United States with nuclear weapons and cyber attacks, and rejecting any further negotiations. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - These threats appear to be a desperate act of retaliation ... continue reading


Lake Baikal, one of world's biggest freshwater sources, falls to lowest level in 60 years Watch

Image of Lake Baikal stretches for 400 miles through southeastern Siberia, north of the Mongolian border.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Lake Baikal in Siberia, one of world's biggest freshwater sources is currently at its lowest levels in 60 years. A hydroelectric station is being blamed for the "excessive drainage" of the lake's resources. Communities in the surrounding area are under a state ... continue reading


Indian child workers rescued from illegal 'sweatshops' that make bangles Watch

Image of Police said the children were mainly from the states of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh in northeastern India, and those traffickers had given their impoverished parents 5,000 rupees ($80) as payment for the children.

By Nita Bhalla, Thomson Reuters Foundation

Police in a series of early morning raids in the southern city of Hyderabad rescued hundreds of Indian children trafficked and enslaved to make bangles. NEW DELHI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Police found 87 children - mostly boys and some as young as 6 years ... continue reading


China's generosity is welcome - and very worrying Watch

Image of China then announced the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and launched the Silk Road Fund, backed by yet another development bank. While none has begun operating, China has pledged more than $140 billion to these new institutions.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Asian powerhouse of China has risen to the occasion to grant cash loans to strapped nations. China's purse strings are loose, and many of its loans immediately help the needs of ailing nations. While this has taken some of the pressure off the International ... continue reading


All Asia Pacific News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Ezekiel 18:21-28
21 'If the wicked, however, renounces all the sins he ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 130:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8
1 [Song of Ascents] From the depths I call to you, ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 5:20-26
20 'For I tell you, if your uprightness does not ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for February 27th, 2015 Image

St. Leander of Seville
February 27: St. Leander of Seville, Bishop (Feast - February 27th) Leander ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter