Was Buddha Born in Nepal?

buddha-head

A golden statue of Buddha. Stock photo copyright Morten Svenningsen. Click image to see more Buddha photos, calculate a price and buy

A controversial question here in Nepal. Or rather, the answer is controversial: Was Buddha born in Nepal?

Some time last year, I had the pleasure of participating in an online debate about the subject, and I had the honour of being banned from the discussion because I pointed out that Nepal didn’t exist at the time of Buddha’s birth. And now again, the question has flared up here. Last week, there were street demonstrations because the newest Bollywood hit-movie, “Chandni Chowk to China”, had the nerve of narrating something like “India, the birthplace of Buddha”.

I heard about the demonstrations here in Kathmandu, but thought it would be too silly to go and cover the event. In stead, I’ve jotted down this brief outline of Nepal’s history. I don’t claim to be a historic scholar when it comes to Nepal, but I have read a few books about the country – and lived here for a number of years now. I think it would be a healthy exercise for some Nepalese to learn their countries history. Not the self-glorifying stuff they learn in school and which is probably the basis of the recent demonstration, perhaps also of other misconceptions such as “Nepal belongs mostly to the Brahman cast, who have build Nepal, secured it’s integrity and founded it’s culture for centuries, if not millennia.”

So ok, here it comes :
A Very Brief Outline of Nepal’s History
Focusing on the birth of Buddha and of the nation

The first sign of life in what is now Nepal was some pre-human figure living in the area more than 100.000 years ago. Ancient tools has also been found in the Kathmandu Valley, dating back 30.000 years. Many Nepalese, it would seem, would like to trace their history back to this time.

That would be an act of fantasy more than anything else.

The first sort of civilizations settling in the area were probably the Kirati/Kirantis. About 9-8-700 years BC, this Mongolian race of people somehow drifted into the area, most likely from the East somewhere. The Indo-Aryan race were already in place, down in present-day India, where they have settled perhaps some 500 years earlier. It was later in this epoch that Buddha was born in what is now Lumbini, Nepal, but at that time were an independent sort of “kingdom” in which his father allegedly played a leading role, perhaps even was King. But this “kingdom” wasn’t called “Nepal”, rather, it was the “kingdom of the Shakyas” or perhaps referred to by the name of it’s capital, Kapilvastu. The Shakyas (the clan to whom the Buddha belonged) must have been an Indo-Aryan tribe, the name “Shakya” being of Sanskrit origin rather than from the Tibeto-Burman language group, used by the Kirantis.

So ok, Buddha wasn’t born in Nepal. Simply due to the fact that Nepal didn’t exist at the time of his birth. But when did Nepal come into existence? Well, this is a can of worms, but actually, I’d like to open it!

There is some speculation that the word “Nepal”, is derived from Kiranti times, those people allegedly also referred to as the Nep people… But I’m not sure about it and I don’t think anybody really knows where the word comes from. I would have thought it had some etymological link to “Pali”, the language spoken at that time. Perhaps “New Pali” could have become “Ne-Pali”… But that’s my own hypothesis, and I haven’t seen anything to back it up. The first written reference I’ve heard of is a Chinese document from much later, 7th century, referring to “Ni Po Lo”… The funny thing though is that the word “Nepal” was just used to refer to the Kathmandu Valley, not the country, until the 1930’s! So clearly, the country Nepal is older than that. It was for instance recognized as an independent country by the British in 1816 in the Treaty of Sagauli, following a Nepalese defeat to the East Indian Company. But clearly, we can’t establish the birth-year of Nepal by ways of finding the origin of it’s name.

So getting back to the historical account, Buddhism survived for some hundreds of years and then, during the great Indian king Ashoka (~250 BC) spread far and wide, including to Nepal.

The Charumati Stupa in Kathmandu.

The Charumati Stupa in Kathmandu. Stock photo copyright Morten Svenningsen. Click image to see more, get a price / purchase...

Certain monuments in Kathmandu are accredited to his name, including the Charumati stupa, named after his daughter, a few minutes walk from where I’m presently sitting. His empire spanned much of present day India, Pakistan and supposedly also Nepal. While it was probably not a state by modern definitions, his religious teachings must have affected the Kirantis in the Valley, who now started to practice Buddhism. Buddhism lived on in Nepal until the 13th century, but around the beginning of the first millennium, Hinduism started to spread into Nepal. Eventually the old Buddhist traditions faded away and today, Buddhism in Nepal is of the imported Tibetan variety.

The Kirantis eventually drew back, out of Kathmandu, towards the north-east, but the present day Newar community are probably some of their descendents, speaking a Tibeto-Burman language completely unrelated to Nepali. Other descendents are the Rai and Limbu casts. The Newars of today practice a religion that some of them regard as Buddhism, others as Hinduism.

The 3rd and 4th century saw a new wave of influence spread into Nepal, when the India-based Licchavis came up from the South and took power of the Kathmandu Valley and beyond. It was a Hindu culture and they ruled the place until about the 8th century.

So can this be said to be the birth of Nepal? Clearly, their Shiva-centric form of Hinduism dominates up till present day. But many other kingdoms existed on what is today Nepalese territory, the Licchavis sticking mainly to the Kathmandu / Nepal Valley. And as we shall see later, it wasn’t their line of heritage that eventually survived to become modern Nepal. Their influence faded away after the 8th century and the more indigenous Newars eventually took control of the Valley around year 1200.

kathmandu-durbar-square

The Kathmandu Durbar Square with the Malla-style pagoda and the Rana-style white palace in the back. Stock photo copyright Morten Svenningsen. Click to buy

The new Newar rulers took the name “Malla”, started an urbanized civilization and founded and built some of the famous landmarks of the Nepal tri-city area, Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur (a.k.a. Kasthamandap, Lalitpur and Bhadgaon). Outside the Valley, a migration of “Khasa” people were slowly moving in from the west, perhaps of Eurasian decent. Although they also assumed the “Malla” name, their empire was quite different. They spoke a different language and were Indo-Aryans, as opposed to the Newar’s Mongolian roots. The Malla period saw great cultural developments, and they instituted the divine rule, where the King was regarded as a reincarnation of Vishnu. This divine rule continued, somewhat interrupted, until King Gyanendra was ousted by “the people’s movement” in 2006. But even the Mallas had their problem securing their conquests. By now Muslims had invaded parts of India and they were also conducting raids on the Valley - as were the “other Mallas” (the Khasas). A third flow of people were now also starting to settle in the hills, namely the Indian Rajputs, fleeing the Muslim invaders in Rajasthan (present day India).

But eventually, both the Newar Mallas’ and the Khasa Mallas’ kingdoms fell from power and it was one of the Rajput refugee families who eventually conquered Nepal Valley and other territories.


Conquest or “Unification”?

Statue of Prithvi Narayan Shah, first king of Nepal, in front of Singa Durbar parliament

Statue of Prithvi Narayan Shah, first king of Nepal, in front of Singa Durbar parliament. Supporters of the monarchy are having a little get-together below the statue. Stock photo copyright Morten Svenningsen, click to buy

In 1768, the Gorkha King Prithvi Narayan Shah, a 9th generation Rajput refugee, conquered Kathmandu, the rest of Nepal Valley and many other weaker kingdoms in what is present day Nepalese territory. This is something, by the way, that Nepalese school children learn as “the great unification of Nepal”. And of course the word “unification” implies that, somehow, Nepal already existed, although in a shattered form. But honestly, there is not much to support such a claim and it must be seen as an attempt to glorify nationalistic sentiments, more than based on historical facts. The Gorkhali conquerors brought with them the Nepali language from their Khasa allies, today known as chhetris, and the defeated Newari Mallas could do nothing but to accept loosing their throne.

At this point in history, I would say, Nepal is starting to emerge as a proper country. But it wasn’t known as “Nepal” at that time, but rather as “Gorkha”! I don’t think many young Nepalese people are aware of this fact.

But to conclude this little history lesson quickly, the Shah kings (and queens) continued to rule for some 70 years. As Manjushree Thapa puts it in her book, “they were either underage, inept, insane or all three”. On average, each of them ruled for 6-7 years before being de-throne’d in some palace intrigue. Enter the Rana’s – a powerful family who decided to take charge. They lasted about a hundred years until the King made an exile-comeback trick in 1951. Then follows 55 years of Monarchy-versus-Democracy until the King scored an own goal and got tentatively sacked in 2006 - and permanently sacked last year, in 2008.

King Gyanendra. The last Shah God-king to rule Nepal. Photo taken in transition period where he was a king without power. He turned up late at night at a religious event, and while driving away his motorcade was stoned. Funny detail is that the sweater he's wearing is of the brand ''Trespasser'' !Photo copyright Morten Svenningsen.

King Gyanendra. The last Shah God-king to rule Nepal. Photo taken in transition period where he was a king without power. He turned up late at night at a religious event, and while driving away his motorcade was stoned. Funny detail is that the sweater he's wearing is of the brand "Trespasser"!

Maoist rebel leader Pushpa Kamal Dahal "Prachanda", the new man in the driver's seat, surrounded by bodyguards and press photographers. This photo was taken on the day when he emerged from the underground - he had been in hiding for 25 years and some people thought his existence was just another myth!

Maoist rebel leader Pushpa Kamal Dahal "Prachanda", the new man in the driver's seat, surrounded by bodyguards and press photographers. This photo was taken on the day when he emerged from the underground - he had been in hiding for 25 years and some people thought his existence was just another myth! Photo copyright Morten Svenningsen.

So Nepal is still “a work in progress”. Currently, the rulers’d’jour are supposedly putting together a constitution for what they call “New Nepal”. They talk a lot about their independence and sovereignty, but they conveniently forget that they are totally dependent on foreign aid, their currency is locked to the ups and downs of the Indian rupee, the integrity of their border is fairly loose, there isn’t really law and order in the country, and most people aren’t taxed. It’s interesting, because these things are normally things considered the bricks of a independent nation.

So in strict sense, I suppose, “Nepal” is still not even one year old!

Well, ok, perhaps that’s going a step too far, just like to be a little controversial tonight!

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If you haven’t had enough yet, here’s some books I’ve enjoyed reading. Click to have a look:

55 Responses to “Was Buddha Born in Nepal?”

  1. Its always fascinating to read about nepal from an outsiders perspective. Couple of years and few books. I kind of enjoyed this reading but didnt thrilled me. I dont know if many of nepali youth about their history but i’m preety sure they do. From their patronizing school books if nothing else.

    Well where this discussion started was about Buddha’s birth country. Well let me give you a brief thought. about 2560 years ago there was no Nepal, as you’ve already mentioned. So, i think it would be more appropriate to call it Buddha’s birth place Lumbini, which is present-day-Nepal, like you’ve mentioned present-day-India for Lichhavis. I think that would pretty much do the justice. Unless somebody was to mark the territory for then Sakya Kingdom and go somewhat extreme which wouldnt make sense.

  2. Hi Dorje,

    sorry you wasn’t thrilled ;-) But then again, it’s history. “Present-day-Nepal” sounds good to me!

  3. Morten,

    I applaud your curiosity and a somewhat successful attempt to gain an insight sufficient enough to write about Nepal, in the short span of your 3 years stay here. Your above article “Was Buddha Born in Nepal?” was, however, not successful in answering the very question it was meant to answer until Mr. Dorje here explained that Buddha was born in Present day Nepal.

    It seemed to me like you are trying to raise controversy here just for controversy’s sake. You know for fact that when Buddha was born, there was no such thing as Nepal and India, but just numerous loosely ruled kingdoms all over. Thus, you knowing that Buddha was born in Present day Nepal and asking the question again just for controversy’s sake seems like a little too redundant and unnecessary to me.

    The “TONE” of your whole attempt to educate Nepali people about the history of nepal seems to me, driven by a egotistic patronizing attitude rather than a sincere passion (which no doubt you possess ,just doesn’t shine through the tone of your article). May be just changing the title of your article to something meaningful and deservedly non-controversial would create a synergy here.

  4. Hi Kamal,

    thanks for your comment here.

    Redundant and unnecessary, you say? Tell that to the people who blocked the streets and threw bricks because of the question! That was actually what I reacted to!

    Well, I’ll give it to you. I did try to drum up the controversy a bit here! And yes, parts of it are clearly patronizing. I guess I felt it was the best way to make a point. Since it’s a personal blog, not a scientific paper, I didn’t feel there was anything wrong with it.

    If there’s any egoistic motives here, there might be, they come from frustrations. Frustrations about the conditions in Nepal and the way symbolic things like this seems to get more attention than “real” things. I have a strong desire to see Nepal emerge as a great place to live. Some real improvements would be nice. Can’t use dreams for anything. So successful or not, it was my humble attempt to stir things up and get on with it.

    Hope it makes sense. Thanks again, appreciate your interest!

  5. hey morten is that your name.. from which proof did you found buddha was not born in nepal… you better think thousand times before you write any thing nonsense like this.. you hopeless guy…

  6. Hey Eric, I agree that one of us is probably hopeless. You must have missed my point: Buddha was born thousands of years before Nepal came into existence. Nepal had nothing to do with Buddha’s birth. Buddha’s father was king of an independent country. That was not Nepal. Only thousand of years later, the area was subdued under the rule of “Nepal Valley” (Kathmandu)… Get a history book if you don’t believe me.

  7. Hi morten,
    i was going through your blog. actually i didn’t get your point. what are trying to say and prove? are you trying to say buddha was born in europe or Americas or on some other planet? when we study history, we are told that there was no countries and continents before. even a 6 grade kid knows this. what’s a catch there. Strong emperor emerged and claimed the soil as they owned and named it a name. now, buddha was born in Lumbini(place is called lumbini now, don;t know whether it had some other name before the birth of buddha). but as present history, lumbini is in Nepal. therefore We can say Buddha was born in land presently known as a part Great Nepal. I hope this clearify your concern.

  8. i don understand what you are trying to say!!!
    there are so many proves of it!!!
    there is a saying a big fish tries to eat a small one”
    heel, don know whats ur enemity..
    everyone knows the fact…
    don be bias..

  9. n ya i proudly say..
    budda was born in nepal….

  10. again could not stop myself …
    hell if you don know history then listen here…
    i don undrestand …there are so many things you brought up here n you are trying to prove about the gautam budda and his birth place….seriously!!1 i am hating it!!!
    if you don know lumbini is a place where gautam buddha was born, again give some time for yourself and get some research for your self..not for the world to belive, but for yourself to understand…
    lumbini is situated at the foothills of the himalays in nepal…king suddodhana ,father of gautam buddha was of the shakya dynasty,belonging to kshatriya or the warrior caste of nepal..her mother maya devi gave birth to her child on the way to her parents home in devadeha9 a place of nepal) at the month of may in the year 642 bc ( based on nepali calendar)
    still, each and every places are preserved.. n hence has many prooves…
    JAYA NEPAL..
    lets nepali be united…

  11. again could not stop myself …
    hell if you don know history then listen here…
    i don undrestand …there are so many things you brought up here n you are trying to prove about the gautam budda and his birth place….seriously!!1 i am hating it!!!
    if you don know lumbini is a place where gautam buddha was born, again give some time for yourself and get some research for your self..not for the world to belive, but for yourself to understand…
    lumbini is situated at the foothills of the himalays in nepal…king suddodhana ,father of gautam buddha was of the shakya dynasty,belonging to kshatriya or the warrior caste of nepal..her mother maya devi gave birth to her child on the way to her parents home in devadeha9 a place of nepal) at the month of may in the year 642 bc ( based on nepali calendar)
    still, each and every places are preserved.. n hence has many prooves…
    JAYA NEPAL..
    lets nepali be united…

  12. so, lets us be honoured to listen where was gautam budda born?

  13. so, lets us be honoured by listening where was gautam budda born?

  14. Glad to get these comments, which proves my point that a lot of people, Nepalis I guess(?), just don’t get the facts straight and mix facts up with emotions such as pride, hate, patriotism an honour.

    DJ, where do you study history? There was indeed countries and certainly continents before Nepal came into existence. It was in one such country Buddha was born. Don’t extort my words, where did I say anything about Buddha being born in America? USA, as well, did not exist at that time.

    Buddha was born in a place that today is inside Nepal. That’s not the same as saying he was born in Nepal. Sorry if the truth hurts someone’s feelings here. Ke Garne? Interesting with all the feelings though, lol.

  15. Well,
    Thanks for contributing in bringing Nepalese together for a good cause. I believe they can now be collective and create sufficient power to wake up some little-knowledge-is-dangerous type people.
    Its true the identity of Nepal was not there when Buddha was born, but there were people at that time whose decedent are still living here at Nepal and are contribute in creating a good country.
    I believe you were not born when your father was born….or are you? so, can i say he is not your father?
    Likely, Buddha was born before Nepal but he is our family.

    ( i will come back soon), i am giving you time to read the history we created and think if you have processing unit.

  16. Morten,
    even earth formed after a piece broke and detached from some planet. Is it sensible to say we aren’t living on the earth? If you consider ‘yes’ the answer for the question, you are disproving yourself from being a human. You see how things can go wrong because of a single misconception. The U.N. inscribed Lumbini, Nepal as the world heritage in 1997 because Buddha’s birth took place here (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/666).

  17. BUDDHA WAS BORN IN ‘KAPILVASTU’ WHICH IS A PART OF PRRESENT DAY NEPAL. There, that concludes it!

  18. Let’s hope so ;-) thanks

  19. dont be shy??haha??what do u think m shy?no,never………………..oh u,listen me..do u think we dont know history..what do u know about nepalese history..dont be oversmart..u people are always wrong..budhha was born in nepal means he was born in nepal..that’s finish..and u people cannot find buddha was born in nepal after more research further,better go to hell…there is ur place for research…or u want to write such naughty things…write in nepalese newspaper with ur address..i will make u proud of it….plz visit nepla again and write in nepalese newspaper..plz..so i will make u proud..will u na??

  20. ther is may proof about buddha born in nepal & i have read many book about boddha & as nepali citizen i’ve heard From my Childhood.
    we should not confuse & raise controversy about it.
    if some people create controversy but we
    should known that

    nobody can change history…………………………

  21. hi martin or morten or whatever……
    (how do you feel if i call your name like this)…its the same feeling we all nepalese people feel when they try to prove our identity)

    .i am reaaly upset that people like you exist in this world. For the sake of fame and money people like you go to any extent …and you just shut your crap and go back to your country…you have no right to go through our history and tell us that we nepalese people dont have any idea about our history who the hell are you to teach our history…..on behalf of your this blog we all nepelase people can sue you and can even cancel your photography licence……so dont even try to play with our centiments upon our feelings…
    You are trying to put a question on our patrotism our national feelings….
    so be aware next time when you think of publishing this kind of article…….

  22. Hi Saroj, some call me morten, some martin. I dont really care… sorry that you’re so upset. you make a lot of hasty judgements there. You don’t believe in freedom of speech? I’ll write any god damn thing I please, when i believe it needs to be said. Like this: Buddha renounced his kingdom. Can anything me more anti-patriotic? Now guys like you connect Buddha with patriotism. Perhaps time to get things straight? Try to cancel my photography licence?… Good luck dude.

    Anybody here want to discuss seriously, please just answer this: When was Nepal born? Before or after Buddha’s birth? That’s the core of this little piece…

  23. hi morten,
    sorry for the ahsty judgement about you and how so you feel…actually i was trying to provoke your feelings and was trying to play with your sentiments and i think i have well acheived it….
    As you say your own word freedom of speech…I’ll write any god damn thing I please, when i believe it needs to be said…..this lines are yours….
    KNOW YOU BEING A JOURNALIST DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA ABOUT CONSENT….DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA ABOUT DISCRIMINATION…..YOU TALK ABOUT FREEDOM OF SPEECH…NOW CAN I SAY THAT FREEDOM OF SPEECH DOESN’T MEAN YOU CAN SAY OR WRITE WHAT EVER YOU LIKE AGAINST ANY CASTE CREED , RACE GENDER, CULTURE,INDIVIDUAL PERSON, ……i think you have breeched all this rule by saying” They talk a lot about their independence and sovereignty, but they conveniently forget that they are totally dependent on foreign aid, their currency is locked to the ups and downs of the Indian rupee, the integrity of their border is fairly loose, there isn’t really law and order in the country, and most people aren’t taxed. It’s interesting, because these things are normally things considered the bricks of a independent nation.”
    you think that we people are crippled we have nothing who are you to point out all these points about our country and i will tell you that by saying this you have played with our emotion……..now you say that…’Now guys like you connect Buddha with patriotism.’ why do you say all these foolish things…….

  24. ‘mornin saroj. sorry if i misunderstood you, thought you were talking about the buddha thing…

    Where I normally draw the line reg. Freedom of Speech is libel and slander. Not peoples emotions. But this piece doesn’t even come close to any of those things. Where do yo disagree with the points you quote? they are pretty common knowledge:

    1) Nepal is totally dependent on foreign aid
    2) Nepal’s currency is locked to the ups and downs of the Indian rupee
    3) Nepal’s integrity of their border is fairly loose
    4) In Nepal there isn’t really law and order
    5) In Nepal most people aren’t taxed.

    You have a lot of good things in Nepal. A strong state just isn’t one of them.

    Also, might I say, IF JOURNALISM REQUIRED CONSENT, like you apparently ask for, CRITICAL JOURNALISM WOULDN’T EXIST - an important “4th estate” in democracy. Nepal could use more critical journalism to get rid of corruption.

    thanks for the talk

  25. I was born in Nepal or current-day-Nepal , please feel free to choose between those two names for my birthplace. I’d not say anything against Mr. Morten since I didn’t feel offended by his post, I’d applaud his effort on the research definitely.
    Nepalese are peace-loving people and unless some cabbagef**ker tries to step on their toes they won’t take action without reason.
    About the protests in Nepal :
    Recently, India knowingly tried to spread false information that I was born in India. Look at Google Maps, it shows Lumbini but says Lumbini is in Uttar Pradesh, India. That was a No-No.
    “Chadni Chowk To China” the movie was banned in Nepal since in the movie there was false info about me being born in India.
    The biggest and most unacceptable thing is that India has constructed a Fake Kapilvastu, yes, A Fake One. Why does India have to go to that extent ? The Nepalese have never tried to make fake Taj Mahal or watever shit India has, then why is India adding oil to the fire ?

    I hope the above statements justify the reasons for protests in Nepal and also over the Internet. Whether it was ancient Nepal or today’s Nepal, I was born in Nepal but not in India in any way. Nepal depends on other countries but it is definitely unethical for other countries to take advantage from Nepal because of that.

    Have a good day everybody.
    I was born in Nepal NOT in India. Period.

    Yo man ta mero Nepali ho
    Buddha Shakya
    Lumbini, Nepal
    Citizenship No. : 0494432

  26. As a matter of fact you are correct in all aspects of nepal…i Agree that our country doesnt have any of all these things….ok its fine but one thing keep in your mind that we dont look back we still hope for the best and and do our best to improve our country, we still have the heart which still is recognise in the world as the heart of lion despite of all these odds we nepalese people will make you realise that we are not dependent…….so as per your part your article ” was buddha born in nepal” plays a boon in disguise to awake people and i will like to thank you for this…….and will like to apologies you if there was any personal misunderstanding between me and you,,,,…..
    thank you

  27. Well then according to your argument Prithivi Narayan Shah was not nepali because he was not born in Nepal but in gurkha at the time of his birth. So according to your idea prithivi narayan shah can be said as an indian king who unified.
    This proves that you argument is a B.S!!. You might also say Ram Shah was not nepali because nepal did not exist at the time of his birth.
    The other thing is that you said was about race with is a total fallacy.Nepal was and is a multiracial country with Indo Aryans ans Mongolian race. Ok people migrated here from china and india and i agree that Buddha was a indo aryan. but this does mean in any way that he was indian. I am a indo aryan race and i am a neplese.
    The other thing you said was about that one point in time buddhism had replaced hinduism in nepal. Let me tell you that there is no specific relligion as hindu relligion. The name Hindu was given by british poeople to define the relligion followed in indian subcontinent. And I have met buddhist people who beleive that buddha was incarnation of Vishnu. Though buddhism in nepal also exist which is from tibetian culture.

  28. Oh get over it for fucks sake WHOS give a shit… Nepalis are HINDUS not buddhists(well some are mostly the tibetians) SO FORGET IT. Just something nepalis want to have to prove they are better than Indians. And dont say im racist cos my very own husband is nepalese and i am Indian. And even he agrees with me..whos give a crap!

  29. u had told that Nepal does not exist at the time of Bhuddha born,,,,u are trying to say that Nepal was part of India,,,,,do remember,,,,Pakistan,,comes from India,,,,,,,,,then y are u not likes that Pakistan lies in India,,K2 lies in India,,,?

  30. Dear sir,

    Please let me ask u 1 question,
    where r u born?

    n ur answer will
    some country name.

    Bt if your’s country’s land is taken by some other brave native country then your citizenship will be changed from the older one.
    am i right.

    Now the question will arised in your mind……. which country’s citizen should be i called……
    then the answer for sure is “…..the new country” coz’ all your citizen certification now belongs to new country, so again a new question will arise to our mind, does this stuff shud be taken to debate or any discussions…?????

    Pls pls mister what ever you got the historic pilgrims or what so ever this is creating just only headache…..

  31. Huh?

    I was born in Denmark. The country is about 1000 years old. Close to where I live there are some 5000 year old constructions, but I don’t go around saying those people who build them were Danish.

    Or said another way.

    Lets say you are born in Nepal. And lets say, for arguments sake, that China takes over Nepal tomorrow. Would you then say that you were born in China? Or present-day China? I would think most people would still say they are born in Nepal, just like many Tibetans still say they are born in Tibet.

    I can’t tell you what Buddha would say if he was still alive. Probably he wouldn’t care. Personally I just find it a stretch to say that he was born in Nepal, since the country didn’t exist at that time.

    Sorry to give you headache, Chakra.

  32. Hey Morten thanks for the info, and for the tolerance (mostly).
    Everybody knows that Buddha was born in Kapilvastu which is in modern day Nepal, except for jingoistic Indians who have to create insensible controversies about neighbouring countries time and again in all matters from culture to politics, take their hilarious effort to restore Nepal to a Hindu nation by playing different political and religious tricks for instance.
    Nepal, like almost any other country, was created with a long series of merging, expansion, division,etc to the present day and the same might happen in the future. Nepal was divided into various independent states (baisey and chaubisey) before it got united into one nation, gradually. Prithvi Narayan Shah was born in Gorkha which in itself was an independent state, but you just can’t say that Prithvi Narayan Shah was not Nepali, or not born in Nepal. Same goes with Sita from the Ramayan tale or Araniko. Just like you can’t say Asoka was not born in India, because India was not a sovereign nation when he was born. And Mahatma Gandhi was a Brit the most of his life.
    And suppose after 30 years the Nepali maoists take over the whole of south asia and the states of India are districts of Nepal(yes), you could as well say that Buddha died in Nepal, or you would name the state’s name and say that it lies in modern day Nepal. India would not be mentioned anywhere, same as nobody mentioned any Kirat state Kapilvastu lied in before the Shakya rule. It would be pointless, much like the banned movie. And the best thing would be to be content of the fact that you’re right. If not, you might as well question the Struggle for existence or the Big Bang, we’ve not seen it and we weren’t there.
    “A controversial question here in Nepal. Or rather, the answer is controversial.” No, neither the question nor the answer is controversial back in Nepal, unless you try to make it. One thing YOU can’t do is you can’t change history, or destroy the architectural/historical findings.
    ” I think it would be a healthy exercise for some Nepalese to learn their countries history. ”
    This is what I call egoistic nonsense bullshit coming from google fed east european(sorry but you are a true ass for telling this crap, nobody from any country would tolerate this coming from a foreigner. We don’t tell you people how you need to learn that drugs are bad for you and your pitiful sisters are whores fucking drunk Canadians for money to buy crystal meth in Amsterdam. sorry again but if would be nonsense say the revolution and demonstrations were bad, they were for the good of the people as far as most of Nepalese people think(duh!, the fucking election) )
    “Prithvi Narayan Shah, a 9th generation Rajput refugee”
    what the fuck?!?!?
    “I don’t think many young Nepalese people are aware of this fact.” just like many young Americans don’t know what the red indians called the fucking place they lived in.
    “Funny detail is that the sweater he’s wearing is of the brand “Trespasser”- how the hell did you manage to notice that?
    “They talk a lot about their independence and sovereignty, but they conveniently forget that they are totally dependent on foreign aid, their currency is locked to the ups and downs of the Indian rupee, the integrity of their border is fairly loose, there isn’t really law and order in the country, and most people aren’t taxed. It’s interesting, because these things are normally things considered the bricks of a independent nation.” - true except the first one which is hilarious. How could a country of reasonable size TOTALLY DEPEND ON FOREIGN AID??? And NEPAL??? what the fuck? Foreign aid doesnt even compensate a fraction of the country’s economy, so piss off. Or don’t.
    “So in strict sense, I suppose, “Nepal” is still not even one year old!” - yeah, just like you think Osama Bin Laden is the President of US, Jesus Christ is not born yet and you are the weed supplier of Snoop Dogg, right? fucking controversies.
    anyways, you put up a preety good article, not considering your lack of knowledge and thoroughness in the topic, and a somewhat biased/forcefully controversiased(?) inclination. I suppose it was because of the your annoyance towards some degenerate species of Kathmanduties, I know, but they are from the exact opposite cultural background from yours and you are not at all entitle to tell them how much patriotic they should be, or what their curriculum must contain. I don’t know a lot of facts, but I am sure they collectively know a lot lot more than you. Also, third world/developing countires do exist and Nepal is not the only one. Telling how much the development sucks is no help. Neither is useless foreign aids.
    Anyway, Buddha WAS BORN IN NEPAL.
    Good attempt from your side, and sorry for the arrogant/ignorant posters here. Some people like sohil poudel and others are the reason why I sometime happen to disgrace Nepal. Thank you for reading.

  33. Hi guyfrompluto.

    Thanks for your lenghty remarks. Too much for me to go into all the details now, I’ll just say I respect your opinions and sorry for being condensending in a couple of paragraphs. It was meant as a friendly kick in the arse, to stir debate. Guess it worked…

  34. Hi,

    Interesting to read everyones comments some good some very abusive….I think we all can have our say without being rude. I do not understand why lot of you are so angry with India..if you have so much problems with this country than why do you follow the same religion and culture. India does not have time to waste that it will go spreading false rumors we already have such rich and strong history that we do not need to steal from Nepal.India and Nepal their is no comparrison! Buddha is the 9th incarnation of lord Vishnu,which comes after Krishna avtar and before Kalki avtar, which is still to come. It’s really a true fact. They all come from india.They are indian gods.

  35. uuuh Sonia, you’re stepping into a fight here. Stating that religious believes are facts… Good luck defending yourself. I won’t!

  36. Sonia,
    please go and sort out the differences between “Religion” and “Nationality.” coz u seem to be lacking that.

  37. hey Morten,
    Looks like u have an intense knowledge of Nepalese history.
    So give me an answer-”Where is the birthplace of Lord Gautam Buddha?”

  38. Every country has its own history.
    Nepal is going through that turmoil phase right now. We have made such a big leap from Monarchy to being a Republic. Nepal is in that chaotic phase,so all sorts of reactions- disagreements, arguments and collisions will take place, which when crossed will lead toward equilibrium.That’s the “Universal laws of nature.”
    The history of other nations or greater civilizations have proven this fact many a times.

    “All Nepalese united with patriotism, faith, and good attitude we can march on to that ultimate success and recover our losses.Not only that, we can leave a remarkable contribution to the world as well.”

  39. No sir, u are all wrong. All of us, Nepali know our history. The books, u read are probably published in India and i can proove u that they are fake. Since the begining of the 18th century, india wrote books about buddha, many directly claiming that buddha was born in india. i dont think it is \"healthy\" for all indians to fake the birthplace of buddha, Kapilvastu. U are making the exact same copy of the birthplace of buddha in india. why do u want to steal our pride? why try to convince the world that buddha was born on india. Ok, let me share some piece of true history here. No matter what u say, that fact is, that we, nepali, know more history of our country, than u, indians. that being said, lets continue on what i was saying…. ok, nepal was never a part of india. it was an independent country back then, as it is now. Nepal was a small kingdom, now what is called Kathmandu. as the territory of our country expanded in the 17th century, Lumbini became a part of nepal. LUMBINI WAS NEVER A PART OF INDIA. lumbini was a saperate country, a saperate kingdom. even you, sir, are trying to convince that buddha was born in india. ur just like the rest of other indians. buddha is the pride of all us nepali people, and u cant take that from us. We are not going to give it up without a fight. buddha is hope, hope is all we have, it is what we fought for and what we fight for, it is why we die for, and why do u want to take that from us? India is building fake kapilvastu….. India is FAKE, India is CHEAP. u sir, better learn the tru history of nepal, and not the modified version of our history written by u, indians urself.

    and i dont think its \"healthy\" for indians to teach the next generation of FAKE indians that buddha was born in india at school, etc. and i am completely honored to get a 90 on the test because i got the question, \"where was buddha born?\" wrong. my simple answer was nepal. i deserved a 100. and all nepali deserve their pride. btw, im living in the US. where every one is blinded by FAKE indians about the knowledge of buddha.

    and please reply… i want to see ur reaction… i want to see u burn up.

  40. u dont know history of nepal at all… and know this, what ever u do, u will never know the history of nepal and much as a nepali person himself/herself.

    and book u read were written and published in india. modified version of our history. i my opinion, Indian are self-centered arrogant bastards who will do anything to make the world believe that buddha was born in india. India has been playing cheap tricks on us, nepali, in both, plolitics and religion. what do u hope to achieve? Our country stands tall, as tall as mount everest. we are in such a height and it is impossible for indians to even think about reaching it. and i am not talking about our country’s progress… i am talking about the innocent, loyal people who will willingly give their life to save another fellow nepali. that, my friend, is something u indians will never understand. We, nepali people stand tall, and proud….

    and why the f*** are indians trying to take over nepal? why move the border line between nepal and india. and why kill the innocent nepali who came to fight indian soldiers as they march through our country, moving the border line, claiming that the land is now part of india? yes, u may not know about this, but recently, india is moving the territory using violence to favor themselves. and that left lot of nepali people dead, homeless, sick……

    i ask u again, what do u hope to achieve? why dont u leave us alone? isnt peace one of the things u want? why break into violence? and destroy peace? why invade nepal? why? why? why?

    can u answer that? why?

    if peace isnt what u want, indians are MONSTERS.

    respect my opinion… i have the right to say it.
    i dont need another nasty comment about us, nepali people.

  41. i hope i made u understand… and hope is all we have left.. everything was taken away by ignorant indian bastards.

  42. 1 more thing… ur misleading here. u said that there was no nepal when buddha was born. there was nepal… nepal was a small kingdom… nepal was what is now call kathmandu.. and u forget to mention that there was no INDIA at that time period. So, technically buddha was born in lumbini, not india.. and at present times, guess where lumbini is? Nepal ofcourse..

    and stop talking like u own Buddha. Buddha was, and is, every nepali’s pride.

  43. goss, try learning some history about urself. try learning history about india…

    and history wise, u dont know anything about the southeast.
    i dont blame u
    u too, are blinded by your ancestors who tried to proove that buddha was born on india. any people may not, but i see it, i see the fake history, the fake evidence of Indians.

  44. sandesh,
    can’t say i’ve read all your imaginative words in all 5 posts. skimming is enough, even your first line tells me you are distorting, generalizing, fantasizing…

    Thanks for prooving my point!

    This is meant in a true friendly spirit, so don’t get pissed off now: Nepal needs to get real, deal with the real problems, not the imagined and self-spunned ones. Take responsibility of your own problems, stop blaming everyone else!

  45. well, u cant blame me for being who i am. and i am not pissed off by your words at all. we have problems, i agree. and we will deal it ourselves. and who are u to tell us how to form our country? who are u to tell us what to do? ur an outsider, u dont know events that are happening in nepal.
    and my point is that u have no point. the history in your article was false. i am not blaming everyone else, just india and u. and u honestly dont believe what u just said about me was in a true, friendly spirit, so piss off.
    i just dont see where india comes in between nepal and buddha. I mean, in the true history, nepal was an independent country, a small kingdom…. and u said that it didn’t exist. and were u too lazy to include the fact that india didnt exist?
    so what right does india have, to claim that buddha was born in their country?

    and i m really pissed of at india for moving the border line between nepal and india to favor themselves.

    and thanks for prooving my point that u have no point. u switched the subject from religion to nationality after reading my comment, realizing u were wrong.

    yes, i may be ” distorting, generalizing, fantasizing…” but dammit, dont you judge my country because of me.

    every country has different types of people. well, i happened to be the type u cant well, u dont like. can u gurantee that all the people in your country are like yourself; people who jump into conclusions without knowing anything about a subject? i think not…

    i haven’t read your article word by word, but i dont see where ur post says anything like “Nepal needs to get real, deal with the real problems, not the imagined and self-spunned ones. Take responsibility of your own problems, stop blaming everyone else!”..
    the whole point of the artice was to proove the false theory of history india came up with.

    we are taking responsiblity of our own problems..
    what makes u think we r not? u realize how stupid it is to judge a whole country by observing oneizen’s behavior, right?

    and next time u write an article about history, try doing some more research… there are plenty of resources on the internet.

    hey, and a question, by “arse” from your earlier comment, did u mean “ass”?

  46. by “oneizen’s” i meant a citizen’s…

  47. Hi Morten,
    You have well tried to provide a 9-8-700 years BC + 2000 years [calculations made based on your estimation from the rule of Kirants] long history of Nepal in a chapter of mere 2000 words. And I would like to congratulate you on your success in touching the nerves of the NEPALESE PEOPLE regarding the Buddha issue and in getting more and more responses to it.
    Going through your article, I came to find two major conclusions. First, during the birth of Gautam Buddha, there was no COUNTRY named Nepal. Second, the present COUNTRY Nepal needs to rise above the mentality of traditional independence as your perception is that for Nepalese peoples’ feeling of independence lie on breaching the laws, exempting from taxes, dependency on foreign aid etc.
    Regarding to your first conclusion, Yes ! you are right, the country Nepal was not established. However, let me give you an instance from your own article. You have mentioned the great “Indian” king Ashoka. But mark the world “Indian” because king Ashoka ruled over the Indian subcontinent where the present day south east asia countries like Pakistan, Afghanistan also used to fall under (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_Asoka).
    But can you now argue that Pakistan and Afghanistan are states of India ? No, you can’t because they possess their own national identity and sovereignty at present.
    In the same way, the word NEPAL today is a sovereign country and Kapilvastu lies in Nepal. You can say the country Nepal did not exist during Buddha’s birth but you CANNOT say that the birthplace of Buddha lies somewhere else than Nepal.
    On the matter of that particular bollywood film, there’s a statement where India is considered to be the BIRTHPLACE of Buddha and that’s why you saw the agitation.
    If you really want to touch the political nerve of Nepalese people then you still need to keep your eyes open on different political issues where India always plays a decisive and pivotal role. The Nepalese people are better aware of their history, of the ongoing politics, of their leaders and their inefficient roles. The demonstration that you saw is just a tip of the iceberg of the Nepalese sentiments towards the behaviors / systems which try to defame Nepal.
    Yes, you are right, Nepal still relies on foreign aid, the Indian flatly influences Nepalese currency, people try to get away from taxes but you are wrong in the conception that Nepalese people consider them as bricks of independence. They just want to live in peace without making trouble to other and in return they expect the same. As you know, Rome was not built in a day. It’s not that there’s not a problem and Nepal has not drawbacks. But Whatever, however the outsiders perceive Nepal, the experience is always exaggerated, hyped and has always been lowly ranked, seen !!!
    If you want to really know about Nepal’s development and about Developing countries (so called by the highly developed countries) here are some books I would highly recommend for you
    a. Shrestha, Nanda Ram. In the name of development: A reflection on Nepal (1998). Educational Enterprises.
    b. Perkins, John. Confessions of an Economic Hitman (2004). Berrette – Koehler Publishers.
    c. Panday, Devendra Raj. Nepal’s failed development: Reflections of the missions and the maladies.(1999). Nepal South Asia Center.

    In your next article, I would like to see some reliable quotations. I was unable to find about King Prithvi Narayan as the 9th refugee descendant of the Rajput family. And where are the list of books? I could not see it.
    Cheers !!! Good times ahead !!
    Asoc

  48. Hi Asoc,
    I appreciate your insights and you are pointing to some valid weaknesses in my article. I found it interesting, and I agree, there is difference in the two statements:

    “Buddha was born in Nepal” : WRONG !

    “The birthplace of Buddha lies in Nepal” : CORRECT !!

    When you think about it, these two statements are not identical. Thanks for pointing it out!

    I’ll see if I can get a hold of those books you mentioned. Interesting. I’m mainly basing my article on “Whelpton : History of Nepal” (published by Cambridge University Press in the UK - and not by the big bad India, mother of all evil, as someone else here was raving about.).

    I can also highly recommend getting a copy of Manjushree Thapa’s “Forget Kathmandu”, I think that’s where I got the ‘9th generation refugee’-thing from.

    cheers
    Morten

  49. lol,
    i m pretty sure buddha was born in india… i m a buddhist, and last year i went to the birthplace of buddha in india. i m shocked to hear that buddha was born in what is now nepal. is it true? what about the palce i went last year?

  50. so, if someone asked u where buddha was born, what’d your simple answer be?

  51. Hello Morten,i have read ur comments…n u have written China will take Nepal away…if Ur country can take away,what r u waiting for??If u dont have power to capture Nepal being such a developed country,its worthless to speak such word by u people……….

    n U first go to hell n do research Where was Buddha born n where does the Birthplace of Buddha lies……..hope u will do that soon………….

  52. Joselin,
    U r pretty sure Buddha was born in India then thats fine………Now visit other places of world n claim buddha was born there…………..

  53. hey Morten!
    Just curious. So, is it okay to say “Buddha was born in India” then? And do you expect all Nepalese to stay calm while India keeps on spreading the false statement ” Birthplace of Buddha is in India” and misleads people (one example is Joselin, who was told that the place she went in India was the birthplace)?
    Had India accepted this proven reality, no Nepalese would have gone this far and exhibited this kind of anger and hatred. We don’t want to drag ourselves into all this. We don’t consider India as the “big bad India.” But we are left with no option but to stand against its false claim, if India or a third person like you makes attempts to play with the sentiments of Nepalese.
    I am not saying this driven by my bias, but I have experienced that here in the US. Every single history textbook taught at schools and colleges preach “The birthplace of Buddha is in India!” Any Nepalese would get outraged reading this, wouldn’t they? So we are not the initiator of any kind of agitations.

  54. @sharmani,
    yea. some indians are shit, literal shit. at first, they said the birthplace of buddha lies in india. now the indians are publishing all sorts of stuufs saying that kathmandu and sagarmatha is in india. if u r a nepali, u can read mysansar blog. here is the link to the article: http://www.mysansar.com/archives/2010/08/id/13049

    if they keep doin that, why not say that nepal is a part of india? why not say that we are indians?
    and the worst part is, u r right! “we are left with no option but to stand against its false claim”…… we can do NOTHING about it.

    here’s a question for u Morten, how many Danish photographers does it take to change the history of nepal? and the whole stuff u r saying that china will take over nepal makes me sick. reading this article was a bad idea. u make us nepalese feel so weak, and powerless. and u are probably correct about most of the stuffs. :(
    foreign aiders may have given hope, but we sure havent. if something big doesnt happen in our country soon, we will all be fucked….

  55. I have closed this post for further comments.

    It’s a shame that people can’t discuss the subject without turning to hatefull comments between Indians and Nepalis. And over this subject? Plain stupid!