Scrutiny- Namo Buddha tour:-
Namo Buddha, one of the three main stupas of the Kathmandu valley is situated about 40 kilometers to the south east of Kathmandu city, built on the bones and hair of Prince Mahasatva, stands on the slopes of the Gandha Malla hill. It is a beautiful place far from the hustle and bustle of Kathmandu, with no pollution, and the air is so fresh and cool. Life became more stressed with limited resources and unhealthy competition for survival on the one hand and on the other hand, some people want to relax and meditate away from the crowds and busy life. Namo Buddha is located at an elevation of 1750 meter above the sea level. It is a great tourist destination around Kathmandu Valley. It is trek offers for the traveler to escape the Kathmandu city smog and experience ethnic Newari culture, Himalayan views and traditional Buddhist practices. Visitors can view the snow covered Himalayan ranges from the top of the hill which look so pure and amazing. According to the Buddhist myth, Namo Buddha is one of the most important religious sites in Nepal. There are three major Buddhist pilgrimage sites which are Boudha Stupa, Swayambhunath Stupa and Namo Buddha. It is renowned for hiking and meditation. It is a resided by Tamang ethnic groups and popular with the Buddhist monastery called ‘Namobuddha’.
It is believed that Buddhist priest Padma Sambhav had mediated in this place. It takes about two and half hours walk from Dhulikhel. Visitors can sight five cubs, tigress and Buddha’s statues around there. Similarly, there are retreat centers and several monasteries and shrines. Since this is located at the hilltop, visitors will have an amazing sight of the majestic mountains and also mesmerizing sunrise and sunset views, explore the beautiful terraced field and spend time in serenity and tranquility and then retrace back to Dhulikhel or directly to Kathmandu. Namo Buddha would be an appropriate place for a developing a natural friendly place in the modern concept of “Smart/ Satellite” city where it can be placed in an appropriate location somewhere along 10 kilometer stretch between Panauti ,Namo Buddha and in the hills of Hiranyagiri Gandhamadan Parbat. There are numerous Buddhas who have worked or are working for peace but Siddhartha Gautam Buddha is regarded as the pioneer of ‘Peace Religion’ as he was successful in promoting it systematically. It is clearly denoted that Nepal is the birth place of Buddhas with its sacred land (UdgamBhumi). Myths says all Buddhas have obtained enlightened from the peaceful environment and natural blessings. Still this area from Panauti to Namo Buddha is ideal as quiet and natural places with its landscape and natural beauty. Buddha Purnima (full moon of Lord Buddha’s birth) which falls on the late April or early May is the busiest day to be experienced here. Devout Buddhists from far and wide visit the place on this day to show reverence to Lord Gautam Buddha. Transportation from Kathmandu to Kavre can easily found from Purano Bus Park (near Ratnapark). It takes two hours to reach to Kavre. Following the 4km paved road and then 6 km gravel road, one can reach the hill. Hotels can be easily available close to Namo Buddha but many visitors return back.
The Ancent story of Namo Buddha:-
Namo Buddha is one of the holy place for Buddhist people. Myths says, in the distance past, there lived in this world a King named Maharath called as Great Charioteer( Shingto Chenpo) ruled a kingdom of about five thousand population to the east of the Kathmandu valley in the capital town of Panchali (Panauti). The king had three sons: the elder son named Mahadeva called as Great sound (Dra Chenpo), the middle Mahapranav called as Great Deity (Lha Chenpo), and the youngest Mahastava called as Great Being (Semchen Chenpo) .Powerful in the martial arts and radiating confidence, the two elder sons always helped the King in governing the kingdom. From his earliest years, the youngest son, Mahastava, was dazzling and bestowed with spontaneous kindness and compassion. About 6,000 years ago in the waxing phase of the moon during the month of October/ November, the royal family were hunting in the Hiranyagiri Gandhmandan Parbat (Kusume Community Forest). Three princes Mahadeva, Mahapranav and Mahastava, the youngest prince and their parents King Maharath and Queen Satyawati participated in the royal hunting programme. They were enjoying the hunt even into the late hours. During the night of Purnima (full moon), the three brothers were wandering through the dense forest with the help of moonlight. They noticed a den in the dense woods. They encountered a lean and saw inside a tigress sleeping beside her cubs. Mahadeva and Mahapranav laid arrows on their bows, making ready to kill the tigress, but Mahastava stopped his brothers to kill her after looking into the cave again. He noticed that the tigress was not able to move, she had just given birth to cubs and also feared that if she left to hunt for food, other animal might harm her cubs. They decided not to hunt the weak tigress and her cubs and they continued on towards their camp. The youngest prince, Mahastava who was enlightened and had pity for the weakened tigress but he could not express his pity in front of his brothers. He made an excuse that he needed to relieve himself.
Two princes Mahadeva and Mahapranav continued towards camp while the youngest prince, Mahastava returned back to the starving tigress and her five cubs. He was enlightened with Avayadan (unbelievable benevolent) and without knowledge of others. He quietly offered up his body without hesitation to save the life of the starving tigress and her recently born five cubs. The Royal family waited the whole night at the camp for return of Mahastava, but he never appeared. During this time, the queen was taking nap and in a dream saw three doves flying high in the sky. As they fluttered around, a hawk struck and carried off the smallest one. Waking in terror, the queen immediately related her dream to the king. He replied, “Hearing your story, I believe the three doves are our sons. The youngest of them, carried off by the hawk, is my most beloved son. I am sure that something dreadful has happened to him.” The next morning the royal family and royal crew went in search of Mahastava. They found blood stains and some fresh human bones. The crew informed the king and the whole team came to visit the place where the remains were found. Mahastava’s two brothers confirmed that his brother had been eaten by the starving tigress and the royal astrologer confirmed Mahastava was not an ordinary man that his self- martyrdom had saved life at birth.
Meanwhile, the prince had been reborn as Great Courage (Nyingtob Chenpo). He wondered, “What did I do to be reborn here in the celestial kingdom of Tushita?” Through his divine eye, he thoroughly examined the five realms. Nyingtob Chenpo saw that, gathered around the bone fragments he had left behind, were his parents and two brothers. They were sunk in lamentation and completely miserable. He thought, “My parents are experiencing such unhappiness, it could threaten their very lives. To lighten their spirits, I’ll go talk to them.” He descended from space to the lofty sky and spoke words of encouragement to comfort his parents: “I’m the prince Mahastava. After giving my body in generosity to the starving tigress, I was reborn in the celestial realm of Tushita.” With tears in their eyes, the king and queen said, “Son, you who are like our very heart, offering your body to the tigress was certainly most praiseworthy. But whom can we tell of our suffering in missing you? ”Nyingtob Chenpo replied, “Please do not be unhappy. The end of birth is disintegration, and the end of gathering is separation. No one can transcend this for it is the nature of things. It is the same for everyone. If you perform evil actions, you will fall into the hell realms; if you perform virtuous actions, you will be reborn in the higher realms. Therefore, diligently pursue virtue. Make aspiration prayers, and in the next life we will definitely meet in a celestial realm.” After a few more words, he disappeared. The king and queen became a little happier and made the commitment to pursue virtuous activity. They created a small casket covered with seven kinds of jewels in which they laid the bones of their son and a stupa was built over the place in which it was buried.
Commemorating that great story there is a famous shrine and stone slab featuring the history on the top of the hill with great panorama of Himalaya and hill villages at Namo Buddha. According to Buddhists mythology it is believed that Lord Gautam Buddha is the reincarnation of the young prince Mahastava called as Great Being who gave his body to starving tigress and her cubs. There is a Namo Buddha festival in Panauti at Bhadra Trayodashi, just three days before Father’s day in honour of Prince Mahastava. The idols of the royal (Maharatha) family with Mahastava (Namo Buddha) will display. The committee will arrange to display these sculptures on the day event.
Mother of Namo Buddha:-
The King had performed the ritual ceremony with the mortal remains of Mahastava about 500 meter below the Avayadan. The King returned to the palace to rule the kingdom but, queen Satyawati and her elder sons Mahadev and Mahapranav spent a few more months at that place. They made a small stupa in memory of their young son before they departed. According to legend (SwayambhuPuran), Siddhartha Gautam Buddha came to Kathmandu about 2,500 years ago, at the time of the 7th Kirati King Jitedasti. He had found those objects after opening the stupa in the presence of his followers, what Gautam Buddha had told. Those objects was from his previous life and this is epitome. And he reconstructed the stupa as earlier. Later on, this spot was recognized during the Lichhavi dynasty and it was looked after by the Shakya/ Bajracharya family. It is believed, that about 400 years ago three Avatari (reincarnated) HimetanjenDharke Lama, Topden Shakya and Shree Lama had renovated this stupa and it became known as the Stupa (Temple) of Namo Buddha’s Mother. They also added further nine stupas around the Namo Buddha Stupa. There is a festival on full moon day of Kartik(sakhimapunhi) at Namo Buddha and many pilgrims from around the Rosi Valley and from Namo Buddha as well as devotes from the Kathmandu valley participate during this occasion.
Sankeswori Temple is recognized as Sumeru Parbat and Bhagawati is situated at Kankamani Tirtha River side. King Maharatha and Queen Satyawati signified their love to the youngest son Namo Buddha (Mahastava) relinquishing as King and Queen to their successor. They left the palace and moved to the Sankheswori, foothills of Hiranyagiri Gandhmadan Parbat to meditate to reach heaven. Both husband and wife died at Sankheswori. Later, a temple was built and a monument was established in the name of Satyawati to honor the birth of such a Danbir (great donor) son. During the pilgrimages people first bath at the river of Sankheswori and take water in their palms to pay homage at the feet of great mother before climbing to Hiranyagiri Gandhmandan Parbat.