Mayadevi Temple

Mayadevi Temple

Maya Devi, also known as Queen Maya, is said to have given birth to Siddhartha Gautama, who later became Buddha, while standing under a sal tree in Lumbini. The Maya Devi Temple, located at this sacred site, is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is surrounded by a protected area where construction of hotels, shops, or other businesses is forbidden.

The temple and the surrounding area attract a large number of visitors each year, with over 1.6 million people traveling to Lumbini to pay homage and engage in mindfulness meditation. The site’s serene environment and historical significance make it a destination for those seeking spiritual and cultural experiences.

Buddha and the origin of Mindfullness

Young Siddhartha experienced a profound sense of joy and calmness while sitting in meditation under the rose apple tree. This marked the beginning of his exploration into the nature of consciousness, sensations, and the mind. Siddhartha observed the changing nature of his feelings and thoughts as he interacted with the world around him.

Driven by the desire to understand and attain a deepening sense of calm and liberation of the mind, Siddhartha embarked on a journey of meditation. This eventually led him to sit in meditation under the Bodhi tree, where he attained enlightenment or nirvana. The Bodhi tree, also known as Ficus religiosa or the sacred fig tree, is symbolic in Buddhism as the site where Buddha reached enlightenment.

The choice of the Bodhi tree is significant, not just for its association with Buddha’s enlightenment but also for its symbolism of longevity. The Bodhi tree is believed to have a long lifespan, with some even reaching over 3,000 years in their native habitats. This longevity serves as a metaphor for the enduring nature of the teachings and practices that Buddha discovered during his meditation.

The practices of mindfulness and meditation, rooted in Buddha’s experiences, have become integral to Buddhism and have also been adopted and adapted in various forms by individuals and communities around the world seeking inner peace and spiritual insight.