Which is Buddha’s birthplace? The debate continues...

Published: 24th August 2012 10:26 AM  |   Last Updated: 24th August 2012 10:26 AM   |  A+A-

Claims that Gautam Buddha was born in Odisha and not in Lumbini of Nepal as has been believed so far, seems to be gaining steam with each passing day.

A section of Buddhist scholars and researchers on Thursday yet again placed facts against the claim that Kapileswar, a place near Bhubaneswar, was the actual birthplace of Buddha.

These things have been brought out in the second edition of the book titled ‘Gautam Buddha in History and Archeology’, authored by State Election Commissioner and researcher on Buddhism Ajit Kumar Tripathy,  Jaydev Foundation secretary Prafulla Chandra Tripathy and former superintendent of State Museum C B Patel. The first edition of the book was released last month.

Releasing the book at a simple ceremony in Utkal University, the Chairman of Indian National Committee of the International Council of Museums (INC-ICOM), the apex body of museums worldwide, Arun Kumar Chatterjee, said it is time Odisha got its due as one of the most prominent centres of Buddhism in the world. “Although for the world it might be a hypothesis that Buddha was born in Odisha, I have accepted this as a theory.”

“It is a known fact today what Anton Fuhrer, a German archaeologist, discovered Buddha’s birthplace at Lumbini has been disowned by many scholars world-wide. And enough number of excavations and studies in Odisha have proved that Kapileswar is the original birthplace of Buddha,” he said.

He spoke about a stone pillar inscription of King Asoka discovered in Kapileswar in 1928 - which is missing now - that points to Buddha’s birthplace being in Odisha.

Chatterjee also highlighted the works of historian Chakradhar Mohapatra who was among the first to talk about this issue and gave conclusive evidence of Kapileswar being the original birthplace of Buddha in his book ‘The Real Birthplace of Buddha’ during the 1930s.

He added that he would place the book for debate amid Buddhist scholars at the International Meet on Culture Historians, scheduled to be held in China next month. Chatterjee urged the State Government to place a report of excavations and findings related to the birthplace of Buddha before the Ministry of Culture so that more funds are sanctioned for studies on the subject.

Speaking on the occasion, Tripathy said a few years back a German scholar, Hermann Kulke, has backed the claim and suggested  urgent excavation in and around Kapileswar to find out the truth.


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