Founder of Buddhism in Nepal
A religion with no god can be a definition of Buddhism. Siddhartha Gautama was born sometime around 623 BC in the Lumbini district of Nepal. The young prince turned out to be a king and then the founder of Buddhism.
History states that Siddhartha gave up all the luxuries of life at a very young age. He followed a path never explored by anyone. This path led him towards enlightenment. It was the path of knowledge from different sources and meditation. He became Gautama Buddha at the age of 35. On returning to his kingdom, he rehabilitated his family and his people to Buddhism. A couple of clans accepted Buddhism as their religion too, such as the Shakya clan. The Shakya clan then moved to the Kathmandu Valley and established Buddhism over there. In this manner, Buddhism started to spread all across the Asian countries and Gautama Buddha came to be known as the founder of Buddhism.
The Roots of Buddhism
Buddhism is spread all across the world but its roots are from Nepal. It is the birthplace of Siddhartha Gautama and Buddhism. Siddhartha, the founder of Buddhism established it as a religion in Nepal and his preachers took the initiative to spread it to the world. Buddhism is practiced by around 11% of Nepalese. Other Tibetan-Burma groups like the Sherpas, Bhotias, Tamangs, etc widely accepted Buddhism too.
You will find a lot of similarity in Hinduism with Buddhism as it has absorbed most of Buddhist thought and beliefs. One great example is the Muktinath temple which shares cultures of both the religion. Even though Hinduism is widely followed in Nepal, Buddhism too has its own followers. The people of Nepal follow the Tibetan form of Buddhism while the Newar Buddhist follows a variant which evolved from Vajrayana and Theravada Buddhism known as Newar Buddhism.
The dusk of Buddhism in Nepal
Even though the founder of Buddhism Gautama Buddha belonged to Nepal and the religion was also established over here, it didn’t last long. At the beginning of the 20th century, a downfall was seen when the Nepalese government banished a couple of monks. This act was an attempt to suppress the growth of Buddhism in the country. It was the first attempt in the year 1926 and then again repeated in the year 1944. The first monks deported from Nepal were the ones encountered as monks after the 14th century. By the end of the 14th century, the traces of Theravada Buddhism vanished from the country. It then reappeared in the 20th century, almost 500 years later.
The dawn of Buddhism in Nepal
Gautama Buddha’s forgotten by the people of Nepal until 1951. It was then when a goodwill mission of Sri Lanka went to Kathmandu on behalf of the monks. They pleaded for how Gautama Buddha founded this religion in this country and the lawful right of the people of the country to practice Buddhism. Eventually, the ban was lifted. The monks returned to Nepal.
As the teachings of Buddha were again being taught in Nepal and people started widely accepting the religion, Kathmandu became a base of learning. During this span, Nepal got rid of the rule of the Rana regime and was termed as a democratic country.