Bhairahawa, March 14: Two hundred Buddhist monks and pilgrims from South Korea have arrived in Lumbini on a pilgrimage to the birthplace of lord Buddha. The group was welcomed on Tuesday by the Lumbini Development Trust in a ceremony at Lumbini. Religious leaders and pilgrims came to Lumbini, including the senior monk Chasing of South Korea.
Korean Buddhist monks, nuns and pilgrims were welcomed by Basudev Ghimire, Member of the House of Representatives of Rupandehi Constituency No. 5, Awadhesh Kumar Tripathi, Vice President of Lumbini Development Trust, Sajruddin Musalman, Mayor of Lumbini Cultural Municipality, and others at Buddha’s birthplace.
A team of Korean Buddhist pilgrims prayed for world peace at Mayadevi Temple. Park Chong-Suk, the Korean Ambassador to Nepal, was also present in the worship and prayer. During prayer and worship, Ghimire, a member of the House of Representatives, said that he was happy to welcome the team of Buddhist monks who came to Lumbini, the birthplace of Buddha, after a long journey. He expressed his belief that such visits will strengthen the relationship between Nepal and South Korea.
Ghimire mentioned that the relationship between Nepal and South Korea was not only religious but also in terms of employment. Park Chong-Suk, the Korean Ambassador to Nepal, said that he was happy to welcome the pilgrims along with religious leaders to the Mayadevi Temple, the birthplace of Buddha. He said that Lumbini, the birthplace of Buddha, has strengthened Nepal’s relationship with South Korea.
The vice president of the Trust, Tripathi said that the month of February/March is a very important month in the life of Lord Gautam Buddha and said that it was a happy moment for Buddhist pilgrims to reach Lumbini after completing a distance of 1,000 km following the path of Buddha in this month. He said that Nepal’s spiritual relationship with South Korea has been strengthened by the arrival of pilgrims with senior monks to Lumbini.
A Buddhist organization registered under the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism of South Korea brought Buddhist pilgrims with 200 Korean Buddhist monks and nuns to Lumbini on foot. They arrived at Lumbini via Bodh Gaya, Sharnath, Kushinagar in India. Elder monk Chasung gave a sermon wishing for world peace in the Mayadevi courtyard along with viewing the Buddha birth monument (marker stone), holy Puskarani pond, Ashoka pillar inside the Mayadevi temple.
Treasurer at Lumbini Development Trust Mr Dhundiraj Bhattarai, Member Secretary Sanuraja Shakya, Head of Planning Saroj Bhattarai, Trust Executive Member Bishwaraj Poudel and others were present on the occasion.
The pilgrimage started on foot from New Delhi, India, from February 9, 2023.
The national media from South Korea participated in the team. The team of Korean Buddhists will return to India on foot through Karhawa Border Point on Wednesday morning. The pilgrims were also welcomed at the Belhia border crossing between Nepal and India on Tuesday morning.
Photo – Sagar Pandey