Namo Buddha


Namo Buddha is one of the sacred sites in Kathmandu valley

Namo Buddha, one of the sacred places situated on the rim of Kathmandu valley, is located on the mountain about 2 ½ hours’ drive from Kathmandu. It is the place where the Buddha, in a previous life as a prince, sacrificed his body to a starving tigress and her cubs. The sceneries are from the vast valleys to the high Himalayan range bordering all the northern horizons. On this trip, we’ll have opportunities to experience a bit of real village life, out of the city.

The ancient name of Panauti was Panchal under the rule of King Mahartha with three sons Mahadev, Mahashabda, and Mahasattya. Among the three sons, the youngest prince was a Bodhisattva. One day, the princes went out from Panauti (Panchal) to roam in the forest, and they encounter a tigress who had just given birth to five cubs but was starving to death.

The younger brother looked at the tigress and realized that the tigress had become very weak. He did not see her in a position to hunt for prey and save herself and her cubs on her own because she was frail. Now there was only one option for them to survive, either the mother had to eat her cubs to survive, or the cubs had to eat their mother to stay alive. The condition of the tigress awakens utmost compassion in the mind of Mahasattya. He asks himself what is the point of this human life if he only has the upbringing of relatives, fun, suppressing the enemy and living as long as possible. Is this the real meaning of our life? After all, in the end, we all have to die then burns in the fire, through in the water, bury in the ground, or feed it to the vultures by chopping it up. I cannot allow this precious life to end this way. A resolute feeling awoke in him that he would leave this precious body for the benefit of others. Later, when they were returning to the palace, the younger brother Mahasattya makes, the older brothers wait for him, and he returns to the same place where he saw the tigress and cubs starving to death. He felt so pity, that he opened all of his clothes, and ornaments hung them on a nearby tree and laid himself in front of the tigress. He asked the tigress to eat his body and save her life and but the tigress could not attack him due to weakness next, he was the great Bodhisattva. Then Mahasttya prays: today I am sacrificing this life to protect these lives, and by this virtue, after attaining the highest wisdom, will give them the knowledge and liberate them from the worldly life. After the prayer, Mahasatya himself takes his weapon from the tree where he hung his clothes, and he cuts off his throat in such a way that the stream of blood reaches the mouth of the tigress. When that hot blood reached the tongue of the tigress, she slowly licked it and gained some strength, and the cubs and mother survive.

On the other hand, two brothers were waiting, “why didn’t he come so long? As the Mahasattya perform the cutting off his own throat the earth shakes with an earthquake, the weather immediately changes to storm. The two brothers become suspicious and run to the site where they saw the tigress. They saw the hanging clothes on the tree and blood all over the ground and seeing this they confirmed that their brother sacrificed his life for the tigress. Parents and all citizens cry out of pain and heartbreak.

The parent and brothers collect clothes, objects, ornaments, and remaining (bones and hairs) and erect a stupa with it at the same place, where Mahasttya sacrificed his life, the current Namo Buddha. Mahasattva takes birth in Tusita Bhuvan and after several lives get birth in the form of Sakya Muni Buddha in Lumbini, Nepal. Hence Namo Buddha and Panauti cities are ancient and sacred places in regard.

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