People around the world are celebrating Vesak this month (the exact date of the holiday varies according to different calendars used in different countries and traditions), which honors the life of the Buddha. Even though the holiday encompasses the birth, enlightenment, and death of Siddhartha Gautama, many people celebrate it as the Buddha’s birthday.
Over 2,600 years ago the Buddha was born in a grove in Lumbini, Nepal. At Tricycle, we’ve been celebrating the Buddha’s birthday by exploring his birthplace. Earlier this week we shared a short documentary about the history of the sacred site and some of the issues facing Lumbini today. In the current issue of Tricycle we have an illustrated historical timeline of the Buddha’s birthplace, which covers the major events and figures that have helped develop and maintain the place. And today we are featuring an interview with Venerable Metteyya, a young Buddhist monk who calls Lumbini home (you might recognize from the PBS documentary The Buddha). In this video interview Metteyya discusses pilgrimage, history, and what it means to him to be from the place where the Buddha entered the world.