Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, May 12:
World’s youngest marathon runner, Budhia Singh from Odisha, has been invited to Nepal to be one of the torchbearers of Buddha Peace Flame at the marathon event on Monday.
The child prodigy will run along with eminent marathoners who will cover the entire Kapilvastu kingdom. Later, the team will split and then head towards Mount Everest, leaving Budhia at Kathmandu.
Budhia will join the main team in Kathmandu to run around heritage sites of Swayambhunath and Boudhanath before the main team proceeds to Mount Everest.
Budhia will be carrying the Buddha Peace Flame torch in tandem with Nepal’s national runner, Limca Book of Records holder and Olympian Baikuntha Manandhar; Marathon Man of Sikkim Amar Subba; Lumbini Bhairahawa resident sports girl Saha Banu Khan.
“Budhia will run around Maya Devi Temple, Lumbini, sharing the message of peace from Buddha’s birth site, then carry on to Kudan (Nigrodharma), the place where Siddhartha Gautama stayed after returning home as Enlightened Buddha. Budhia will circumambulate (parikrama) the Ashokan Pillar at Gotihawa, the birth and Nirvana place of Krakuchanda Muni Buddha,” the organizers said.
Then, Budhia will continue to ancient Kapilvastu, a UNESCO World heritage site, and then circumambulate (parikrama) Tilaurakot Palace structure site. Budhia will then go to adjoining Buddha Ganga River (also known as Ban Ganga) where he will take spiritual Snan (holy dip) to spiritualize himself. He will continue running on Maya Devi Maternity Route. Maya Devi Maternity Route is the path that Buddha’s Mother Maya Devi took on her return journey to Kapilvastu palace after giving birth to Gautam Buddha, they added.
Reaching the Niglihawa Ashokan Pillar Site, where Emperor Ashoka erected his Pillar to symbolize the birth place of Kanakmuni Buddha, Budhia will make a parikrama of the Ashokan pillar (of Emperor Ashoka of ancient Kalinga Kingdom i.e. presently Odisha in India).
With the Peace Torch, Budhia will continue to run through Maya Devi Maternity Route to Arorakot, the natal town of Kanakmuni Buddha.
Thus, Budhia’s Peace Run with Peace Torch connects the revered land of 3 Buddhas- Krakuchanda Muni, Kanakmuni and Shakya Muni Buddha, through the holy Maya Devi Maternity Route.
Emperor Ashoka, Kalinga, and Kapilvastu Lumbini will get connected, emotionally and spiritually in the spirit of Kalinga’s Emperor Ashoka, which Budhia Singh will symbolize running with Peace Torch with Buddha Flame, symbolizing as two sister cities spiritually connected.
Such Lumbini – Kalinga connection in footsteps of Magadh Kalinga Emperor Ashoka can also help promote broader Buddhist circuits heartland, connecting far and wide Buddhist sites of India, where Budhia will play the key connecting Role.
“A highly nurtured friendship between India and Nepal being observed here, following Path of Ashoka and his Buddhist way of Life,” said Bikram Pandey KAJI, concept and script writer.
Bikram, who hails from Tourism background, feels that Buddhism and Buddhist Circuits Tourism can bring the best message of hope in light of income generating-opportunity to enterprise in the cross boarder territories of India and Nepal, thus resulting to the emergence of peace, friendship and fraternity of common ground partnership along cross-border communities both nations of India Nepal.
Apart from Budhia, Dr Anita Sabat – an entrepreneur and cultural enthusiast – has also been invited to the event.