At 30 kilometers from Kathmandu there is another sacred place for Buddhists - Namo Buddha. It is located on a hill not far from the picturesque village of Panauti. According to one of the Buddhist Jataka, in one of the past lives Buddha sacrificed his body for a hungry tigress. And this event happened just at this place. There is a small ancient stupa at the place. The wall of the opposite building is hung with portraits of deceased people brought here by the family members.
A steep road through the forest leads to the very top of the hill. Through the gaps in the greenery you can see magnificent view below, everywhere along the way there are blooming rhododendrons.
At the top there is the cave itself in which the tigress with cubs satisfied her hunger with the body of Buddha. The hill is decorated with prayer flags, they are here so much. At one point you even had practically to crawl, sneaking under these flags. But it’s very beautiful!
Near the cave there is a carved stone depicting the legend. There are many believers and pilgrims around. Some light the oil lamps, some pray, some just have a rest in the shadow. People leave at the cave and the stone different tributes – money, flowers, drinks, silk scarves.
I liked the place. And here it is the jataka about tigress (brief variant)
The disciple went off as he was told, not suspecting that the Bodhisattva had sent him away for an altogether different reason. For the Bodhisattva was thinking: “Why should I search for meat from the body of another when my own is at hand? Finding other meat is a matter of chance, and I would lose the opportunity to help. A body is frail, ungrateful, forever impure, and a source of suffering. How foolish not to rejoice at using it to benefit another. “Two things alone cause people to ignore the grief of others: attachment to pleasure and inability to give aid. But I cannot feel pleasure while another being suffers, and if I have the power to help, how can I be indifferent? Thus, I will forestall this source of suffering by throwing myself over this cliff. My body will prevent the tigress from killing her young ones, and prevent the young ones from dying in the jaws of their mother. And then, to the amazement of even the peace-loving gods, the Bodhisattva threw himself over the edge of the cliff, thus giving up his life. His body, in striking the ground, made a bud noise-and the startled tigress, forgetting her original intention, looked about her; seeing the Bodhisattva, she began to devour him.
Ajita soon returned empty-handed without having found an meat. He called for his teacher, but no answer came. Then his gaze fell to the chasm below, and he saw his teacher being eaten by the tigress. Sorrow and pain overwhelmed his heart, but the awe he felt at such extraordinary selflessness was even greater.
The full text of jataka here