Hinduism and Buddhism in Nepal – In Nepal there are many shrines that are worshipped with the same reverence both by Hindus and Buddhists. In Mahankalsthan, in Sankata, in Bajrayogini, in Guheshwarí, in Pashupatinath, in Budhanilkantha, in Muktinath and in different images of Bhairaba worshipped by Hindus and Buddhists.
Festivals like Durga Puja ( Bada Dasain ), Indra Jatra, Tihar, Gaijatra is celebrated both by Hindus and Buddhists. There is religious harmony among Hindu devotees and Buddhists in Nepal. The devotes of one religion take part in the other festivals adopting to some of the rites. The Goddess Kumari or virgin goddess is Buddhist deity but she is worshipped in high esteem by Hindus. During Indra Jatra the living Goddess Kumari is taken out in procession in a chariot of Kumari, Ganesha and Bhairaba are taken around the city for three days. His Majesty the King also pay homage to the Goddess Kumari during this festival previously, however, the President of Nepal pays homage to the living goddess Kumari after the demolishing of the Royal Kingdom in Nepal. He is only one Hindu King of the world. This is one of the reasons why the King of Nepal has always been regarded with justice a the symbol of National unity and factor of stability.
The present Shah Kings are Hindus by faith and Nepal is the Hindu Kingdom, but yet they are never hostile or even indifferent to the Buddhist traditions and beliefs. To the Hindus, he is the incarnation of Lord Vishnu. The Buddhist revere him as not one of the Bodhisattvas or the Buddha to be. And during the periodic performance of Samyaka or all-in-one worship organized by Buddhist the King is invited to attain in person to accept the devout offering he occupies a seat in a sacred dais.
The priest in the Hindu temple of Muktinath is Buddhist and similarly, a priest in the temple of Mayadevi in Lumbini is Hindu priest therefore in Nepal there is a complete similarity between Hinduism and Buddhism. On the last day of Dasain or Durga Puja Buddhist priest dressed as Kali, Kumari, the living goddess, Ganesha and other deities prance and quiver under trance late into the night throughout the street of Kathmandu.
In Hanuman Dhoka palace the throne of Malla Kings still kept bere in Sisa Bathak, verandah-like room, open to the south and it still plays a role in the religious functions associated with the Hanuman Dhoka Durbar. Buddhists of the priestly caste are expected to make a ceremonial offering of Pan and Supari (the betel leaf and betel nut) to this throne before entering upon their priestly duties.
Matsyendranath is another god that is equally worshipped by Hindus and Buddhists. The image of Lord Vishnu worshipped by Buddhists as Lokeshwara. Buddhists Guheshwari as Vajra Varahi and they worship Lord Shiva as Avalokiteshwara. God is the same but the name is different. There are a complex blending of Hinduism and Buddhism and all the deities are worshipped by Hindus and Buddhists alike in Nepal and there is religious homogeneity existing between Hindus and Buddhists communities and they have mutual regards and respect for one another.
In this Buddhist ceremony, he is worshipped as a Buddhist deity and at the Hindu ceremony, the King is regarded as Narayana (the supreme Hindu God.) Nepal was only one Hindu Kingdom of the world but now it is a secular nation. However, it is an intricate and beautiful tapestry formed by the interweaving of Hinduism and Buddhism. Religious harmony and tolerance of Nepal is a unique example of religion to the world.
In Nepal, Hinduism and Buddhism have been strongly influenced by the beliefs and practices of Tantrism.