The Most Famous


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This page contains a list of the greatest Nepalese Religious Figures. The pantheon dataset contains 2,272 Religious Figures, 5 of which were born in Nepal. This makes Nepal the birth place of the 46th most number of Religious Figures behind Bulgaria and Tunisia.

Top 5

The following people are considered by Pantheon to be the most legendary Nepalese Religious Figures of all time. This list of famous Nepalese Religious Figures is sorted by HPI (Historical Popularity Index), a metric that aggregates information on a biography’s online popularity.

Photo of Maya

1. Maya (-600 - -600)

With an HPI of 75.73, Maya is the most famous Nepalese Religious Figure.  Her biography has been translated into 38 different languages on wikipedia.

Queen Māyā of Sakya (Pali: Māyādevī) was the birth mother of Gautama Buddha, the sage on whose teachings Buddhism was founded. She was sister of Mahāpajāpatī Gotamī, the first Buddhist nun ordained by the Buddha.In Buddhist tradition Maya died soon after the birth of Buddha, generally said to be seven days afterwards, and came to life again in a Hindu-Buddhist heaven, a pattern that is said to be followed in the births of all Buddhas. Thus Maya did not raise her son who was instead raised by his maternal aunt Mahapajapati Gotami. Maya would, however, on occasion descend from Heaven to give advice to her son.Māyā means "illusion" in Sanskrit. Māyā is also called Mahāmāyā ("Great Māyā") and Māyādevī ("Queen Māyā"). In Chinese, she is known as Móyé-fūrén (摩耶夫人), in Tibetan she is known as Gyutrulma and in Japanese she is known as Maya-bunin (摩耶夫人). Also, in Sinhalese she is known as මහාමායා දේවී (Mahāmāyā Dēvi).

Photo of Rāhula

2. Rāhula (-534 - -500)

With an HPI of 72.79, Rāhula is the 2nd most famous Nepalese Religious Figure.  His biography has been translated into 32 different languages.

Rāhula (Pāli and Sanskrit) was the only son of Siddhārtha Gautama (commonly known as the Buddha) (c. 563 or 480 – 483 or 400 BCE), and his wife and princess Yaśodharā. He is mentioned in numerous Buddhist texts, from the early period onward. Accounts about Rāhula indicate a mutual impact between Prince Siddhārtha's life and the lives of his family members. According to the Pāli tradition, Rāhula was born on the day of Prince Siddhārta's renunciation, and was therefore named Rāhula, meaning Unwanted. According to the Mūlasarvāstivāda tradition, and numerous other later sources, however, Rāhula was only conceived on the day of Prince Siddhartha's renunciation, and was born six years later, when Prince Siddhārtha became enlightened as the Buddha. This long gestation period was explained by bad karma from previous lives of both Yaśodharā and of Rāhula himself, although more naturalistic reasons are also given. As a result of the late birth, Yaśodharā needed to prove that Rāhula was really Prince Siddhārtha's son, which she eventually did successfully by an act of truth. Historian H.W. Schumann has argued that Prince Siddhārtha conceived Rāhula and waited for his birth, to be able to leave the palace with the king and queen's permission, but Orientalist Noël Péri considered it more likely that Rāhula was born after Prince Siddhārtha left his palace. Between seven and fifteen years after Rāhula was born, the Buddha returned to his hometown, where Yaśodharā had Rāhula ask the Buddha for the throne of the Śākya clan. The Buddha responded by having Rāhula ordained as the first Buddhist novice monk. He taught the young novice about truth, self-reflection, and not-self, eventually leading to Rāhula's enlightenment. Although early accounts state that Rāhula died before the Buddha did, later tradition has it that Rāhula was one of the disciples that outlived the Buddha, guarding the Buddha's Dispensation until the rising of the next Buddha. Rāhula is known in Buddhist texts for his eagerness for learning, and was honored by novice monks and nuns throughout Buddhist history. His accounts have led to a perspective in Buddhism of seeing children as hindrances to the spiritual life on the one hand, and as people with potential for enlightenment on the other hand.

Photo of Mahapajapati Gotami

3. Mahapajapati Gotami (-600 - )

With an HPI of 70.87, Mahapajapati Gotami is the 3rd most famous Nepalese Religious Figure.  Her biography has been translated into 24 different languages.

Mahāpajāpatī Gotamī (Pali; Sanskrit Mahāprajāpatī Gautamī) was the foster-mother, step-mother and maternal aunt (mother's sister) of the Buddha. In Buddhist tradition, she was the first woman to seek ordination for women, which she did from Gautama Buddha directly, and she became the first bhikkhuni (Buddhist nun).

Photo of Anuruddha

4. Anuruddha (-450 - )

With an HPI of 65.23, Anuruddha is the 4th most famous Nepalese Religious Figure.  His biography has been translated into 18 different languages.

Anuruddha (Pali: Anuruddhā) was one of the ten principal disciples and a cousin of Gautama Buddha.

Photo of Khagendra Thapa Magar

5. Khagendra Thapa Magar (1992 - 2020)

With an HPI of 49.37, Khagendra Thapa Magar is the 5th most famous Nepalese Religious Figure.  His biography has been translated into 21 different languages.

Khagendra Thapa Magar (Nepali: खगेन्द्र थापामगर) (4 October 1992 – 17 January 2020) was a Nepali once known as the shortest man in the world, measuring 0.67 m (2 ft 2 in). Magar, who was a primordial dwarf, won the title of shortest man from Edward Niño Hernández. He lost the title in June 2011 to Junrey Balawing of the Philippines.

Pantheon has 5 people classified as religious figures born between 600 BC and 1992. Of these 5, none of them are still alive today. The most famous deceased religious figures include Maya, Rāhula, and Mahapajapati Gotami. As of October 2020, 1 new religious figures have been added to Pantheon including Khagendra Thapa Magar.

Deceased Religious Figures

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Newly Added Religious Figures (2020)

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