Maanasa Kailasa Yatra – 30

Om Nama Sivaya!

Blog date – 8/April/2014… Rama Navami!

‘Adhyatma Ramayana’, Ramayana of Self-Knowledge, is the story of Rama as narrated by Siva to Parvati at Mt Kailasa! Parvati wants to know from Siva, the reality of Rama… Siva begins the Ramayana exposition, saying : ““Indeed you are blessed, and are a worthy disciple, for you have a desire to know the reality of Rama. None has asked me before, to reveal this profound secret, which remains ever concealed. You have questioned me with devotion and so I shall tell you. First I salute Sri Rama, the greatest of Raghus! Rama is the Self Supreme, Bliss, The One Supreme Being, Beginning-less….”

Thus spake Siva at Kailasa.

And Rama came to Kailasa too. After the battle of Lanka, he, along with Sita, Brahma, and Deva, comes to Kailasa on Pushpaka Vimana.. Shiva. along with Parvati, riding the bull Nandi, welcomes Rama. Rama, seeing Lord Shiva, immediately gets down from the Vimana, and offers obeisance. Shiva embraces Rama, as do Parvati and Sita…

Ah yes, this Shiva-Rama twosome are indeed not two. One in heart, one in consciousness, one in reality. To this day, when Bilwa leaves are offered in formal worship to Kashi Vishwanatha, each leaf has the name “Rama” inscribed on it… And Tulasidas, the great sage poet, composed Ramacharitamaanasa in vernacular on the order of Kashi Vishwanath. (He started the work on the Ramanavami day of 1575 AD, which fell on a Tuesday, like it does this year as well.) And on completing composition, in 1577 AD, he read it out to the Lord. And tradition has it, that when traditional scholars opposed the idea of this vernacular composition, Kashi Vishwanath Himself blessed that composition by writing ‘Satyam, Shivam, Sundaram” on the treatise…

And that Maanas of Rama, is this Maanas of Kailasa.. Manasarovar… Right by the side of which is the lake of Ravana, the Rakshas Taal…. Under the eye of silver dome of the great peak of Kailasa…

Yatra date – 2/July/2013…

We are in the first day of Parikrama (Kora) of Kailasa…

We now move forward, having passed through the portal of Yama, into the valley of divinity – The Lha Chu valley… The valley is so named, after the river that flows through it – the Lha Chu river… ‘Lha’ means ‘divine’ or ‘God’ and ‘Chu’ means ‘river’… God’s river, that flows from Mt Kailash, down this valley, is joined by other tributaries, and finally flows into Rakshas Tal – the lake of the demon! Welcome to Kailash!

Date : 2/July/2013… It is cold – brrrrr – cold….. The group of co-yatris have split… Each is walking at his or her own pace… The valley horizon is far-far away…. There is but the silence-song of the mountains… Soota walks on with the pony man coming alongside… They come near a tent which appears to be a food joint. The pony man, Kedar, a Tibetan nomad, decides to break for lunch, and walks in… Soota waits outside for a while, and then decided to carry on… After some sign language communication, he manages to convey this to Kedar, and starts walking off down the valley way… Soon, the tour guide comes running and hands Soota his walking pole that he had left behind, forgetful as he is. Soota gets a mild reprimand as well, which he richly deserves! Pole in hand, he walks on…

Some info about the Lha Chu Valley… Is also known as the “Amitabha” valley… The valley, as we walk north, has Nyenri (Nyen Mountain) on the left (west) and Kailash  and the peripheral envelope mountains on the east… The Lha chu river is gurgling its way southward….

Pandit Rajmani Trigunait, disciple of Swami Rama, the Himalayan Guru, had extraordinary spiritual experiences while walking this valley… His Guru, who was no more in body, had once told him that he would take him to their ancestral cave, which was by the Ganga, on the western side of Mt Kailash. Now, Ganga, as everyone knows., does not flow from Kailash… However, years afterwards, when the time came for Pandit to realize the promise, he came to Kailash… And walking down this valley, he talked to the guide and the local yak men… And then he came to see ‘light’… Nyenri was associated with a warrior God, who was son of Demchog (Siva) and Parvati, and he was also son of Lha Chu… Some more information, led Pandit to realize that the warrior God was Skanda (Sanatkumara) , Karthikeya… and that Lha Chu was Ganga… Pandit was also blessed with vision of a Yogi high up on Kailash, and also of Siva’s three eyes…. This is a divine valley all right…

Now, shall we see some pictures… Click on any picture and use arrow keys to browse, Esc to return..

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Kailash is hidden by the mountains that surround it…. It is visible only from certain points along the route…

Pandit was blessed with visions… As have been others… Each according to his merit… Soota, needless to say, is struggling along… Kailash does not bless him with a view, as the sky is completely overcast…

But the corridor of God is extraordinary… The gurgling Lha Chu…. It’s like you are walking down an open corridor of God, with massive temple gopurams on either side, and the Ganga flowing right by….

Lama Govinda, the german Buddhist Monk, writes in his book, the ‘The Way of the white clouds’ –

Entering the narrow valley on the western flank of Kailas, the place assigned to Amitabha, whose colour is red, he finds himself in a canyon of red rocks, the structure of which is so architectural in appearance that the pilgrim feels as if he is walking between rows of gigantic temples. They are adorned with elaborate rock-cornices, pillars, and ledges, and high above them there appears suddenly the dazzling ice-dome of Kailas.

Its shape is remarkably regular, as if it had been sculptured out of one immense block of ice, and towards the west two deep hollows, like the eyeholes of a perfectly shaped white skull, look mysteriously down upon the pilgrim, who is thus reminded of the terrible aspects of Shiva and Demchog (Mahasukha) who are both adorned with skulls, symbolising the wisdom of sunyata, the realisation of the emptiness and transitoriness of all phenomena.”

Soota walks on…. A few hours… The pony and the handler have not come.. He is by himself… Oxygen levels being low, the walk is a struggle… It is very cold as well… But in the ‘aloneness’ of being in the presence of divine, there is extraordinary peace…

He spots a few birds, blending with the rocks… Click the picture… Focus… Spot the bird camouflaged in the landscape..

Talking of birds, a short walk after Yamadvar, on the west, up the Nyenri mountain rockface, is perched a gompa – a monastery – that looks like a bird’s nest… It’s called Chuku Gompa… This Gompa has some connection with General Zoravar Singh….

Who is General Zoravar Singh, you ask? He is a legend, although not well known now to his countrymen. General Zorawar Singh is considered as one of the greatest army leaders Asia has seen… This great man was a General in the army of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, and served his tributary King, Maharajah Gulabh Singh of Jammu and Kashmir…  He extended the territory of the Sikh empire, by conquering Ladakh, and much of Tibet…This was in 1841 AD….

About him, Alex Mackey, writes in the book “History of Tibet” – “General Zorawar Singh conquered about 720 km. of the Tibetan territory (linear distance) in about three and a half months. The first thing Zorawar Singh did after the conquest of Misra was to take a holy bath in the lake Manasarovar and offer a golden idol at the Kailash temple. On The mobilisation of his troops into Tibet he had already announced his intention to perform a pilgrimage of the Hindu holy places of the Kailash-kshetra. He now proudly fulfilled that resolve. Thus, by fighting out his way to these holy places and earning the merit of the pilgrimage of Kailash, to which the heroes of the Mahabharata had also retired after attaining the glory and fame in the battlefield of Kurukshetra, General Zorawar Singh had earned both sanctity and renown. He had achieved the height of fame.’

In the book, “Buddhist Western Himalaya” by OC Handa, we learn that when General Zoravar Singh was in Kailash, his wife Asha Devi joined him. She did Parikrama of Kailash and returned to Kashmir…

On his way of conquest towards Maanas-Kailash, he came to Takklakot, where he won a famous battle… And near Takklakot is the village of Kojharnath where there is an ancient monastery – Khorchag Gompa, also known as Khechari Teertha… Kailash yatri-s often visit this shrine as well…. The Hindus consider the idols here to be that of Rama, Lakshmana and Sita…. Here, Zoravar Singh offered his gold locket to the deities….

Signing off this Rama Navami post with a picture of the Khojarnath deities, that I found on he Net.

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khocharnath-rama

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Jai Sita Rama! Om Nama Sivaya!

**** To be continued ****

 

 

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2 Responses to “Maanasa Kailasa Yatra – 30”

  1. Chandra Mohan Says:

    Excellent post, esp. connecting Maanasa 1 and Maanasa 2. Also, Sanatkumara/Skanda was unusual… former is quite prominent in the scriptures and not always understood to be the same as Skanda, “Tamil” God. And that photo “Waterfalls”… looks like someone is standing behind a rock in zippered overalls with face hidden… and the crevice around the person seems like an (elongated) India map. Keep going…more power to you.

    C

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