Friday, November 23, 2018

Bodhi TV : Interview : Prof. Dr. Naresh Man Bajracharya

नेपालको बुद्ध धर्म वज्रयान तथा लुम्बिनी विश्वविद्यालयका बारेमा प्रा डा नरेशमान वज्राचार्यसँगको अन्तरवार्ता



Saturday, October 20, 2018

धर्म व कर्म

राजेन मानन्धर
वाउँगु घाँय्, वाउँगु जंगल, प्यखेरं अथाह पहाड । गनं वयागु स्वयेथाय् नं मदु, आः गनतक वनेमानि धकाः सिइकेथाय् नं मदु । अन्दाज मदु, यक्व वयेधुन लाकि यक्व वनेमानि । पलाःत न्ह्यानाच्वन । छम्हस्यां थुसुक्क मुसुजक तःसां मेपिं थारान्हुइगु । सुनां छु सिउ, लिक्कसं च्वंगु सिमाय् छम्हस्या काल सुलाच्वंगु दु । अले व नं मसिउ स्वम्हस्या अन्त स्वथाय् जुइलाकि छग्वारा चिनाः हे स्वम्हं फुइ ।

म्हाइपु छ्यायेथें ज्यापुं खँ पितहल, “महाराज, द्वंविद्वं क्षमा । महाराज नाप थौं थथे ज्वलिंज्वः जुयाः नापं वनेखनाच्वंगु ला जिगुलागि तःधंगु भाग्य । न जिमि बाज्यां थथे याये खं, न जिमि अबुं थथे यायेखं ।”

जुजु मुसुं न्हिल, “खँ भचाभचा थुल । छिं वा छिकपिन्सं छु मतिइ तयादिइ मसिउ, तर जिं गबलें सुयातं तःधं व चीधं धकाः मकया । राज्य, वा धाये संसार हे छगू नियमं चलेजुइ, जिगु ज्या जिं याना, छिगु ज्या छिं यानादिल । उलि हे जक खः नि । सुनां धायेफु, छगू धाकुफय् वयाः छि जुजु अले जि ज्यापु जूमवनी धकाः ।

“जि जुजु जुया धकाः जिं गबलें अथे अभिमान मयानाथें च्वं । जिगुपाखें अथवा जिमिगु वंशपाखें हे छुं गल्ती जूगु दुसा धयादिसँ न्है । खँ धइगु नुगलय् गुइँ गुइँ निइका तयेगु स्वयाः तछ्यानाः धयाबिइगु हे बांलाः । अले झीगु देय्या प्रजान्त्रय् जनतायात जुजुं याःगु हरेक ज्या पाय्छि जू मजू धायेगु स्वन्तन्त्रता दु । व छिकपिन्सं सिहे सिउ ।”

“व ला खः महाराज, तर जिमिसं थथे जुजुनाप सतिक्क च्वनाः ब्वलय् ब्वह ल्वाकाः दुख सुखया खँ ल्हाये मखं जक धयागु का । ”

“जिं थुल । थ्व जुजु व जनताया दथुइ सहलह ला यानाच्वनेमाःगु हे प्रक्रिया खः । जनताया खँ न्यनेगु जिमिगु नं ओहोभाग्य खः । जिमित जिमि पुर्खां न्वखंक धयातःगु दु, गुकुन्हु जिमिसं जनताया खँ न्यनीमखु, गुकुन्हु जनभावनायात हाचांगायाः न्ह्याःवनेगु मनसुवा तइ, उकुन्हु हे जिमिगु राजसत्ताया ल्यंदनिगु दिं ल्याखायेगु शुरु याःसां जिल । जितः थ्व खँ हानं छकः लुमंका बिउगुलिं छितः सुभाय् दु । ”

“आमथे धयागु मखु महाराज । जुजु व जनता झीगु देसय् नापं च्वनाः सहलह मजूगु यक्व दत जक धयागु का ।”

“छिगु खँ दक्व थू जिं रथचक्र । जिं धायेधुन, देय्या थ्व असहज परिस्थितिं यानाः हे जक जनताया नुगःखँ मुंकाः न्ह्याःवनेगु झीगु शाही परम्पराय् दिपाः वयाच्वंगु खः । जनताया नं ला त्वनेगु लः हे माले मफयाच्वंबलय् जुजुया राजकाजय् गथे ग्वाहलि याःवइ ? थ्व हे कारणं जक झी जुजु व जनता भचा तापाःगु थें महसुस जूगु खः मेता मखु । ”

“आमथे थ्यंक नं खइमखु । अथे तापाःगु हे खःसा जुजु व जनता थथे नापं थज्याःगु सुसनसानगु जंगलय् नापं वयेगु अवस्था झीगु न्ह्यःने दनी ला ? ” नुगःया खँ पित हल गुरुजुं ।

गुरुजुया खँय् छगू अभिमान खंकल ज्यापुं । वयागु नुगलय् दित । गुरुजुयात ज्वय्पियाः स्वत ।

पलखया शान्त । जुजुया मतिइ थ्व खँ उलि दुनेथ्यंक थिइगु धकाः कल्पना मजूगु । गुरुजुया नं अथे छुं मतिइ तयाः धाःगु खयेफु वा मखयेफु, वं नं खँ सिधल धकाः हे च्वन ।

ज्यापुं हानं थःगु नुगलय् स्वथनाच्वंगु खँ पितहल, “महाराज । हानं मेता खँ न्यने । महाराज, छलापोलं स्वयाबिज्यायेबलय् राज्य सञ्चालन जुइत धर्म तःधं लाकि परिश्रम ? ”

जुजु भचा सशंकित जुल । वयागु भावया गहिराइ थुल । थःगु नुगलय् वःगु लिसः सुचुकाः संयमित जुयाः मुसुं न्हिल । अले न्हिलाः धाल, “छाय् ? थौं ला बडो विचित्रगु खँ न्यन । का छिं हे धयादिसँ  छिं स्वयेबलय् छु थें च्वं ? राज्य धर्मं सञ्चालित जुइ लाकि परिश्रमं?”

“ग्व महाराज जिपिं ज्यापुतय्सं थज्याःगु खँ छु सिइ । छलपोलया पाखें हे लिसः फ्वनाच्वना । ”

न्ह्यःन्ह्यः वनाच्वंम्ह गुरुजुं लिउने जुयाच्वंगु खँय् सुलाच्वंगु खँ थू । थपाय्जि ज्याय् वनेत्यनाबलय् थथे खँ वइगु धइगु बांलाःगु खँ मखु । स्थिति सामान्य मयासे मजिल । वं लिफःतुलाः नवात, “म्वाः मदुगु खँ का थ्व । ज्या ला न्ह्याम्हस्यां याइ । मनू जुइगु धइगु हे परिश्रम यायेत मखुला ? उकिसं थःथःगु कथं थःत माक्व परिश्रम ला बनय् च्वंपिं धुँ–भालुं नं यानाच्वंगु दु । मयासे सुया नये दु? तर धर्म धइगु मनूतय्सं जक याइ । उकिं ला मनुष्य जीवन धइगु सर्वोत्तम धयातःगु । धर्म हे जक व लँपु खः गुकिं झीत मुक्तिइ तक थ्यंकी, थ्व जन्म व पुनर्जन्मया भवचक्रं तापाक्क यंकी ।”

“अय्सा ज्या यानाः नइपिं, बुँइ लुँ यसेकीपिनि छुं मू मदु का मखुला बाज्या ? छःपिनि नयेपित्यातकि धर्म भपियेगु लाकि जा ? ”

“नयेगु ला जा हे खः, तर जिमिसं खिचां नःनथें ल्वाकाल्वाकां जक मनया । जिमिसं व अन्न सयेकाबिउम्ह भगवानयात सुभाय् धयाः द्यःयात निगःचा मछासें मनया । नीसी याना, चिपनिप ल्याः तया, सुद्धगु नया, प्वाथं फ्वँक्व जक नया । अथे जुयाः ला झीगु देसय् धर्म ल्यनाच्वंगु । धर्मयात म्हो तायेकेमजिउ । अथें ला झीगु देसय् धर्म फुनाः अज्याःगु अनिकाल वयाच्वन ।”

“धर्मं नकीगु जूसा छाय् बुँइ वा पिनाच्वनेगु । धर्म हे देय्माः तयाः पाकापाका भपीसा मजिउ ला बाज्या? ”

गुरुजुया तं च्यानावल । वं थुल, थन ल्वापुया पुसामि च्यायेधुंकल । वयात नं लिसः मबिसे खः खः जक धयाच्वन मछुत । न हे वात, “खः धर्म नयेमजिउ । तर झीत नकातःगु धर्मं खः, म्वाकातःगु धर्मं खः । धर्म मदुसा जाकि जाकि जुयाच्वनीमखु, लः लः जुयाच्वनी मखु । नयेगु त्वःतूसा थ्व छगू जन्म जक । धर्म त्वःतूसा जन्मंजन्म तक दुख सिइ । मनू जुइखनी मखु । मनू जयाः जन्म जुयागु धइगु हे झीसं न्हापाया जन्मय् बांलाःगु भिंगु कर्म पिनावयागुलिं खः । आः खनिं न्ह्यलं चायेकाः धर्म यायेमाल । मखुसा हानं व नरक या पुतुपुतुं धाःगु खिगालय् जन्मकाये माली ।”

जुजुं निम्हस्या नं ख्वाः पालंपाः स्वयाच्वन । नवायेगु धइगु हानं खँ तःहाकः यायेगु धकाः थुइकाः सुम्क च्वन । जुजुया पाखें निर्णायक वाक्य वइगु आस कयाच्वंपिं निम्ह हिस्स जुल । थज्याथाय् सुम्क च्वनेगु हे दकलय् बांलाःगु वासः खः धकाः जुजुं सिउ ।

जुजुं नमवायेवं अचाःजु व ज्यापु निम्हं छुं मखुथें नापनापं वन । जुजु निम्हसित न्ह्यःन्ह्यः तयाः उमिगु लिउलिउ वन । सर्गतय् सुपाचं सुुद्र्यःयात तपुनाहल ।

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Buddhism and Newars : An overview


Razen Manandhar
1. Background
a. Introduction
Among hundreds of communities, the Newars have unbroken history of over two millennia in Nepal. They have turned their Kathmandu Valley and some areas beyond the valley ridges into the stage of beauty and civilization that none of other communities have nurtured here. Thanks to their limitless knowledge, creativity and devotion, the valley has remained the most beautified, productive and livable in Nepal till now.

Newar is a community of diversity; one can hardly find anything common to all Newars, except the language and the culture they share. This is the reason it is known as linguistic and cultural community. In the past 2000 years, different dynasties have ruled the Newars, namely, the Gopals, the Mahishpals, the Kiratis, The Lichhivis, the Thakuris, the Mallas and the Shahas. But, none of them were truly Newars. Along with the political changes, it is obvious that those ruling classes, after their empire’s falling down, mingled into the citizen’s communities and thus, the society became more and more diverse.

Being a multi-ethnic, multi-linguistic and multi-religious country, Nepal has all the positive and negative consequences. In the past the Newars followed four major religions — Hindu, Buddhism, Islam and Christian (followers of Islam and Christianity, were exiled or oppressed by the new political regime, which invaded the valley in 1760s). Now, there are Hindu Newars and Buddhist Newars; the Hinduism and Buddhism co-exists in the valley.



As the Newars are a mixture of Tibeto-Burman communities of the northern highland and Indo-Aryan communities of the southern plains, diversity among the Newars is also a nature of their own. It is natural that in kingdoms, majority of the people tend to follow the “royal” religion, for personal benefit, or social status. Still, the Buddhists were securing their space here from the very beginning. The rulers were always Hindus, but the Buddhist communities were successful to maintain their identity and thus did not feel any threat for survival. Now, some Newars are Hindus and some are Buddhists. Newar Buddhists invite Bajracharyas as priests while Newar Hindus invite Rajopadhyayas or Karmacharyas as their priests to guide them in rituals.

b. Buddhism in Nepal (Kathmandu Valley)
This article will concentrate only on Buddhist Newars. Influence, infiltration and harmonization of the two communities, along with the bonding of two philosophies as well, were inevitable. The influence of Hinduism (or rather Shivaism, Vaishnavism and Shaktaism, all together) rose from 11th century (in Nepal’s context) along with appraisal of tantraism among Newar Buddhists. In addition, some traces of their indigenous religion, atheistic or nature-worshipers, have to be reflected there.

Legends have it that basin on which the Kathmandu Valley is catered was a big lake. And long before Shakyamuni Buddha, other Buddhas visited here and found this lake to be pious place for development of Buddhism. Some believe that the Buddha himself came to Kathmandu, while others say that Emperor Ashoka visited Patan (near Kathmandu) and his daughter came here to marry with a local prince. Buddhism flourished in the Lichhivi period (c.400–800 AD), when many of major Buddhist shrines were built and festival started. Evolution of many Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhist traditions came up in this period. Nepal’s Buddhism was also taken to the Tibetan empire in this period.

In the “dark” period after the Lichhivi dynasty, by the beginning of the 11th century, the Buddhism in Nepal developed to be a highly sophisticated conglomeration of Mahayana, Vajrayana and Tantrism. One can also say that between the 8th and 12th centuries the Vajrayana Buddhism moved from India into Tibet through the Kathmandu Valley and it left an unprecedented impact here. But when it was traced here, it was totally different; either you call it syncretism of Hinduism and Buddhism or just Hindu encroachment into Buddhist philosophy, the result is, what now people broadly term as, Newar Buddhism. Apart from this, in the past 80 years or so, Theravada Buddhism has also been revived and quite a large number of Newars follow this tradition also.
This article does not deal with philosophy of Buddhism, rather, it will only basically outline what type of Buddhism Newars of the Kathmandu Valley are following from practical perspectives.

c. Newar Buddhism
Buddha’s teaching is one and so is Buddhism. But along the time and in reference to geography, Buddhism is practiced in slightly different way from one place to another. For a long time, Kathmandu valley has been a melting-pot of Tibetan (Himalayan/Mahayani/Vajrayani) and Southern (Theravada) Buddhism, which, in the course of the history, has developed its own unique “sect” of Buddhism. This is broadly known as Newar/Newarese Buddhism, also named as the Buddhism of Nepalmandal. It is, broadly, Vajrayana with Hindu influence and is dominated by tantraism. So, shortly, it is an intricate pluralistic religious system, as it is often referred to.

2. Characteristics
Buddhism is same everywhere in the world. Despite of existence of different sects and disciplines, they all agree that the teaching of the Buddha is their principle guideline. And their major objective, of following the Buddhism, is the same. Still, the Buddhism, followed by the Newars in the Katmandu Valley and the surrounding settlements of the Newars is unique. So, it needs special attention to understand this.
a. Monasteries: This is one of the major elements of this branch of Buddhism. These monasteries are built as a courtyard surrounded by two-storied buildings consisting of halls. A major deity, mostly Shakyamuni Buddha, is installed there. They are categorized as “Bahals” and “Bahils”. There are over 400 historic monasteries of Newars in the valley. The household monks serve there and conduct rituals everyday in most of them, while, some of them are in dilapidated condition and some have even disappeared.

b. Household Monasticism: The monasteries, however, do not have any celibate monks these days. It is said that King Jayasthiti Malla (1374–1395 AD) introduced the caste system among Newars and forcefully disrobed the celibate monks. These days the boys from Bajracharya and Shakya families go through the rituals of ordination (chudakarma) and instead remain monk for only four days. After that, they all live normal lives as social beings. However, some Bajracharyas may prefer to spend life as Buddhist priests, supporting other laymen to practice rituals of Vajrayana Buddhism. They connect the rituals of Mayahana or Vajrayana with the daily-lives of Buddhists of the valley. Two of the sub-communities — Bajracharyas and Shakyas — are household monks and other Newar Buddhists take their help and guidance to practice Buddhism in day to day life.



c. Rituals: Newar Buddhism is rich in all the rituals they have developed in thousands of years. They are all unique in the sense that though all are said to be based on teachings of the Buddha, these rituals are not followed by Buddhists of other places. These were created over a period of thousands of years by continuous practice and documentation. They are the life-cycle rituals — that is, first janko (rice-feeding), ihi (rituals of girls marrying wood apples), kayta-puja (bratabandha), baraytayegu (keeping girls in secret rooms), ihipa (weddings), janko (Bhimaratharohana), and sithanyankegu (funeral) and shraddha (paying annual tributes to the dead ones) etc. They are also invited to other occasional rituals like offering Tarapuja, Satwapuja, or house-warming puja too. Similarly the priests also organize fastings of Asthami Vrata, Basundhara Brata and so on.

d. Patronage — Janamana: The relation between the priests and the patrons (purohit and jajamana) is the bond which keeps the age-old tradition of Newar Buddhism alive. The priests help the householders mainly to follow the traditions of Buddhism. They support others to practice the rituals of Vajrayana Buddhism as priests.

e. Festivals: Buddhist festivals are all equal for all Buddhists in the world. But, apart from them, the Newar Buddhists celebrate some particular festivals, which are uncommon to the rest of the world.
i. Gunla: Buddhists from the Newar community in Kathmandu Valley celebrate the month-long festival of Gunla. This is a special festival that falls in August-September. In this month, Buddhists visit the temple of Swayambhu and other major Buddhist shrines, playing special drums called “dhaa”. Other major festivals — Panchadan, Gumpunhee, Matayaa, etc. fall in the same month.
ii. Shree Panchami: This is another festival to worship Manjushree, the deity of wisdom.
iii. Other major festivals, like Mohani (Dashain) and Swanti (Tihar) are celebrated by Newar Buddhists differently. Actually they are different festivals, which coincidentally fall on the day when Hindus celebrate their festivals.
iv. Chariot festivals of Karunamaya: Karunamaya or Aryavalokiteshwor is considered as prime deity of Newar Buddhists. He has four manifestations in different settlements, namely, in Kathmandu, Lalitpur, Chobhar and Nala. They all have local festivals, and among them those of Lalipur and Kathmandu have separate chariot processions.

f. Art: Newars are famous around the world for their age-old passion for art. And, Newar Buddhism turned out to be a means to express their art. Their unique Buddhism and devotion to it inspired them to produce masterpieces and their skill helped them interpret their religion in artful ways. The Newars have their kind of “lost-wax” technology of casting metal sculptures and Paubha is unique Newar version of scroll painting which is very similar to Tibetan kind of “Thanka” painting. They have variety of deities to depict the complexity of their religion and their forms of art are strong enough to manifest the religion blended with skilled beauty. Similarly, the Newar Buddhists have developed a standard, mystic and meaningful form of dance “charya pyakhan”, which is performed at secret chambers to worship their special deities. Similarly, they also have special songs “charyamye” to worship, which also comes guiding the dances of charya.

g. Literature / written documents: Newar Buddhist monks were great scholars. Thousands of books were written, copied and stored in various Buddhist monasteries. In the course of time, various beautiful Newar scripts were developed, including Ranjana, Bhujimol, Himol, Pachumol, Prachalit and so on. These books, written mostly in Sanskrit and in Nepalbhasha, are now an unfathomable treasure of knowledge for Buddhist and other scholars of the world. The state, in many instances buried, burned or threw such books, but still we have plenty of them for the future generation to educate them about Buddhism.

h. Hindu influence: One has to admit that this unique Buddhism of Newars has a heavy influence of Hinduism upon it. This is the reason that it has been strongly influenced by the Hindu caste system and it discriminates Newars on the base of the family names people carry. It may also be said that the Newar Buddhism has even accommodated some elements of Hindu Tantrism as well. It is customary for Newar Buddhists to worship Hindu gods and goddesses and celebrate Hindu festivals. Many of the rituals, prescribed by the Bajracharya priests are similar to those of Hindu ones. Some call it Hindu dominance on minority Buddhist community and others take it positively, by naming it a good example of religious co-existence of harmony.



3. Conclusion
Newar Buddhism is not only Newars’ property and a Buddhist sect. But it is altogether a heritage the world can be proud of. The history, devotion, knowledge, rituals, art and so on are blessings for the future generation of the Newars. But, despite of all the noble characteristics this Newar Buddhism is now also facing number of challenges. It is virtuous that, despite of growing worldly needs, the Newar Bajracharya priests are doing this service for the ordinary Buddhists at nominal donations. When the government has little interest to promote Buddhism and propagate the Buddha’s teaching, the small community has been sincerely and selflessly working to give continuity to their heritage. It is of course a living heritage of Newars.

Photos are taken from the Internet

[Guthi Smarika]

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Living Goddess Kumari and Human Rights issues


Razen Manandhar

Kumari is considered in Hindu theology as a goddess of beauty and strength, in a very broad sense. Worshiping Kumari has been a 2000-year-old tradition in the Hindu sections of the Indian sub-continent. No wonder, Hindus of Nepal also worship Kumari as one of the goddesses of the Shakta sect. Unlike any other Hindu community in the world, since the 13th century, the Newars of the Kathmandu Valley have been worshiping goddess Kumari in the most unique form — that is, worshiping a girl child as the goddess, or as a living embodiment of those Hindu goddesses, that is also having been selected from a Buddhist family. This is the reason; this tradition has been drawing attention of the Buddhists, Hindus and others worldwide.

In the medieval period, as the Newar civilization fell into the hands of Hindu rulers, and they also were attracted by mystic rituals of tantraism, cult of worshiping Kumari drew “royal” attention. In whatever way, Kumari gained the position of being the prime deity to be worshiped by the Malla kings in the period between 13th to 17th century. So, an annual chariot festival of the Kumari girl was commenced and a decorated building was built just next to the royal palace as a residence for the Kumari. In fact, there are around a dozen Kumaris in the Kathmandu Valley in total.


After the Gurkhali king Prithvi Narayan Shah invaded Kathmandu Valley in 1769, all the art, culture and language — both tangible and intangible heritage of this ancient valley — took an abrupt breakage. Still, the tradition went on. It is said that the people of Kathmandu recognized the Shah king when he hurriedly admitted to worship the living goddess. The tradition of kings visiting the temple of the living goddess twice a year continued till the last year of the monarchy. And, ironically, it continued even with the presidents of the secular federal republic of Nepal. So the heritage continues.

The charges, attacks on this tradition by foreign media persons, Human Rights activities as well as by Nepalis, who belong to non-Newar communities came to ground after the 90s. As the new non-government organizations and “experts” are seen on the stage, the issue of Kumari and Human Rights emerged dramatically.

Those who oppose the tradition of Kumari basically say, that the girl is imprisoned, does not have right to eat, dress or play freely, or not given right to education. And some “Human Rights” academicians also claim that the Kumaris are supposed to remain unmarried for whole life (even when they know that all adult ex-Kumaris are married and are happily conducting social responsibilities).

A former Kumari, in her school uniform

What is Human Rights? Since the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Paris by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948, lots of things have been said, written and done. It is not possible to write all about these universally accepted documents here.

We know that Human rights are rights inherent to all human beings, whatever our nationality, place of residence, sex, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, language, or any other status. We are also all equally entitled to our human rights without discrimination. And now, when we talk about Human Rights, we are talking about civil and political, economic, social and cultural rights too.

Nepal, a country in solitude, was worshiping the living goddess, when the Europeans and Americans were still buying and selling human beings and as animals. This country’s unique culture of living goddess came into the limelight after some international media portrayed the picture of the Kumari as if they found some new species of animal the in mystical jungles of the Amazon. It is not that the issue of Kumari was not discovered by the writers of earlier era, but after some journalists mystified, glorified, horrified or even commercialized it, this issue turned out to be a hotcake for foreign Human Right defenders and some local defenders too.

The issue took serious turn after then women’s rights activist Bidya Bhandari (the president of Nepal at present) announced in the capital in September 2002 that she would eradicate the tradition of Kumari by introducing a law. That was quite an alarming sensation among the cultural experts, Human Rights defenders as well politicians. Her logic was really quotable — she believed that former Kumaris are not supposed to marry and if they get married, their husbands would die in short period! That was what the women’s rights activist from communist background said.

Lakhe, the masked demon, dances during the festival of Kumari

Following this, many defenders of Human Rights and Child Rights have attacked this tradition. Their vague argument was that the was not allowed to go to school, dress ordinarily in functions, go out to play and have to wear ornaments in functions and so on. Then, a question comes, what is Child Rights in Nepal? Is it something like being victim of infanticide, discriminated at early childhood as girl, deprived of education, forced to sleep in hazardous cowsheds during menstruation, being sent to work as child laborer, forced to fast in the name of husbands or would-be-husbands, marrying at early age, forced to be married off with elderly groom, being rejected by groom’s family (or even being burned) for not bringing sufficient dowry, and forced to live life of widows? Those defenders point their fingers at the only one example, where a girl is literally worshiped because she is a girl. This has been going on in a country, where girls are generally bound to live lives of uncertainty, of being discriminated, harassed, abused, sold to brothels, raped or even murdered. And on the top of everything, most of criticizing defenders belong to the upper-caste Hindus, where discrimination against girl children and women takes place to the highest point of imaginable extent. Obviously, this attack comes merely out of jealousy, that their community cannot respect a girl like this. They cannot imagine giving this much of respect to a girl.

Once some advocates filed a case against this tradition in the Supreme Court. The case continued for long and eventually, not directly though, the court ordered that the Kumaris and ex-Kumaris should have better facilities and ordered the government to revise facilities and allowances. Three years ago, in 2014 January 14, the Kathmandu Metropolitan City Office decided to grant Rs 10 thousand of life-long allowance to each of the ex-Kumaris for coming ten years. Kumaris, in the case of the “royal” Kumari, get education in her residence and all others are going to school on their conveniences. Those hundreds of thousands of people, who gather at the premises of the historical royal palace as well as along the streets of the core Kathmandu during the festive period of the Yenyaa or Indrajatra, are not all ignorant of the worldwide movement of Human Rights and value of being human. Similarly, the heads of the state and heads of the governments, the government officials, as well as diplomats who visit her at the chariot processions also are not unaware of the international laws, treaties and conventions. Nepal Tourism Board showcases Kumari as one of international attractions. The Goddess is now revered by the Newars of Sikkim, Australia and the US too; they are also not blindfolded or hypnotized.

In this regard, when we keep ourselves free from any sort of prejudices against the community which has the privilege to host the biggest administrative hub of the country in their long-earned civilization, it can be said that there is no such violation of any of those rights. Of course, we criticize if we are giving any harm to one’s body or psychological misbehavior to one’s mind to any single human being, but if everything is reasonable, then we can say that there must be something called “cultural rights” too.

Most of the confusions in the international arena are the results of the “hard works” of some media persons or writers, who do their best to portray Nepal as a country, where uncultured, uneducated people or may be cannibals live in this 21st century. While exaggerating our culture and rituals, they completely blackout philosophic aspects and civilization and, instead, do not leave any stone unturned to find out any single flaw, mistake, problem or drawback in the highly esteemed tradition to make their stories sensational or at least sellable in their market. Or, they bring out certain issues unintentionally, which appear to the unknown readers as sizzling and alarming. Or, in most of the cases, the reporters, thanks to their half-baked preparation or their prejudiced “fixers” or mediators, who for some more coins tell unrelated stories at preparation or “research” period and the reporters, tend to attack the religion, culture, tradition and philosophy from the very beginning without any reason. Most of the reporters do not know that there are several Kumaris and that each has different rituals and disciplines to go through. They just jumble things for their weird pleasure. Their reports show that they are still not convinced that everything is normal with the girls, even after meeting dozens of people on hand for their assignments.

The stories appear in the Internet or are seen in televisions and we can’t stop laughing on the blunders those international reporters make. While we are laughing how stupid the reporters were to miss some important points or to twist the reality into hilarious fantasies, the whole world, as much of the readers or the audience the stories can draw, must be thinking that the Newars of the Kathmandu Valley are the most uncivilized or barbarians of the whole universe.

Precisely, the girl in the goddess’s attire carry the belief, devotion and tradition of the Newars, who had developed their own sense of theology, religion, harmony between two prevailing religions, a boost of the age-long art and architecture and also a viewpoint which is guided by the simple tradition that women are worthy to be worshipped and that there is power in every girl’s being. The girls laugh, play, enjoy, cry, sleep, fall ill, get medication and are pampered as much as any girl has right to be. They study, watch TV, meet their parents, paly with mates and with advanced smart phones and what not. Yes, they live disciplined life and are not allowed to do what is not allowed to any fortunate and elite class children. It is because she is not ordinary girl. She is special.

This elephant figure is taken to the street during the festival

Another issue these Human Rights defenders raise is so-called “trauma” the girls are said to face after bidding farewell to their Kumari House and when they start living as ordinary girls at homes. What so? All girls are naturally made strong to face new stages of life. And so are they. They come back to their home, with lots of love and prestige for their parents and neighborhood and country as a whole. And she takes time to adjust herself in to social circumstances, as any child who returns home after being graduated form a residential school. She enjoys all stages of mental and physical growth and learns new charms and responsibilities of being adolescent and life goes on. They are found doing well in studies and career. They are fortunate that they did not take birth in the society where abortion takes place after identifying sex, or where girl children are forced to sleep in cowshed during the period. They are proud to have been grown up in the Newar community where women have special values, indeed.

Because of such wide-spreading rumors and attacks, ex-Kumaris do not want to talk to others. I had an opportunity to ask these questions to a former Kumari, Preeti Shakya, who is now studying in graduation level through Facebook Messenger. She does not think that there is any kind of (Human Rights or Child Rights) violation. Regarding the problems one has to face in coming up with socialization and living a normal life, she says she does not have any problem regarding anything. When asked if she regrets being Kumari at that time, she says, “I feel very proud and special being ex-Kumari. It is a matter of pride for the Kumari’s family as well as the nation. I always get extra respect, love n care from the people. The people of the Kumari House also love me very much.”

(Guthi, UK. Photos are found in social media, I don’t claim any rights over them.)
https://medium.com/@razenmanandhar/living-goddess-kumari-and-human-rights-issues-59ef29506a68

Friday, October 5, 2018

कुशिनगरय् लूगु निर्वाण



राजेन मानन्धर
जिमिगु बस कुशिनगर दुथ्यन । खुल्लागु खालिगु सतकया लिक्क छगू चिकीचाधंगु बजार, पाय्छि लुम्बिनीया मइलाबार थें । थन च्वंपिन्त नं अन कुशिनगर दु धइगु हेक्का मदु जुइ, थन वःपिं मनूतय्के ध्यबा स्वहायेके कायेमाः धइगु व हे मइलाबारया थज्याःगु सोचाइ हे जक ला जुइ नि । लुँयालिक्क च्वनेवं दक्वं गन प्वालाप्वालाथी धकाः । थ्यने वं हे थथे मतिइ वल जिगु । छाय् जुइ जि थपाय्सकं बौद्धस्मारकया जःखः च्वनीपिंलिसे वितृष्णा?
बस अन हे लिक्क च्वंगु अनया भियतनामी विहारया न्ह्यःने दित । स्वये हे हिसिचा दुगु विहार – वाउँगु घाँय्, दथुइ छम्ह द्यःया सुन्दर मुर्ति, मलः व मेमेमगु अज्याःगु हे भियतनामी छाय्पा । नकतनि हे दयेके सिधःगु थज्याःगु । तकसं कलात्मक, सुन्दर अले तापाकं वःपिन्त छझाः झासु लंकेत व उमिगु त्यानुगु तंकेत माक्व चक्कं ।
जिपिं थन हे च्वनेगु व्यवस्था जुयाच्वंगु दु । दक्वं थःथःगु भारी ज्वनाः दुहाँ वना । त्यानुगु व ज्वर वःगु निगुलिं ल्वाकज्यानाः जितः दुने. दुनें म्वय्म्वय् थ्यानाच्वंगु खः, तर नं थः च्वनेगु थाय् लुइवं नुगः द्यः मुसुं न्हिलाहल । चिचीधंगु चिचीजाःगु पलंगत चकनाच्वन । पलखं सु सु गन गन च्वनेगु क्वःजित । वनाः छकः वयागु मुलय् ग्वतुलाबिया । नकतिनि सासः ल्हानाथें जुल ।
बुद्धधर्मया प्यंगु संवेजनीय स्थल धकाः धयातःगु – लुम्बिनी, बोधगया, सारनाथ व थ्व कुशीनगर । अथेसां थन धार्मिक माहौल छतिं मदु । गुलि दु दक्व थी थी देय्या बौद्ध संघसंस्थां दयेकाबियातःगु उमिउमिगु हे धर्मसंस्कृति न्ह्यब्वइथज्याःगु स्तुप व विहारत जक । अन हे च्वनेमाः दक्व तीर्थयात्रीत । दुथेंच्वंगु बांलाःगु गनं होटल, गेस्ट हाउस मखना । न तापाक्क गनं गिनं दु ला । थथे बौद्ध देय्तय्सं विहारत दयेका मबिउसा गन च्वनी जुइ तीर्थयात्रीत । लुम्बिनी छगू नेपालय् लाःगुयात गनं गनं चाःचाःहिइकाः भारतय् लुम्बिनी दु धकाः च्वयाजुइ, क्यनाजुइ, अले बुद्धया जन्मभूमि भारत खः धकाः तकं धायेत लिफः स्वइमखु, तर थन थज्याःगु पूण्यभूमिइ तीर्थयात्रीतय्त माःगु सामान्य भौतिक सुविधाया व्यवस्था तकं मजुयाच्वन ।

निभाः खने तकं दूगु मखु । ख्वाउँसे च्वंगु च्वनं । भचा तापाक्क छु दु धकाः धायेफूगु अवस्था अझं मवःनि । सु गन छु यानाच्वन मसिउ । थज्याःथाय् का पुचलय् वनाच्वनागु लाकि याकःचा वनाच्वनागु धइगुया अर्थ खुलेजुइगु । गुलि गन सुयात पिइगु मसिउ । जि याकःचाया याकःचा । स्वता ई तकं छु जुइ धइगु मसिउ । पलख बर्मी चैत्य चाःहिला, नापसं च्वंगु पुखलिइि दयेकातःगु द्यःगः नं । अनंतुं चिहाकःगु लँ जुयाः न्ह्यःने दुपिं अम्बिका दिदी, दुर्गा दिदीपिं लिसे कुशीनगरया निर्वाणमूर्ति दर्शन याःवना । लिउने तापाकंनिसें म्हसिकेफूगु चैत्य अले चाकःलिं पुरातात्विक उत्खननय् लुयावःगु अवशेषत ।
कुशीनगर धइगु हे निर्वाण । बुद्धधर्मय् निर्वाण धइगु शब्दयात हे आदरं उच्चारण याइ । न्ह्यनेलाःम्हस्यां कायेफइगु पदवी मखु थ्व । दक्व बुद्ध जुइफइगु जूसा बुद्ध धइगु शब्दया अर्थ हे ल्यनामच्वनीगु जुइ । जन्म मजूसा निर्वाण धइगु दइ ला? अले निर्वाण धइगु या अर्थ मदुसा थ्व जन्म दुख खः धकाः गथे सिइ? पलख अन च्वँच्वं मतिइ खँ लुत । शायद निर्वाण धइगु उलि अःपुक दइगु खःसा उलि उलिमछि बोधिसत्वतय् नां नं दइमखु जुइ ।
बुद्धधर्म हे लोपया अवस्थाय् लानाच्वंगु भारतय् थज्याःगु पुण्यभूमि नं चाद्वँ जक जुयाच्वनीगु आश्चर्यया खँ मखुत । सन् १८५४य् तिनि एच एच विल्सन अले इ बुचानन धइपिं ब्रिटिश अफिसरपिन्सं थ्व थाय्या महत्व सिइकल । थन धाःसा १८७६य् लुइकूगु धकाः च्वयातल । वयांलिपा विस्तृत उत्खनन् धुंकाः थ्व थाय् हे बुद्ध परिनिर्वाण जुयाबिज्याःगु थाय् खः धकाः घोषणा यात । उत्खनन्या क्रमय् हे थ्व २४फीट तःहाकःगु निर्वाण मूर्ति नं लूगु धकाः जिं ब्वनातयागु । थ्व मूर्ति न्यागूगु शताब्दीइ हरिबाला धइम्ह भिक्षुं दयेकेबिउगु धकाः पिनेया प्लाकय् च्वयातःगु नकतिनि ब्वनागु । अले थुकियात मूर्तिकार मथुराय् च्वंम्ह श्री दिन्न धाःगु जिं गनं ब्वनातयागु – न्ह्यागुसां उमि थथे अभिलेख तयेबलय् मूर्तिकारया नां नं उल्लेख जू, थ्व हे मन सन्तोषया खँ खः । झी ला धायेगु चलन दु, न्यातपौ द्यःगः सुनां दयेकूगु? जुजु भूपतिन्द्र मल्लं, धरहरा सुनां दयेकूगु? भिमसेन थापां । झीथाय् सत्ताया चाकरी यानाः इतिहास च्वइपिनिगु खँ ।
पुरातात्विक अवशेषत चखिनातःगु वाउँगु बगिंचा स्वयाः छतँजाः ति थाहाँ वनेमाः । च्वय् खाकि लं फिनातःगम्ह तःहाकःगु कथि ज्वनातःम्ह गार्डं जिमित मिखा तुंक स्वत । लुखां दुहाँवने न्ह्यः लाकां त्वःते त्यनाबलय् अन च्वंगु भ्वाथःगु छगू बोर्डय् मिखा वन । अनया अधिक्षण, पुरातत्वविद पटनां जारीयानातःगु सुचं – दान बिइमदु । गन बुद्ध दु, अन दान प्रतिवन्धित ला ? धायेबलय् थनया सरकारयात थ्व थाय् छुं धर्मया आस्थाया दर्शनया केन्द्र मखु का, केवल पुरातात्विक ल्वहँ जक का । गन पर्यटकत वइ, अन उमिगु होटलय्, पसलय् भचा भचा व्यापार यानाबिइ । तर मेखे स्वयेबलय् पाय्छि नं – मखुसा थन फ्वगिंत व नक्कली भन्ते जुयाः निगः प्यंगः कायेखनीगु लोभं गुलि मनूत झ्वःझ्वःलिक्क दंवयाच्वनीगु जुइ, झीथाय् लुम्बिनीइथें ।
विशेषकथंया थूचाथें ग्वल्लाःगु पौ दूगु व प्यखेरं चकलाःगु झ्याःदूगु महापरिनिर्वाण मन्दिर द्यःछेँ । छगू जक लुखाया जवंखवं च्वंगु ह्याउँगु निगः थां बाहेक मेगु दुक्वं साघ्यः तुइसे । खयेत ला थ्व थाय्यात बुद्धकाल धुंकाः नं थ्व कुशिनारा धइगु थाय् मल्ल जनपदया राजधानी धकाः हे नां दनाच्वंगु खः, अले लिपा नं मौर्य, शुङ्ग, कुशान अले गुप्त व हर्ष जुजुपिनिगु राज्यकालय् नं महत्वपूर्ण हे जुयाच्वंगु खः । तर लिपा लिपा मेमेथाय् बुद्धधर्म बुलुयावंलिसे थज्याःगु महत्वपूर्ण बौद्ध तीर्थस्थल नं इतिहासया गर्भय् दुसुनावन । कमसेकम १२ औं शताब्दीतक थ्व जीवित हे जुयाच्वन, अले थी थी अबौद्ध शासकतय्गु थ्व लाःवन, अन्तय् चां हे ल्हाःवन । १५औं शताब्दीपाखे थन राजपुत शासकतय्सं कब्जा जमेयात धइगु न्यनेदु ।
न्हापा थ्व हे खः परिनिर्वाण जूगु थाय् धकाः सिइकं नं, अले थनच्वंगु थपाय्मछि धिकःगु निर्वाण मूतिं न्यागूगु शताब्दिया धकाः सिइकं नं थुकियात द्यःगःया रुपय् बांलाक संरक्षण यायेत मेगु चय्दँ पिइमाल । न्ह्यागुसां १९०३य् बर्मां बिज्याःम्ह चन्द्रस्वामीया कुतलं थन महापरिनिर्वाण द्यःगः धस्वात । अले १९५६य् तिनि बुद्धजयन्तीया २५००दँ हनेगु झ्वलय् थुकियात थ्व आःया रुपय् बिल । थ्व द्यःगःया निर्माण आधुनिक हे खःसां थन अजन्ता एलोराया प्राचीन बौद्ध गुफाया कलात्मक मोटिफ दु, छकलं हे भारतीय बौद्ध सौन्दर्यशास्त्रया पाना पुइकेथें यानाबिइ हरेक तीर्थयात्रीयात ।
दुने भगवानबुद्धया निर्वाण मूर्ति सुयातं गनं मदइगु सुखानुभूति लिसें ग्वतुलाच्वना बिज्यात । ख्वालय् गनं मदुगु शान्ति व शालिनता लुयाच्वन । अपाय्मछि धिकः थाय् किचीकू यानंनिसें गथेच्वं धकाः स्वये हे मछिं । म्ह छम्हं न्यंगु झिल्ल च्वंगु चीवर न्ययेकातःगु दु, छ्यं व पालि जक खनेदयेक । सालुगु फ्वंगाय् हे छ्यं दिकातल, खवगु ल्हाः छ्यंक्वय् जक । ख्वालय् छगू गनं मेगु बुद्धप्रतिमाय् खनेमदइगु शालिनता दु । तुति निपा जक खनेदु, जिं न्यनातयागु, अन बुद्धया पालिइ चक्रया चिं दु हँ, तर थन ला तुतिइ जायेक लुँतिकातःगुलिं अथे छुं खने मदयाच्वन । अथे याइगुलिं हे जुइ, आः प्यखेरं खाः तयाः ल्हातिं थिइमजिइकातःगु दु ।

निम्ह प्यम्ह जिपिं नापं बिज्याःपिं भन्ते गुरुमांपिं अन प्रार्थना यानाच्वन । जि नं पलख सिथय् लाक्क पुलिं चुयाः बुद्ध लुमंका, बुद्ध गुण लुमंका । थन थः थथे वयेखंगुलिं थःत धन्य तायेका । छम्ह निम्ह यायां दक्वं वन, जि नं बुलुहुँ लुखां पिहाँ वना ।
मन्दिरया लिउने तःजाःगु स्तुप – महापरिनिर्वाण स्तुप । बुद्ध परिनिर्वाण जुयाबिज्याःगु थासय् हे थ्व स्तुप दयेकूगु धाइ । प्यतँति जाः जुइ, छुं अज्याःगु बांलाकेगु, छाय्पिइगु बुट्टा अलंकार मदु । सिलिण्डर आकार जुयाः च्वय् थुरथें ग्वाराचिनाच्वंगु जक । उकिया च्वय् हर्मिका अले द्यःने स्वतँ जूगु कुसा । जमिनं २० मीटर ति तजाः हँ । न्हापान्हापा थुकिया भग्नावशेष लुइकूबलय् ४ मीटर जाःगु चाकलाःगु क्वथा थें लूगु खः अले उकिया दुने सिजःया घः अले सिजःया हे प्रतीत्य समुद्पादया सुत्र च्वयातःगु पौ लुइकूगु । थ्व नं न्यागूगु शताब्दीइ हरिबाला धइम्हस्यां हे तःगु जुयाच्वन । अझ दुने ला ईशाया न्हापांगु शताब्दीयागु धाये ल्वाःगु ध्यानमुद्राय् च्वनाच्वंगु बुद्धमूर्ति तकं लुइकूगु हँ । गुलिस्यां थन बुद्धया अस्थिधातु नं तयातःगु धकाः विश्वास याइ । अथे हे थुकिया पुनर्निर्माण १९२७य् बर्मी बौद्धतय्गु ग्वहालिं तिनि जुल । थौं तक थ्व स्तुप झीगु न्ह्यने धस्वानाच्वन, तापाकं निसें बुद्ध निर्वाण जुयाबिज्याःगुया सन्देश अले बुद्धशिक्षायात अजर अमरयायेत प्रेरणा बियाः ।
स्तुपय् छकः परिक्रमायानाः जिपिं अन चाकःलिं दूगु पुरातात्विक विहार व स्तुपया संरचनाया अवशेषत स्वस्वं लिहाँवया । न्हापा अन बुद्धधर्मया जगजगी दनिबलय् थन थनया प्रशासकत नं न्हिंन्हिं वः जुइ, बहुमूल्य बस्तुत छाइगु जुइ । अले थन लिक्क लिक्क गुलि चैत्यत दु जुइ, उमिसं हे दयेकेबिउगु । अले उमिसं हे दयेकाबिउगु विहारय् गुलि गुलि भिक्षु भिक्षुणीत च्वंजुइ । ईया घःचाः – आः दक्व अवशेष जुयाः जक भ्वसुलाच्वंगु दु – चाद्वँ, अपा द्वँ गनं तजाः, गनं चिजाः । गनं छद्वँ, गनं छकूचा । आः न्ह्याथे थजु, गुगुं इलय् थन बौद्धत न्हिंन्हिं म्वःम्वः दइगु जुइ, पूजा, प्रार्थना व धर्मदेशना जुयाच्वनीगु जुइ । जिगु मिखाय् व दक्व दृष्यत झ्वःलिक दंवल । पलक लिपा जिं जितः लुइका, अन ला वाउँगु घाँय् जक दु, अले तापाक्क लँसिथय् हानं व हे चाइनिज लुमन्तिचिंया पसःत जक दु ।
बुद्धजीवनीया ल्याखं कुशिनगर अन्त्य खःसा नेपाःया थेरवादया इतिहास ब्वनीपिनिगु लागि शुरुवात खः । थ्व हे व थाय् खः गन कर्मशील भन्ते लगायत नेपाःया न्हापांपिं भन्ते, गुरुमां व श्रामणेरपिन्सं न्हापां म्हासुगु वसःया अनुभव यायेखन । नेपाःयात थेरवादया जीवन्त इतिहास च्वकेबिल । थुलि धायेधुंकाः नेपालं वःपिं दक्व गृहत्याग यानावःपिन्त वसः पुंका बिज्याम्ह चन्द्रमणि बाबायात जिगु मिखां मालाच्वन । शालिक छगू ला दु अन बिडला भवनय् श्री चन्द्रमणि निःशुल्क पाठशाला चालाच्वंगु दु , १९४२य् थापना यानातःगु, व हे खःला मखुला ।

नेपालय् थेरबाद लिहाँ वयेगु न्हापांगु चरणय् ला दक्व दक्व भन्ते गुरुमांपिन्त नं थन हे प्रवजित यानाः छ्वयाहइगु । थ्व ल्याखं नेपाःया थेरवादी बौद्धतय्सं गुबलें ल्वःमंकेफइमखु थ्व थाय् । कमसे कम जिं बुद्धधर्म ब्वनाः नेपालय् थेरवादया पुनरुत्थान गुकथं जुल धइगु सामान्य जानकारी तक ला कयाताया । थुकिइ हे सन्तुष्ट जि ।
०००

मेगु यायेगु छुं मखँसेलि जिपिं हे जक लिक्कसं लाःगु बजारय् तक चाःहिउ वना । झिगु झिंन्यागू मिनेट ट्याम्पुं वनेवं अन छगू बजार लुइ, कसिया बजार । शायद कुशिनगरया नामं हे च्वंगु जुइ । रक्सौल, नौतनवा वा मेमेगु सामान्य चिचीधंगु भारतीय बजारथें चिकीधं, लँ ध्यपनाःउगुं थुगुं मियातःगु, हालाः हालाः न्यायेमिइ यानाच्वंगु । गनं छतिं हे बौद्ध पह मवः – सुं मनुखं अन बुद्ध धइम्ह सु, बौद्ध धइम्ह गज्याःम्ह धकाः नं मसिउ जुइ, अले अनसं बुद्धया परिनिर्वाण जूगु पवित्र तीर्थस्थल दु धकाः नं मसिउ जुइ ।

ब्वनातयागु, बुद्ध स्वयमं थ्व थाय् तसकं महत्वपूर्ण धकाः थम्हं हे थ्व थासय् निर्वाण कायेगु निर्णय यानाबिज्याःगु धाइ । थनया महत्व धइगु थ्व हे ला ? थपाय् जि तःधंगु प्यंगु संवेजनीय तीर्थस्थल मध्ये छगू धयातःसां थन च्वंपिनि नुगलय् २५०० दँ लिपा नं बुद्ध स्वमचाःनि । थाकु बुद्धधर्मया न्यनावने अले न्यनाच्वने धुंकूथाय् धिसिलाक्क च्वनाच्वने नं । मेगु छु धाये, झीगु लुम्बिनीया हवाल नं थथे हे खः ।
बहनी अन बिज्यानाच्वंम्ह भन्तेया थाय् नापलाःगुनेगु खँ जुल । भन्ते गुरुमांपिन्त न्ह्यःन्ह्यःतयाः जिपिं वना बर्मी विहार लिक्कसं च्वंगु विहारय् । अनया भन्तेयाथाय् आदरपूर्वक जिपिं छखेलिक्क फ्यतुना । भन्तेनं हिन्दी भासं उगु थुगुं खँ कनाबिज्यानाच्वन । लिसे नेपाःया थेरबादया विषयय् पलख जूगु बार्तालाप न्यनेखन । निग्रोध भन्तेनं वसपोलयात जिपिं वयागुया उद्देश्य ध्वाथुइका बिज्यात । वसपोलया शान्त ख्वाःपाः जिगु मिखाय् प्यपुनाच्वन । जिं यक्व मथू वसपोलया खँ । तर थुलि थुइकेत जितः थाकु मजू कि वसपोल उलि तापाक्क च्वनाः नं नेपाःया थेरवाद गतिविधिया बारे यक्व च्यूताः कयाच्वना बिज्याः, दक्व सिउ वसपोलं । मसिइगु खँ नं मजुल, बांलाःगु खँ ला न्यनावनी, बांमलाःगु खँ जुलकि झं याकनं न्यनावनी, पनां पनेनं ला फइमखु । वसपोल उलि लय्मताः नेपालय् भन्तेपिं, बुद्धधर्मया संरक्षण व विकास जुयाच्वंगु खँय् । यायेमानिगु ज्याखँ यक्व दनि । याइपिं धाःसा ग्व, न्यय्दँ न्ह्यः च्याम्हझिम्ह भन्ते गुरुमांपिन्सं नेपालय् बुद्धशासन थीर यायेत यानावंगु खँ थौं बाखंथें जुयाच्वन ।
नेपालभाषा टाइम्स : http://nepalbhasatimes.com/13047

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Go away, you sexy demon!

Razen Manandhar
Newars, a small community in Nepal, celebrate a score of festivals throughout the year. It is strange that no other community in the multi-ethnic county has this many festivals. Sometime it’s a matter of pride, and sometime, actually, it is a burden to new generation that has to do so many things in this competitive world, than rejoicing festivals.
Among others, the festival of Gathamuga (गथांमुगः) is unique, strange or even bizarre. This is not even religious, one can say. It is, just a cultural event, which is not related to any of religions the Newars follow. So, no particular god or goddess is worshipped on this day, as it usually happens with other Newar festivals. This year, in 2018, the festival fell on August 9th.
Chasing away a horrible demon is what is done on this day, basically. An effigy, made of freshly cut reed plants, which must have a huge mask with terrifying eyes, teeth showing face, big ears with bells as ear pendants. Interesting thing about this demon is, it does not matter whether it has any other detail or not, but a quite big and noticeable sexual organ, of course male, is what it must carry. Isn’t obscene? I will talk about it later.
The making of effigy is related with a legend. As the legend has it, once upon a time, there was a man-eating demon (some call it helpful ghost). People, tired of his atrocity, chose a Trantric to take this story to an end. He disguised himself as a frog and when in front of the demon and started teasing him. The demon was quite furious and started chasing him. The frog led him to a marsh and he died. The locals were delighted with his death and they all cremated him in the jungle. Now, people celebrate the death of this legendary demon every year.
And, some elites, or say, theists, have another version of the story. They believe that Gathamuga was not a demon, but just an atheist. He did not like to hear name of any god and so, he had bells as his earrings. And he was rejected by the society. When he died, he died so miserably that he did not have anybody to cremate his body. So, people picked a boy to collect donation and his body was cremated in the river. This is the reason that people in Kathmandu these days take the effigy to the river, led by a boy, who begs money for the last ritual. However this boy’s role in the story is seen only in Kathmandu.
Author stands with a smart effigy of Gathamuga in Bhaktapur
This festival is called “boy’s festival”, where girls don’t have much to do. It might be said so because, the effigy is made which looks obscene. There is particular reason why the demon is male (I know there were some female demons too, which also were made with their organs equally visible, but they are, I am afraid it is extinct now). One should not have any objection about these things because Nepal is one of the countries where phallus is worshipped publicly. In Nepal and India, the Hindus worship giant phalluses are worshiped in the form of Shiva, one of the major deities of the religion. And apart from the Hindus of this region, others also have a kind of religious affection to male genital organs, for example the Japanese and the Bhutanese, and this is all no nonsense. Everybody knows that it is the source of origin or, at lease we can say now, reproduction. Yes, some like Hindus have explanations with philosophic coating and others are all name rustic or barbarians who practice phallus-worshipping without explaining. Thank god, we don’t encourage or glorify male chauvinism or rapists or molesters by doing this. Apart from this, some obscene slogans are shouted in the procession. They also don’t have answer when asked why they have to shout like this. All they have to reply is, “We have been doing this for ages. And we have to do.” But we know this is one simple way to vent out frustration, anger out of their mind and a chance to express their hard-trodden desire to say some “prohibited” words, at least once a year.
Well, what do they do on this day? From the morning, women folks clean their houses and paint their main door’s with crimson-colored-clay with some mixture of cow-dung. Even though we say that girls don’t have role, this part of the difficult task is mostly done by the women. People love to wear iron rings on this day, saying that this will protect them the demon’s touch.
And boys erect small effigies in most of the crossroads in the morning. And again, most of talented women make dolls or leftover clothes and hang them on those effigies. They say that it is the demon Gathamuga and the dolls symbolize those poor children, taken away by him.
By afternoon, the local boys, mostly adolescent boys go around the locality to collect some money to buy reeds. They used to shout some obscene slogans too! With that much of money, they buy other stacks of freshly cut reed plants.
And by evening, grown up men of the locality make another giant effigy of the demon (some seven to ten feet tall), erect it at the crossroad and add big colorfully painted posters of masks as well as those organs.
The locals pick a boy, obviously a beggar, to play role as the “son of Gathamuga”. They also paint something obscene on his body and take him along the street to collect money from shops and households. All the money becomes his (and the locals guard that boy carefully, because most of the time such boys are clever enough to collect all the money and scape the scene without doing his final rites).
The locals give the boy a plate of curd and rice-flakes and make him ready. They give him a bunch of burning reed and ask him to set fire on it. As he does, people fell the effigy, make that boy sit on tit and pull it along the road to a nearby river. And they all throw the reed in the river and come back home, saying that the demon will not disturb us again we need to clean our home and get ready for the series of the festival that are to follow throughout the year. Apart from this, people in each home prepare three bowls with rice husk, some pieces of meat and flowers and take them to three corners of the locality. This is how the festival ends in Kathmandu that I have been watching curiously since childhood.
This year, I decided to go to Bhaktapur, a city around 9 km east of Kathmandu. This city is famous for their wood-work, brick-work and magnificent masons for constructing traditional house. And of course, for their immense love for their culture too. Now, it is not difficult to go on motorcycle, thanks to the Japanese government for making us new highway.
I always enjoy being there for sometime. It is not very far but they have been doing their best to keep it safe from outsiders, encroachers and squatters. This is the reason that they have been successful to preserve their tangible heritage, that is those 17th century marvelous temples, courtyards, rest-houses and water spouts. And so are they determined to preserve their intangible heritage like, say, this Gathamugaa.
Well, it was freshly trickling when I left home but the sky was clear there. As it was too early for the events to begin, I thought it would be nice to meet some Nepalbhasha writers there. They offered me some cold yoghurt and hot momos. We talked about culture, festivals and literature of our mother language. It was such a nice time to be with them. A small but all committed to safeguard our mother language, which is now endangered, so to say.
Then they led us to some core of the old traditional settlements. The effigies were being erected and the symbols were being joined. All men, women, boys and girls were watching it, laughing and being little blushed. But they have internalized that it is not shame, it is just some fun for them. This is how they teach growing adolescent in those days.
Specially, in the potters’ square, they make huge masked heads, out of some freshly baked pots. They work so hard, for some days, to make that gigantic face of the fiercely smiling demon, and the signs too. And, they know that those things of art will be destroyed after half an hour. But, they do their best to decorate the effigies, because they know the people form their neighboring crossroads are coming to see who is doing the best in the whole city. What a competition !
The effigy of Gathamuga being burned in Bhaktpur (Photo : Razen Manandhar)
The evening was getting darker and the whole area was changing smoky. The two-sided drums and big copper cymbals were supporting people’s daring shouts. You wont ask them to repeat the slogans, once you get hints that it was terribly obscene. Some people were carrying burning straw-bunches and moving them to the air. They were also carrying those demons, shaking them terribly from two sides. The horrible masks were making faces at the passersby.
They crossed the small river, much encroached these days, and took the effigy there. That part of the city must be barren jungle in the past, nevertheless, now surrounded by newly built buildings. They erected it in the middle of the road somehow and suddenly bright yellow flame gulped the whole of the reed effigy. The boys were shouting the slogans and the drums where smart to make the slogan voice dim, so that others may not pay attention to the meaning of them.
Goodbye demon. Come again next year, we will burn you again.

Friday, August 3, 2018

लुम्बिनीइ बौद्धतय्के छाय् ध्यबा काइ ?


राजेन मानन्धर
बुद्ध नेपालय् छाय् जन्मे जुल ? थुकिया लिसः थीथी विद्वानतय्के थीथी दइ । तर छता खँ सकस्यां सिउ, बुद्ध नेपालय् सत्ताय् वःपिंत निगः प्यंगः ध्यबा फ्वनाः नये दयेमा धकाः धाःसा पक्का हे जन्मे जूगु मखु । थुलि खँयात लुमंकाः लुम्बिनी विकास कोषं नकतिनि हे अन वइपिं दक्व भक्तजनतय्के ध्यबा म्हयेगु धकाः याःगु निर्णययात बःचाहाकलं विश्लेषण यायेगु कुतः थन जुइ ।
लुम्बिनी विकास कोषं २०७५ श्रावण १० गते लुम्बिनी क्षेत्रया योजनावद्ध विकासया लागिं धकाः भाद्र १ गतेनिसें लागू जुइ कथं लुम्बिनीइ वइपिं तीर्थयात्रु वा मेमेपिंके ध्यबा कायेगु निर्णय याःगु दु । व कथं आः वनीपिं दक्वं बौद्ध तीर्थयात्रुत (भिक्षु भिक्षुणीतय्त बाहेक) याके प्रतिव्यक्ति २० तका अले विद्यार्थीतय्के १० तका दां काइगु जूगु दु । व बाहेक क्यामेराया शुल्क ५० तका, भिडिओ क्यामेरा शुल्क ५०० अले छायांकन शुल्क ५००० नं काइगु दु । थ्व शुल्क रुपन्देही, कपिलवस्तु व सुस्ता पश्चिम नवलपरासी, गन बौद्ध धइपिं हे लुइके थाकु, अनयापिंत धाःसा काइ मखु ।
थन आः वयाः लुम्बिनी धइगु छु अले आः तक राज्यं थुकियात गुकथं कयाच्वंगु धकाः वाला स्वयेमाःगु दु । झी सकसियां धया वयाच्वना — लुम्बिनी धइगु शाक्यमुनि गौतम बुद्धया जन्मभूमि खः । थ्व न्हापांनिसें बौद्धतय्सं थीथी थेरवादी व महायानी ग्रन्थया लिधंसाय् धया हे वयाच्वंगु खः, धाःगु मथूसां, लुम्बिनी गन दु धइगु मसिउसां पाठ ला याना हे वयाच्वंगु खः । लिपा सन् १८९६ य् अकस्मात् अन अशोकया थां लुया वयेवं उत्खनन् न्ह्यात, व हे बुद्धया जन्मस्थल धकाः बय्बय् जुल । न्हापा गबलें सरकारं लुम्बिनी वा बुद्धजन्मस्थलया बारे चिउताः मकयाच्वंसां क्रमशः थुकियात अन्तर्राष्ट्रिय ख्यलं सम्मान व श्रद्धा बीवं थन ध्यबा वा गाइगु दु धकाः चायेकाः सरकार वा अबलेया शाही खानदानया मनूत लिसें सरकारपक्षया मनूत छम्ह छम्ह यायां थन थःगु थाय् काःवल । यःसां मयःसां विदेशी संस्थातय्गु दबाबं हे जक सां, अले इलय् ब्यलय् लुम्बिनीया नां ज्वनाः सितिकं विदेश चाःहिउवनेगु ह्वःताः चूलासेंलि जिन्दगीइ गबलें छकः धकाः तक नं बुद्ध, धर्म व संघया नां काये म्वाःपिं वा म्हाःपिं नं निगः प्यंगः बुद्धधर्मया खँ ल्हाये सयेकाः उमि लिउलिउ जुया हल, फाइदा कया हल ।
विभिन्न चरणं लुम्बिनी विकास कोषं थःगु रुप काल । नामं हे क्यं थ्व लुम्बिनीयात धार्मिक क्षेत्रया रुपय् मान्यता बीत मखु, न त थन धार्मिक आस्था व श्रद्धा ज्वना वइपिं श्रद्धालु तीर्थयात्रुतय्त हे सम्मान दइ । थन ला ध्यबा वा गाइ धकाः हे जक कोषय् थःत तक्यंकाच्वनी, अनया थीथी परियोजनाय् थःगु ल्हाः द्यःने लाकाच्वनीगु रजाइँ जुयाच्वंगु दु ।
लुम्बिनी नेपालय् दयाः सुं अबौद्धं बुद्धया शरणय् वंगु दु ला ? भारतया नागपुरय् छन्हुं हे खुगू लाख अबौद्धतय्सं मेमेगु धर्मया द्यःत दु धइगु विश्वास मदु धकाः पाः फयाः बुद्ध धर्म अवलम्बन यात । अथे हे न्हापा गबलें बुद्धया नां तक मन्यंपिनिगु देसय् नं आः बौद्धतय्गु जनसंख्या अप्वया वयाच्वन । थुखे नेपालय् बुद्ध जन्मे जूगु धकाः तिंतिं न्हुइगु फेसन ला वल, तर बुद्धया शरणय् वना, धर्मया शरणय् वना धकाः धाइपिं मवः, बौद्धतय्गु जनसंख्या थहां मवं ।
थुकिया छगू जक हे कारण धइगु उमित बुद्ध धर्म, बुद्ध दर्शन लिसे छुं कालबिल मदु, दुसा विदेशय् च्वंपिं बौद्धतय्सं लुम्बिनी धाल कि ध्यबा प्वंकी धइगु आसाकुति मनोवृत्ति जक दु । उकिं ला विकास कोषया नां वल कि भ्रष्टाचार, हडताल, तालाबन्दी, विरोधया खँ जक वइगु । छम्ह छम्ह पदाधिकारी नियुक्तिलिसें करोडौंया कालबिल व चलखेलया गाइँगुइँ अथें न्यने दइगु मखु जुइ । याये मजिउ धाधां अन छु छु जुयाच्वनी, अन थ्यन कि जक सी । छखे याये मजिउगु धकाः नियमं पंगः थना तयेगु अले वहे ज्या सुरुसुरु जुयाच्वनेगु छाय् जुइ धइगु न्हियान्हिथं भ्रष्टाचारया समाचार ब्वँब्वं वाक्क वःपिं नेपाःमितय्त थुइकेत थाकु मजू । कोषय् वइपिनिगु मिखा हे ध्यबाय् जक तक्यनाच्वनी । अथे जुयाः हे विदेशी बौद्धत अन कोषयापिंलिसे खँ ल्हाये ग्याः। कोषय् ध्यबा मदयेकं छुं ज्या जुइ मखु, ध्यबा बिल कि न्ह्यागुं जुइ धकाः अनयापिं विदेशी भिक्षु व लामापिंसं ख्याःथें नीथें कना हइगु सकस्यां सिउ हे जुइ ।
लुम्बिनीइ दशकौंनिसें मदिक्क उत्खनन् जुयाच्वनी तर उकिया उपलब्धि थन मखु उखे वनी धइगु हुइनाभुइना वइगु, यायेमाःगु संस्थां ज्या मयाइगु, अनुसन्धानया प्रतिवेदन पिमदनीगु आदि इत्यादिइ नं कोष खनेदयेक खनेमदयेक संलग्न जूगु दयाच्वनी । बी मजिउपिन्त विहार दयेकेगु प्लट बीगु, छगू हे देशयात तःगू प्लट बीगु, ततःजायेक देगः दयेकेगु, गेष्टहाउस चायेके बीगु, देय् मदुगु संस्थायात प्लट बीगुनिसें कयाः आः वयाः सिँ तस्करी, नक्कली टिकट मीगुु, पवित्र बगिंचाय् अस्थि थुनेगु अले सुनां मसीक सुन्दरी प्रतियोगिता याकेगु ज्याय् मखु मखु धाधां विकास कोष संलग्न जूगु झी सकस्यां सिउ । कोषं यायेमाःगु मयाःगु अले मयायेमाःगु याःगुया छगू सफू हे तयार जुइ, जि उखेपाखे वने मखु ।
आः तप्यंक प्रवेश शुल्कय् वये । दानपात्रय् तीर्थयात्रीतय्सं कुर्काथकूगु ध्यबा पारदर्शी यायेफूगु मदुनि, हानं शुल्क कायेगु खँ वल । शुल्क गन काइ ? थःगु व्यक्तिगत थासय् थम्हं लगानी यानातयागुया लबः कायेत । लुम्बिनी अज्याःगु थाय् पक्कां मखु । यदि धार्मिक महत्व मदुगु धरहराय् ध्यबा काये मजिउसा लुम्बिनीइ जिउ ला ? संरक्षण यायेत धाये धाःसा व ध्यबां अन संरक्षण जुइगु मखु, व दक्वस्यां सिउ । संरक्षणया नामय् विदेशं वःगु ध्यबा खर्च यायेमफयाः अन उकुसमुकुस जुयाच्वंगु कोषयात ध्यबा हे छाय् माल ? यदि उकिया ध्यबां हे अन खर्च यायेगु खःसा सरकारं वार्षिक बजेट छाय् बीमाल ? अन कन्हय् २० तका दां पुलाः धर्म याइपिं बौद्धतय्सं राज्ययात न्हापा हे पुलातःगु कर दुथ्यानाच्वनेधुंकी, गुगु अनया वार्षिक बजेट जुयाः उतुउतुं मुनाच्वंगु दयाच्वनी । आः दोहोरो कर छाय् ? जाबो राष्ट्रपतिया निघौ फ्यतुइगु टहरा दयेकेत प्यंगू करोड खर्च यायेफुगु कोषं स्वनिगलं वा मनांगं वा सोलुखुम्बुं वयाः पुण्य मुंकः वःपिं बौद्धतय्के २० तका दां कयाच्वनेमाःला ?
मेगु, लुम्बिनी थज्याःगु हे मेगु छगू नं धार्मिक स्थल दु नेपालय्, व खः पशुपति । निगुलिं धार्मिक स्थलयात विकास यायेत सरकारं अज्याःअज्याःगु हे विकास कोष दयेकातःगु दु, निगुलिं ज्वलिंज्वःगु ऐनं मार्फत सञ्चालन जुइ । तर छु पशुपतिइ वइपिं नेपालीत व भारतीयतय्के संरक्षण शुल्क धकाः ध्यबा कायेगु ज्या यायेगु सुनां आँट याइ ला ? पशुपतिइ संरक्षण यायेत धाःसा राज्यं ध्यबाया खुसिबाः वयेकेगु (अले अन तीर्थयात्रीतय्सं छाःगु ध्यबा विदेशी पुजारीयात प्वःचिका छ्वयेगु) थन धाःसा तीर्थयात्रीयाके ध्यबा फ्वनाः संरक्षण यायेमाःगु ला ? छखे छगू धार्मिक स्थलय् विदेशीतय्त तकं ध्यबा मकासे द्वलंद्वः तीर्थयात्रीतय्त छ्वयेगु, लाःलाःथे अश्लील हरकत यायेगु छुट बीगु, मेखे छुं कथंया मभिंगु ज्या मयाइपिं विदेशीतय्के जक मखु दतंफतं व हे ९ प्रतिशत नेपाली बौद्धतय्के तकं जगाः कायेमाःगु बिचाः मखुसा सरकारं छाय् याइ ? उकिं थ्व धइगु ध्यबा मालाः स्वयाः नं लुम्बिनीइ यक्व तीर्थयात्रुत वःगु स्वये मफयाः उमित हतोत्साही यायेत हःगु षडयन्त्र जक हे खः, बुद्धया जन्मस्थलया बौद्धतय्त मचायेकं बौद्ध जुइगु धइगु अपराध खः धकाः मानसिक यातना बीगु हे जक खः ।
लुम्बिनीइ नेपालीतय्के प्रवेश शुल्क कायेमाः धइगु बिचाः अन थौं स्वयाः नीदँ न्ह्यः हे वःगु खः, गुगु अबले भिक्षु सुदर्शनया कडा विरोधं दित । आः अन वक्व तीर्थयात्रीत मध्ये ८० प्रतिशत हे नेपालीत जुसेंलि उमित जक छाय् सितिकं दुत छ्वये धकाः लुम्बिनीयात थःगु पुख्र्यौली सम्पत्ति तायेकीपिंं कोषया पदाधिकारीतय्गु हे थ्व ज्या खः धकाः धायेत लिचिलेम्वाः ।
आः मेगु खँ । थःगु धर्म, पहिचानया अले आस्थाया केन्द्रविन्दु लुम्बिनीइ दुहां वयेगु लँपु बन्द याना बिलं नंं लुम्बिनी लुम्बिनी धकाः लय्लय् पतिं विदेश चाःहिलाः लुम्बिनी मिउ वनीपिं नेपाःया बौद्ध धर्मगुरुपिं व बौद्ध विद्वानतय्सं आःतकं गनं छसः मतःगु मेगु रहस्यया खँ जूगु दु । उमिसं सिउ हे जुइ, आः अन वनाः परित्राण पाठ तक याकेत नं उपासक उपासिकातय्सं म्हतिं नीतका दां लुखाय् पुइँ हायाः जक दुहां वने खनी । उखे थःमांबौया नामं निप्वाः देवा च्याकः वने खनी मखु, जजमांतय्सं सत्वपूजा याकेगु गथे ? आः अन प्यद्वः न्याद्वः महायानीत मोलम यायेत गथे वनी ? छखे भारतया महायानीत अथे हे सुचुकाः ध्यबा बी मफयाः थन दँय्दसं याःवयेमाःगु मोलम पुजा याः मवयेधुंकल, आः नेपाली बौद्धत हे नेपाःया लुम्बिनी वनेगु स्वयाः भारतया बोधगया, सारनाथ वा कुशीनगर वनेगु अःपुइगु अवस्था वयाच्वंगु दु ।
कीक्वः मजुइगु लुम्बिनीयात झःझः धाःगु लुम्बिनी दयेकेत नेपाःया बौद्धतय्सं गुलि योगदान बिल व इतिहासय् च्वयातःगु दु । उमिसं छेँ मधाः, मचाखाचा मधाः, आः उमित हे म्हिगः तिनि नयेगु खनाः वःपिं छखलः अबौद्ध अभिजात मनूतय्सं दुहां वये मदइगु नियम दयेकलं नंं थनया बौद्धत चुपचाप मसिउ, मताःपह यानाः च्वनाच्वंगु खनेदु । अले धायेमाली, छु नेपाःया बौद्धत धइपिं सुसु सत्ताय् वल वयागु चाकरी चाप्लुसी यानाः निगः प्यंगः फ्वनाः नयेत जक जन्मे जूपिंं ला ? थ्व धइगु नेपाःया बौद्धतय्त न्हापा गुब्सं मवः कथंया मार वा हाथ्या खः, कि वाःचायेकाः अधिनायकवादीत लिसे सः तयाः ल्वायेमाल, कि देय् त्वःताः वनेमाल, नेतृत्व बियाच्वना धकाः मान व सत्कार नयाच्वंपिंन्सं बिचाः यायेगु ई वःगु दु ।
Published in Nepalbhasha Times on 2018 08 03