Fifteen Months Later at Manakamana

Fatigue of the fieldwork

The fieldwork was going on in its rapid pace. We barely had time to rest. On Wednesday, October 31, fieldwork had been set for “individual” areas. Each of six groups were in separate routes looking for the geology of the area around Mugling, Chitwan. We (Anil, Anish, Ishwor and I) were walking up to a small village called Sathimure. On top of the hill in the north east, we could see a bazaar. “Is it Manakamana?” we had discussed. “It is Manakamana, indeed,” the villagers had later confirmed.

“If we get to go Manakamana tomorrow, can we walk all the way up?”

It would have been difficult. The way to Sathimure had proven to be tiring. We were bathed in sweat the whole climb.

May be fatigue, may be disinterest, we didn’t actually want to go Manakamana. There were other friends, who were absolutely excited about the climb. My experience fifteen months earlier had made me sad. But I had seen a photo of my sister-in-law in front of the newly made temple. Aha! The temple has changed! I had thought but still I didn’t have the desire.

The Lottery

In the evening, our teachers announced the six routes to be taken the other day. Two groups were to take the routes that included Manakamana. The first route was: Aanbu Khaireni-Manakamana-Arubot-Tinkilo. The second route was: Aanbu Khaireni-Manakamana-Kurintar. To avoid dissatisfaction, our teachers suggested a lottery. Anil picked up a cheat and we got the first route. Despite having no desire to go, the Mother had called us.

The Journey

Selfie at Marsyangdi Bridge / Photo from Nirjal Pokharel’s Facebook

As soon as you cross the Marsyangi Bridge at Aanbu Khaireni, you step into the Gorkha district. Then taking a dusty road to the north, you head towards the famous Manakamana Temple. After we separated with other groups at the bridge, eight of us took the road to Manakamana.

Geological study began as soon as we reached near the confluence of Marsyangdi and Daraudi. We took some data and set off again. As per the instruction from our teacher, we took shorter routes asking the villagers. Some of the foot-trails are not being used due to the bigger road.

Short roads were not so short though. We climbed up and up. As we went higher, the mist thinned and we were up above the clouds. On the north were the mighty white Himalayas. “People must have been to a place like this and called it a Paradise,” we wondered.

At Dhadbari (?), we left the motor road and climbed up the stairs to the temple. On the way, we bought flowers and Prasad. The climb took more than half an hour. We were all fatigued.

The New Temple

The new structure of the temple was enough for me to forget my tiredness. The two storied pagoda now had new brick walls and two golden roofs. On the top, is a golden pinnacle. I am mesmerized. I can’t believe the change that had occurred.

Fifteen months ago

Fifteen months ago, I had seen a broken temple. It was distressing. I had written an account showing my pain. Now fifteen months later, I was standing before the temple praising the grandeur of the Mother.

The New Structure
Worshipping still continues in the small temple. The floor is still being tiled.

The new structure has not been a temple yet. The Mother still stays in the small temple built after the Gorkha earthquake. “Isn’t she established in it yet?” my parents ask on Saturday after I am home. “It was supposed to happen during Dashain.”

“Maybe they did not find an auspicious date,” I say.

***

Fifteen months ago, I had been so sad that I had asked for the reconstruction of the temple as soon as possible. I had also doubted on the powers of the Mother. I had asked, “If the Goddess cannot make Her own home, how do I believe asked?”

This time, I believe the Mother called me to show that She has a new home. I believe She made me write this so that I could tell to the world the change I had seen. I don’t see any other reason why my group was selected despite having no desire at all to visit Her abode.

***

Time was tight. We had miles to go. Taking several snaps, our groups took our respective routes.

A group photo / Left to Right: Ishwor, Nirjal, Me, Angela, Sujata, Suman, Anish, Anil / From Nirjal Pokharel’s Facebook
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The Faults in our God

It is said sinful to put a debate on God. May I be punished for the sins I will be doing here!

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The question I think of often, “Did God create us or did We create gods?” There are ample evidences for the latter while there is a huge amount of speculation for the former. Yet people seem to believe in some supreme force that governs them. There are also people who dare to challenge the Divine Authority. I find myself in the middle.

How can someone be in the middle of believing and not believing God? You might be thinking. Well, that’s where I am. Sometimes I believe in God so much that every inexplicable/unexplained thing becomes Divinity. Take the origin of life (not evolution), for example. Sometimes I doubt God so much that every progress in human-induced. For example, the technological progress is the best thing humans (especially the Western World) have done. I am really confused about the existence of God.

But in the Geeta, God is said to “exist and not exist” at the same time, that God is “as small as microbes and as huge as universe”, that God is both “the creator and the destroyer Himself”. If God preaches duality, maybe I am following his path of duality at the moment. Maybe it is that fault I am unwilling to accept.

God is said to balance both Good and Evil within Himself. He is said to possess both physicality as well as spirituality and he is said to create everything visible and invisible (let’s not get into destruction right now). So, we should possess both the Good and Evil within us. We should have similar physicality and spirituality as that of God; that we should be able to tell right from wrong. And we should be able to tell differences between God and god.

You might have recognized that I have been writing “God” and “god” in different senses. If not; by God, I am talking about the Omnipresent, the Omnipotent and the Omniscient Being: the “Creator”. By gods, I mean the ones created by Humans. To God, death is “soul changing its body” like we change our clothes. (Hence, no emotions!) To a god, death is emotional. Shiva mourning for Sati is an example. A god is driven by passion, like Indra seducing Ahilya. And God is not jealous as Indra envies kings.

But I am confused again. If God created us and if We have created gods; and if we have all qualities of God and god have all our features, aren’t gods the same as God? Shouldn’t God be as emotional, as passionate and as jealous (if not more) as us and our gods? Are the faults in me (or those in God) confusing me?

Does Crying Make One Weak?

I asked the question last Saturday. How that question came up? How I tried to find answers? What were the conclusions? Coming up in this post.

Background

On Saturday morning, while I went to the barber’s for a haircut, I saw a couple with their daughter there. The little girl’s head was shaved. Her mother said, “She does not have nice hair. Will she grow nice hair after the shave?”

For me, the hair seemed nice. At least it was better than mine. But that’s not the real thing. The girl, like most of the girls, loved her hair and was crying as the electrical razor was moving over her hair. Her mother first said, “We’ll not throw the hair. We will braid it and keep at home.” While the girl was not convinced, “Don’t care what other will say. Your hair will grow up again. You need to be strong. You should not cry. Crying makes you weak.

The first response my mind gave was that the notion was wrong. Occasional crying has actually helped me psychologically and emotionally. Later on, as I thought more, I felt that she might be right.

[Note: It would be unfair if I did not tell you that the woman was actually obsessed with the hair of her daughter. I was compelled to think that the hair was not bad at all. The couple might have thought about selling the hair to make a wig. I can’t be sure, however. God knows what they wanted to do with it- sell it or keep it on display.]

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Discussion

I debated within my mind. Whether or not crying could make someone weak, I could not say. Thankfully, I am a member of a blogging forum, Blogger’s World! (Blogging 101:Alumni, until December 9- you can note the old name on the web address!) I posted this question on Sunday, December 6, 2015 and received comments from about at least ten people.

The first comment came from Piyusha @Wandering Soul.

I strongly disagree that it makes one weak. People certainly perceive the one who is crying as weak, so it may make you look weak. But doesn’t make you weak. and honestly, which is better? To bottle up emotions inside you and not let them out because you are to scared to express yourself or to be brave enough to freely express emotions and hence, emotionally healthy even at the risk of being perceived as weak because people don’t understand emotions as much as they should or as much as they think do.

The next was from Heather @heathernotes.com, began the conversation with the evidence of physiological difference between men and women:

Scientists speculate that women cry more because they have shallower tear ducts than men.

The third one came from Anand/Vibrant @Blabberwockying. His comment was worth a post and he did it as well. In short, he said that crying could be weakness if we do not care when and where to cry. He also said that devotees cry for their God, thus attaining a deeper connection with the higher consciousness. (He was also attacked by other bloggers for the comment, but because that does not meet my objective here, I would want you to click the link to the forum above.)

Cathy Lynn Brooks@cathylynnbrooks.com said that children should be able (allowed) to express emotions and cry. Ishita @!shita believed that crying was healthy no matter however people looked at it. Ria @koko boocro, Amanda @raniamanda, 21 Time traveler agreed that crying was not a weakness at all. It was an emotional outlet, difficult to handle to most people. Darshith Badiyani and Bethany Harvey @Overlooked Nature said that people had to embrace crying as any other human emotions. Rashmi @Mind and Life Matters said that crying was just as important as laughing. Dawn Marie, Indira and shinepositivepower accepted that crying did not make one weak, but was a method of cleansing one’s soul.

Conclusion

It’s impossible to say whether crying makes one weak or not. Though, the participants in the discussion generally agreed that crying did not make one weak, I now believe that it actually depends upon the situation.

When can crying become your strength?

  1. When you are in a problem and need help, crying can help you get help easily.
  2. When you feel sad from deep within, shedding a little amount of tears can help your soul.
  3. Crying can be a process of healing your psyche.
  4. If you can manipulate someone by crying.

In short, when you cry to let out your emotions, you become healthy. What can be more beneficial to a person than a healthy mind?

When can crying become your weakness?

  1. When you cry in wrong places and at wrong times.
  2. When your fears and emotional problems are exposed to your enemies.
  3. When you can not decide when to cry and when not to.

The Dual Nature of People Who Cry

Being sensitive can make you weak, so is the condition when you become too expressive. Becoming insensitive or inexpressive does not mean you are strong either.*

Almost every one in the discussion believed that we cry while we are emotional and it is difficult to handle someone who cries often. We also say, “Don’t cry,” to someone who is going through an emotional stress. But we also encourage someone to cry if their burden can be decreased.

All in all, crying is a result of overwhelming emotions- sad or happy and it has to be accepted as a part of our emotional, spiritual and bodily health. (Crying is good for your eyes!)

[*Final Note: The topics of sensitivity and expressiveness were also prominently discussed in the forum. Here is the link again. These are the inherent characters of humans, which tell people of your strengths and weaknesses. For example, seeing you cry often (expressiveness) people might say you are weak, even if it is not the case. Also, crying may not always solve one’s problem.]

This one’s for YOU!

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Dear  SOUL-MATE,

We know each other – at least by our names. YOU may never recognize me and as I will never mention YOUR name, YOU may also never realize that this message is for YOU. So, why am I writing this? I asked this to myself several times. I thought and thought and thought and finally came to a conclusion that this is not just about YOU, it is about Me as well. If I don’t express these things somewhere or to someone, I think I’ll go crazy. I don’t want that to happen. If I go crazy and if people somehow find out that my feelings towards YOU are to be blamed, I will never be able to forgive myself. Yes, I seem a little selfish, but it’s for the good of us.

YOU might ask, “If we already know each other, why no mention of names?” My answer is that I want YOUR name discreet. I don’t want others to know that it is really YOU. While others will be reading this, they will never know that I am telling this only to YOU. If I reveal your name, you might fall into trouble. People may mock YOU. Even YOU may feel bad that I did not tell this to YOU directly, but write it down on a letter that can be read by anyone. To save YOU from any stigma that YOU might face, I will try maintaining the secrecy as much as possible.

The day I met YOU was special. It was a fine spring morning with the Sun shining brightly. We were headed to different destinations, but our roads had merged somehow. YOU may not agree, but I think our souls had been planning to meet each other for long. The moment YOU talked with me is still fresh in my mind. I had felt stupefied and I had not known at that time, that I would know YOU as someone I have been calling YOU now. How that feeling came up might sound like a story to YOU (if I can tell it in future). But isn’t every life in this world a story with fascinating details?

Waiting for YOU on that route was difficult. It was a fifty percent chance that YOU would show up on a particular day. When YOU did not come, I just thought of that fine day, musing with myself. That moment gave me happiness no one can ever think of. Not a single moment has passed without the remembrance of that moment and YOU. It’s like my mind has been programmed to loop the same thing over and over – something that will never end until the end of my life. The best thing YOU did was to make me know myself. Before meeting YOU, I had very little interest in philosophy. Every time I met YOU, I felt that I had to have a good knowledge of life and death, of the world and its ways, of humans and love. I took an interest in these philosophical subjects to improve myself. The basic philosophy I followed was to love myself. If I did not love myself, I could not love YOU and could never expect YOUR love towards me. It’s been difficult. The transformation is slow. But it is not invisible. I have changed myself in a lot of ways. I have started seeing everything differently. I have got rid off the prejudices I had on people because they differed from me. I have started respecting each and every life on the Earth, the Earth herself, the Souls and the Creator. Above the Creator, I place YOU on the highest throne, respect, and love YOU. That’s because YOU made me contact with my Soul after a long time and it was during such sessions that I had understood the Creator.

As I communicated with my soul more, I could seek for YOUR Soul as well. Whenever YOU were not in front of my eyes, I would look into my Soul to search YOURS. You might not have realized but our Souls have been communicating. When YOU are happy, I feel a surge of happiness. When YOU do not, I feel the world has gone sad, unhappy. YOUR problems have become mine. The Mother Nature signals me of these feelings. If Nature can not, my soul makes a contact with YOU and transmits YOUR state into my dreams so that I can find out ways to help YOU. So far, I have not been able to do anything except provide YOU with some words of suggestions. However, that makes YOU happy and if such small tasks of mine makes you happy, I will be doing such things again and again.

YOU may think that these feelings towards to originated out of lust and not off Love. That’s not the case at all. Had it been only a crush or physical attraction, I would have forgotten YOU long ago. It was not about carnal pleasures – never has that been the case. YOU have attractive looks and YOU are more beautiful than average, but that was not the first thing I had noticed about YOU. The first thing I had noticed was YOUR presence of mind and the way YOU could notice small details from the past. Then I saw YOUR good heart and then I could see YOUR Soul. From the beginning itself, YOUR abilities and Pure Heart have attracted me, YOUR physique – never. There is no desire, there is no fear. Our Souls are Eternal friends and that will keep us close forever, though we might never meet again in our bodily forms.

Words are insufficient to describe my feelings towards YOU and I am finding it difficult to go on with this letter. Before I wrap off, I need to tell YOU something important. YOU might have been disillusioned by the ways people behave. YOU might have given importance to what others want to see from YOU. I know YOU are much different from what YOU have been showing to the World. No matter what YOU do, do not let anyone corrupt the Purity of YOUR Heart. If such a thing happens, I am with YOU forever and I will rescue YOUR Heart no matter what problems I might have to face.

Your Soul-Mate

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It’s a Beautiful World!

There are so many wonderful things we see. Even more which we can not see. We usually accept and adore things we can see. Tall mountains, green grasses, blue sky, vibrant rainbow- we love them all. They provide us with the pleasure that nothing else do. We, as products of this wonderful Nature, love to be in her lap.

This very nature provides us energy we don’t see but feel around us. The heat and light from the sun, the food from plants and animals(if we prefer), the vibes from the living beings around us. The breeze that softly blows through us makes us alive. The nature provides us with all.

An individual of one of the most magnificent species in the universe can do anything. I, though a tiny particle in the infinite universe believe that I can do anything through imagination, thoughtfulness and hard work. It’s a Beautiful World and I would like to be one jewel that enhances Her beauty.