Wednesday, 14 May 2014
1) The home to Lord Shiva
A great mass of black rock soaring to over 22,000 feet, Mount Kailash has the unique distinction of being the world’s most acclaimed holy place. The supremely sacred site of four religions and billions of people, Kailash is seen by no more than a few thousand pilgrims each year. This curious fact is explained by the mountain’s remote location in far western Tibet. With no planes, trains or buses anywhere near the region the journey requires weeks of difficult and dangerous travel.
2) Kailash is sacred to all religions
The Jains call the mountain Astapada and believe it to be the place where Rishaba, the first of the twenty-four Tirthankaras attained liberation. Followers of Bon, Tibet’s pre-Buddhist, shamanistic religion, call the mountain Tise and believe it to be the seat of the Sky Goddess Sipaimen. Tibetan Buddhists call the mountain Kang Rimpoche, the ‘Precious One of Glacial Snow’, and regard it as the dwelling place of Demchog and his consort, Dorje Phagmo.
3) The revolutionary Russian study of the Kailash range
One of the ideas the Russians have put forward is that Mt. Kailash could be a vast, human-built pyramid, the centre of an entire complex of smaller pyramids, a hundred in total. This complex, moreover, might be the centre of a world–wide system connecting other monuments or sites where paranormal phenomena have been observed. The idea of the pyramid in this region is not new. It goes back to the times of Ramayana.
4) The Axis Mundi
Mt. Kailash is regarded as the earthly manifestation of the Hindus’ mythic Mount Meru, or Sumeru, the spiritual center of the universe, the axis mundi in Buddhism, Jainism as well as Hindu cosmology. The Axis mundi is literally the axis of the world, although there are several different ways of viewing a religion’s axis mundi. The axis provides a connection between the physical world and spiritual worlds.
5) The sacred significance of Mount Kailash
Both geography and mythology play roles in the sacred significance of Mount Kailash. This holy mountain rises to an altitude of 6714 meters. It cannot compete with peaks in the nearby Himalayan range, which includes Mount Everest, and its grandeur lies not in height but in its distinct shape – four sheer faces marking the cardinal points of the compass – and its solitary location, free of neighboring mountains that might dwarf or obscure it.
6) Source of four rivers
The area around this great mountain is the source of four life-giving rivers; the Indus, Brahmaputra, Surlej and Karnali, which is a major tributary of India’s sacred Ganges. To further enhance the symbolic mysticism of the mountain as a sacred place, two lakes are situated at the base of the mountain – Manasarovar lake and Rakhast Tal.
7) The mysterious shapes of the lakes
The higher lake Manasarovar (one of the highest freshwater lakes in the world), is the sacred lake, and is round like the sun. The lower lake Rakhast Tal (one of the highest salt-water lakes) is the devil’s lake and has the shape of the crescent moon. The two lakes represent solar and lunar forces, good and negative energies respectively.
8) The mystery of Manasarovar and Rakshas Tal
The two lakes — Manasarovar and Rakshas Tal – are located next to each other and divided by a thin isthmus of the mountains. However, Lake Manasarovar remains calm irrespective of the weather conditions whereas Rakshas Tal stays constantly stormy. Another mystery of Mount Kailash is the rapid aging of those who are near it. The growth of nail and hair that occurs in 12 hours spent near Kailash is equal to two weeks in normal conditions.
9) Who lives at the Kailash?
To Tibetan Buddhists, Kailash is the abode of the tantric meditational deity Demchog. Hindus see Kailash as the throne of the great god Shiva, one of their most significant deities. Jains revere Kailash as the site at which their first prophet received enlightenment. Buddhist, Hindu and Jain pilgrims from the world over go to this holy mountain to circumambulate. Climbing Mount Kailash is forbidden (the only person to have ever been atop the sacred mountain is Milarepa, a 11th century Tibetan Buddhist yogi).
10) The mystery of Swastik at Kailash
Long before Buddhism took root in Tibet in the 7th century Kailash was venerated by the adherents of the Bon, the indigenous, religion of the region who maintained that the mystic region around Mt. Kailash and the Nine-Story Swastika Mountain was the seat of all power. When viewed from the south face, a swastika can indeed be seen. The sacred circumambulation of Kailash is done anticlockwise, whereas followers of the other religion walk in the clockwise direction.
11) The mystery of Swastik at Kailash
According to Bon accounts, while the circumambulation is made 18 powerful and enlightened teachers will appear in this eon including Tnpa Shenrab – the most powerful of them and the founder of the Bön religion. He is said to have been born in the mythical land of Olmo Lung Ring, whose location remains something of a mystery. The land is traditionally described as dominated by Mount Yungdrung Gu-tzeg (edifice of nine swastikas), which many identify as Mount Kailash.
12) Is Mount Kailash a source of supernatural powers?
A lot of people throughout history has expressed extraordinary interest in Tibet. What attracted them – the beauty of the mountains or the mysticism? The desire to find the remains of lost civilizations or the desire to learn how to acquire extreme power? Not only contacts with Lamas, but even expeditions were organised in this area. What, for example, brought about the odd juxtaposition of Tibetan lamas and German SS officers on the eve of World War II?
13) Is Mount Kailash a source of supernatural powers?
It is known that Nazi leaders such as Heinrich Himmler believed that Tibet might harbour the last of the original Aryan tribes, the legendary forefathers of what was considered the German race whose Aryan leaders were supposed to possess supernatural powers that the Nazis thought they could use to conquer the world. Ideas about an Aryan or master race began to appear in the popular media in the late nineteenth century.
14) Is Mount Kailash a source of supernatural powers?
In the 1890s, E. B. Lytton, a Rosicrucian, wrote a best-selling novel around the idea of a cosmic energy which he called ‘Vril.’ Later he wrote of a Vril society, consisting of a race of super-beings. The Vril Society claimed to have links to Tibetan masters, apparently drawing on the ideas of Madame Blavatsky, the theosophist, who supported the existence of super-beings in a mystic land. She claimed to be in telepathic contact with spiritual masters in Tibet.
15) Is Mount Kailash a source of supernatural powers?
Many of these people were ready to believe in the existence of the super-natural in whatever form – higher intelligence, power, or energy. This interest remains strong to this day in many countries, to find this axis mundi, the most powerful place, the highest power, or the hidden intelligence in whatever form it exists.
16) Kailash Pyramids?
One of the ideas the Russians have put forward is that Mt. Kailash could be a vast, human-built pyramid, the centre of an entire complex of smaller pyramids, a hundred in total. This complex, moreover, might be the centre of a world–wide system connecting other monuments or sites where paranormal phenomena have been observed.
17) The significance of Kailash ‘parikrama’
Mt. Kailash is one of the most mysterious, secret and at the same time one of the most holy and sacred mountains) the circumambulation of which has for many centuries or possibly many millennia remained a vital pilgrimage, symbolising the life’s stages of death, purification and rebirth. Buddhists and Jains refer to the circumambulation as khora, Hindus as parikrama. A single circumambulation equals one turn of the Wheel of Life and will wipe away the sins of one’s life.
18) The significance of Kailash ‘parikrama’
Twelve circumambulations will purify one’s karma for all past and future lives, enlightenment is attained after 108. Even one khora presents an extremely difficult task since the mountain is difficult of access and dangerous. Dangers or not, some of us may dream of discovering for ourselves what there is to be seen on this mountain.
19) Mount Kailash is actually the Sahasra Chakra
There is another belief that deepens the mystery of Mount Kailash. It is believed that it is actually the Sahasra Chakra in our body, which is center of Supreme Consciousness (Shiva). When Kundalini reaches there She meets Shiva. The Physical counterpart is Mount Kailash, where the energy of Shiva is centered in material earth. According to Hindu mythology, Shiva resides at the summit of the Kailasha. It is regarded in Hinduism as Paradise, the ultimate destination of souls and the spiritual center of the world.
20) More Mysticism
According to a description in the Puranas, Mount Kailash’s four faces are made of crystal, ruby, gold, and lapis lazuli; it is the pillar of the world; rises 84,000 leagues high; is the center of the world mandala; and is located at the heart of six mountain ranges symbolizing a lotus. From it flow four rivers, which stretch to the four quarters of the world and divide the world into four regions.
21) The magical Gauri Kund
Gauri Kund, a water body that is also known as the Lake of Compassion, lies on the way while going on downwards from Dolma – La (Dolma Pass). This steep descent from Dolma Pass is a wonderful lake which is at an altitude of 5608m. The lake is also famous as “Parvati Sarovar” as this was the place where goddess Parvati had acquired her son Ganesha (Elephant headed God). Goddess Parvati had formed Ganesh from the soap lather on her body and breathed life into it.
22) The Yam Dwar
Yam Dwar is situated in Tarboche which is approximately 30 minutes drive from Darchen. The exact meaning of the Yam Dwar in Hindi is “the gateway of the God of Death”. It is the initial point of circumambulation of Mount Kailash. It is also known as Chorten Kang Ngyi which means two legged Stupa in Tibet.
Located at a height of 17000 ft, Asthapad is the bottom of Mt. Kailash and one of the main holy places for the Hindus and Buddhists. It is also considered a major Jain Tirths as the first of the 24 Jain Tirthankara “Shri Adinath Bhagwan” had attained salvation (Nirvana) at this place. The literal meaning of [Siwasthal] Asthapad is “Eight Steps” as Astha means Eight and Pad means Steps in Sanskrit and that’s how the place derived its name.
It is known a duplication of the magical funeral ground at Bodh Gaya. Pilgrims here experience ritual death and enter into the dreadful presence of Yama, before being reborn on top of the Drolma La. One can easily notice the ground which is laid out with unbelievable collection of clothing, shoes, and bags along with terrible things like bones, hair and even blood. These things are mainly the offerings which are made by the people who pass from here.