“I believe that there are days in our lives when we feel defeated in our efforts but not in our intention.
I believe that there can be no bigger God than the One within Us.
I believe there can be no bigger Buddha than that of Universal Peace.
Join in my good karma and welcome to my blog !!!”
Thursday, February 7, 2008
The celebration of Losar can be traced back to the pre-Buddhist period in Tibet. During the period when Tibetans practiced the Bon religion, every winter a spiritual ceremony was held, in which people offered large quantities of incense to appease the local spirits, deities and protectors.
This religious festival later evolved into an annual Buddhist festival which is believed to have originated during the reign of Pude Gungyal, the ninth King of Tibet. The festival is said to have begun when an old woman named Belma introduced the measurement of time based on the phases of the moon. This festival took place during the flowering of the apricot trees of the Lhokha Yarla Shampo region in autumn, and it may have been the first celebration of what has become the traditional farmers' festival.
It was during this period that the arts of cultivation, irrigation, refining iron from ore and building bridges were first introduced in Tibet. The ceremonies which were instituted to celebrate these new capabilities can be recognized as precursors of the Losar festival. Later when the rudiments of the science of astrology, based on the five elements, were introduced in Tibet, this farmer's festival became what we now call the Losar or New Year's festival.
Homes are painted, new clothes are stitched, debts and quarrels are resolved, good food is cooked, and intoxicants are drunk in the run-up to New Year's day. Homes are decorated with flour paintings of the sun and moon, and small lamps illuminate the house at night.
The first few days of festivities are exclusively family affairs, as are the first days of the new year. Later, the festivities roll out onto the streets. Tab-zan, a special bread, features in the family meals.
On the morning of the new year, families rise before dawn, bathe, put on new clothes and fine jewelery. Offerings of barley flour mixed with butter and sugar and yogurt are then made at the family shrine. This represents the hope for a good grain harvest. After a visit to local monasteries, the family settles down to feasting and drinking.
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
A big hello to all my readers out there who just happened to stumble upon this
It's all about Dharamsala and what all happens here....
Well even though my mother is the administrator of this blog I decided to present to
you what I really feel about my hometown...
My name is Naintara Gurung( that means star of one's eyes).... I was really sleepy in the picture...!
Being a teenager writing has always been my passion just like my mother's..
And what's better then getting inspired by the mountains... We all have different views upon different places... To me Dharamsala has always been more than my hometown... Its a place where I know I belong... No matter what will happen in my future this will be the one place where I can come back and relive my childhood memories..
You might want to know why this place is so special??!!!...
Dharamsala is unique, cool and definitely a very peaceful place. At times when I want to be alone, climbing or trekking up the hill near my house is one of the best experiances one can feel... Once reaching the top the only thing that I can really feel is freedom and peace... I know it might sound very philosophical but in a modernized world where violence and bloodshed is frequent everywhere Dharamsala is not anywhere near it... The culture, surroundings, people everything is just so sweet and paradise sort... I wouldn't trade this place for anything in this world....
All right enough of peace and tranquility... What about the fun and excitement???
I can understand why few people live in the big cities... Music, Movies, Malls and clubs... What more to satisfy us teens... But nope thats not how I think.. Okay I admit I wouldn't mind a mall and a theater but for what really.. Just to get a minute full of pleasure when I can get it almost everyday...
Ask where??!!!-- Mcleodgunj people!
It's so exciting to stroll down the fun and frolic filled streets of this little market... Just by looking into the faces of the foreigners spikes up the fun which I make sure I have... Shopping around this market where stuff is cheap as well as stylish, Tibetan Music playing in the air, the Tibetans busy with their business while I trouble my mother to buy me this and that(I'm a kid hello!)...
What intrigues me the most is the feeling that I get every time I'm shopping with my parents or friends OR- The foreigner friends whom I feel lucky enough to meet since my mother is a travel agent owning a retreat!...
Another factor which adds to my life are my dogs!.. So sweet and always prancing around ultimately destroying my bed, my parent's bed and not forgetting stealing away our socks and my teddy bears... Yes I still have them!..
Now what's there to talk about?!...
Dharamsala maybe small but it is most definitely one of the artistic places I've been to.... I mean where do you see monks laughing away chanting their mantras- "Om Mani Padme Hum".... This place is one heck of a place... That I really guarantee my readers... Its everything one would dream about being in.. No traffic to mess up your heads.. Sunsets and Sunrises to begin as well as end your day with.. TCV kids jumping around happily, playfully, Shopkeepers bargaining their prices with the tourists.. Where else other than Dharamsala... This is how I feel for my hometown...
What in my opinion Dharamsala really means.....
For you I don't know... You'll have to come here first right?!...
Bye for now and kindly leave a few comments.. I would be delighted to find that people actually read this article..!
Sunday, February 3, 2008
" In the remoteness of the Himalayas,In the days of yore, The land of Tibet Observed a ban on hunting , on fishing.
On a certain day, month and year,One should observe the ceremony of tree planting.
Thus one fulfills one's universal responsibilities,Serves one's fellow beings, and benefits all ! "
H H The XIVth Dalai Lama.
Start your day at Dawn...!
Our guest from Virginia-USA , Mindy Frost visiting us the second time for a month long vacation in May 2007 with her 13 year old son, Nathaniel was very interested in the Dalai Lama Tour..a Green Day ! While we were familiar with the trek upto the Indru-Nag Snake Temple we had heard from our old mason about the hidden Tea Gardens right on top of the Hill and just above our Mountain retreat..'Vidya Niwas.' We decided we would go up the Temple and return via the Tea garden.
As it was going to be a long day, we got up early dawn and started for the trek with a light breakfast. Apart from our Digi-cameras, we took our organic coffee and lunch packs.We were a party of six, with our 13 year old daughter Naintara and our trek guide Sanjay...Many tourists follow this trail of Indru-Nag Temple and it is very popular !
The beautiful nature walk up the Temple on top of the hill (1200 metres) was a like a natural energizing health guide to us.
On the way we met some Tibetan monks starting their day with morning prayers and debate. There was an air of spirituality in the fresh morning environment of the Himalaya mountains and our Dalai Lama Tour for the day seemed to be truely blessed in Dharamsala !
We reached the hilltop where the Ancient old Snake Temple, Indru-Nag stood magnificiently overlooking the Kangra Valley to the south side and the Mighty Moon Peak on the north side. This ancient snake temple in Chola Village dedicated to the Rain God INDRA, stands witness for centuries for provoking the rains in the Valley - The Kurla and Kurli (The parents of the rain children) are the revered Gods of the 'Gaddi' tribe, descendant of Alexander the Great. This nomadic tribe come to seek the blessings for a good harvest along with many other locals. A Dalai Lama Tour can have many meanings for each one of us. My way of discovering it was in this 'Green Himalaya Trek.'