Thursday, April 29, 2010

Mongolia | Ulaan Baatar | Full Moon| | Shambhala

Yesterday, April 28 (Gregorian Calendar), was the Full Moon of Caitra (March-April), the first month of the year according to  the much more relevant Kalachakra Calendar. As you know, this was the day on which the Buddha taught the Kalachakra Tantra to Suchandra, the first of the Kings of Shambhala
Suchandra (reigned 977 BC – 877 BC)
Wandered on up to Gandan Monastery for the All-Day Puja held to celebrate this auspicious day. 
Approaching Gandan
Lama on his way to Puja
Wandering into the Kalachakra Temple, where the Puja was held, I viewed the Kalachakra Mandala Made of Sand and the Kalachakra Thangkas, then sat for two hours listening to the chanting. 
Kalachakra Temple (right) and Janraisig Temple
According to tradition, while the Buddha was in his physical body at Vulture’s Peak in India delivering the Prajnaparamita Sutra he bi-located in south India, at a place called the Dhanyakataka Stupa, and taught the Kalachakra to Suchandra, who had traveling to India from The Kingdom of Shambhala somewhere in the north specifically to receive these teachings.
Vulture’s Peak in India 
It is generally believed that the name of the capital of Mongolia, Ulaan Baatar (Red Warrior), refers to the Bolshevik fighters who established socialism in Mongolia in the 1920s. This is only the exoteric meaning of the name, however. According to local Shambhalists the name actually refers to the Red Warrior (sometimes identified as Jamsran) who guards the Portals to Shambhala. Thus the city itself, and by extension most of Mongolia, is considered by some to be a Portal to Shambhala. This is why the Full Moon of Caitra (April 28 this year) is such an important day in Mongolia. There are, of course, those who maintain that there are also Portals to Shambhala in Istanbul

Monday, April 12, 2010

Mongolia | Persecution of Buddhism

See a documentary, made in 1991, about the killing of Buddhist monks in Mongolia during the communist-era repressions: Part One of Five. Here’s the blurb on youtube.com
Documentary investigating the evidence now coming to light of a major persecution and massacre of over 100,000 people in Mongolia during the 1930s and 1940s under the leadership of the Mongolian dictator Marshal Choibalsan, a protege of Stalin's. Most of these were Buddhist lamas, and the film includes eye-witness reports of the killings, shots of some of the graves and skeletons found, and the present slow relaxation of religious freedom and the return of some monastaries and lamas.
Venerable Dude Shravasti Dhammika at the ever-enlightening Dhamma Musings has also posted on this.

Mongolia | Ja Lama | Life and Death of Dambijantsan

See the First Five Chapters of Ja Lama: The Life and Death of Dambijantsan.

Mongolia | Ulaanbaatar | Ugliest City on Earth?!?

Wandering by the website of the London-based Newspaper the Telegraph I was startled to see a photo taken just a couple hundred yards from my own hovel in Zaisan Tolgoi.
View of Downtown UB from near my hovel in Zaisan Tolgoi
I was even more flabbergasted to read this:
If there was a competition to find the ugliest city on Earth, then the Mongolian capital of Ulan Bator [sic] would be the leading contender for the title. The combination of grim, Soviet-style concrete high-rises, rambling slum-shanties and towering coal-fired power plants belching out smoke over the city reeks of the depression and decay that was a legacy of decades of communist rule.
Ulaan Baatar the “ugliest city on Earth”? I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder. As I have stated in the past, I consider Ulaanbaatar to be on par with Istanbul and the Pyramids of Egypt as one of the world’s most alluring places. And by the way, isn’t it about time newspapers update their style books to reflect the correct English transliteration of the city’s name, which is Ulaan Baatar or Ulaanbaatar, and not “Ulan Bator,” a holdover from the Soviet era? 

Thursday, April 1, 2010

World | Lady Gaga and Jihad

A Wall Street Journal Editorial poses an interesting question:
“What does more to galvanize radical anti-American sentiment in the Muslim world: (a) Israeli settlements on the West Bank; or (b) a Lady Gaga music video?”
 Lady Gaga: Can the Mahdi be far behind?
Then the folks at Tabir.net weighted in with Blame It On Lady Gaga, managing at the same time to invoke Pat Buchanan and Sayyid Qutb, the  “intellectual godfather of al Qaeda,” who said: 
“The American girl knows seductiveness lies in the round breasts, the full buttocks, and in the shapely thighs and sleek legs, and she shows all this and does not hide it.”
Sayyid Qutb went on to denounce  “this [American] music the savage bushmen created to satisfy their primitive desires” (He must have had  in mind Little Richard).

So now it appears that Lady Gaga is to blame for everything, including the Cult of the Assassins, the Sack of Constantinople in 1204, and the Johnstown Flood. Give the girl a break!