Celebrating Nepali New Year
On April 13th, the Nepalese celebrated their new year bringing in the year 2073. We started the day with a 6am hike to Namo Buddha from Dhulikhel – what was promised to us by Uttam was a leisurely 6 hour walk thru hills, valleys, villages turned out to be a 12 hour (22km) hike.
Namo Buddha is a sacred Buddhist pilgrimage destination. According to history around 6000 years ago Prince Ngingdui Tshenpo Mahasatwo, found a tigress lying near a rock at the top of the hill, overlooking the jungle. The prince realized that she was going to die and her five cubs were still young and their survival depended on their mother. Ngingdui Tshenpo decided to give his life to the tigress to save the five tiger cubs. The tigress refused at first but he decided to cut his arm to feed his warm blood to the tigress. The taste of blood gave the tigress an appetite and finally she accepted the sacrifice from the prince. The tigress left only the bare bones of the prince which were brought back in the village and buried in a tomb which became the actual stupa of Namo Buddha. Some 3500 years later, Buddha came to the village of Sange da Fyafulsa; he went around the Stupa three times and declared that he was the reincarnation of Prince Ngingdui Tshenpo. It was that moment that Buddha renamed this village and henceforth the name of Namo Buddha which means First Buddha.
Overall the hike was a good break for me since I just finished my meditation retreat and needed to counterbalance days of sitting in meditation with something more active.