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Holy Mount Kailash: Tibetan Sacred Land, Part 1 of 3

2021-07-02
Language:English

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At the heart of Himalayan Tibet, standing 6,638 meters (21,778 feet) high in the Kailash Range, Mount Kailash is widely considered to be one of the most sacred sites on Earth. Its name is derived from the word “kelāsa” in Sanskrit, meaning “crystal.” The Tibetan name for the mountain is Gang Rinpoche, which can be translated as “precious jewel of snows.” The Kailash Mansarovar area has been nominated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for both its outstanding natural beauty and also its cultural heritage. Each day, pilgrims join processions around the base of Mount Kailash, a ritual that can take anywhere from three days to several weeks to complete. The 52-kilometer (32-mile) circumambulation is known as “Kora” in Tibetan. In her book “Magic and Mystery in Tibet,” Belgian-French explorer Alexandra David-Néel described witnessing a monk practicing lung-gum-pa: “The man didn’t run. He seemed to lift himself from the ground, proceeding by leaps.”

According to Hindu scripture, the seven immortal Saptarishis work for the evolution of humanity, uplifting Planet Earth by enabling the will of the Divine Lord Shiva, who dwells within Mount Kaeilash with his heavenly consort Shakti, who is also known as Parvati.

In 1993, Supreme Master Ching Hai also mentioned this legendary story. “Shiva was one of the past Masters. He was supposed to be the god of destruction. He meditated all the time in the Himalayas, deep in the meditation, never stirred. So they sent out a beautiful, beautiful, beautiful fairy. Her name was Parvati. But she couldn't stir him. So, she went to Mount Kailash, which is the most famous and holy mountain according to Indian belief. And after some time, she attained the blissful state.”

Near the northern face of Mount Kailash, seven stupas can be found. They symbolize the axis mundi representation of the holy mountain as the legendary Mount Meru, the center of all universes. In Hindu, Jain, and Buddhist cosmology, Mount Meru is the axis mundi, the central point, of all physical, metaphysical, and spiritual universes. The lapis-blue color on the side of Mount Meru, facing Earth, makes Mount Meru invisible to us; however, Mount Kailash is believed to be its Earthly manifestation.

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