Our History Series 1

These five pictures introduce the History of the Kiratis; who they are and how they perceive themselves. So, let us see, from left to right: Manjusri is seen here with his right arm holding a sword raised in anticipation of the strike which drained lake Naag Baas rendering Kathmandu Valley dry. This is the symbolic act of creation of dry land which was bequeathed to the …

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Our History Series 2

In this Our History Series 2 are presented here five illustrations related to our ancient history, some of them well known while others may be unfamiliar to some and briefly they are, from Left to Right: We are familiar with the first, it is Swayambhunath of Kathmandu, Nepal. We have learned in Our History Series 1 that it was created by the divine hands of Manjusri, …

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Our History Series 3

We are here to witness the third series of our history something quite unusual, very unusual because it is virtually unknown in the history of modern India. In the picture above, on the left, is seen the nativity of the Buddha-to-be, Siddhartha Gautam, in the Garden of Lumbini, in mid-western Nepal. What is unusual about this picture is that the Hindu trinity gods, ie, Brahma, Bisnu …

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Our History Series 4

In this fourth Series of Our History we will explore how Buddhism began to spread worldwide and how we have been misled by disinformation, some spread by interested elements and some by ignorance. Let us begin, at the very beginning. The Buddha was not deified for well over four centuries after his attainment of his nirwan (nirvana) but many iconic representations of the Buddha had taken …

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Our History Series 5

Our fifth lesson have the Panch Dhyani Buddhas or Five Buddhas of Eternal Meditation of Nepalese Buddhist Cosmology but they are totally unknown in India. These Five Dhyani Buddhas are eternally in heaven and we know nothing beside their names. However, from Left to Right above are namely Ratnasambhawa, whose aura is Gold who is placed at the base of a chaitya facing cardinal direction of …

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Our History Series 6

How did the followers of The Enlightened One fare as time went by will be the subject of Our History Series 6. It was very eventful must be the short answer. The extreme Left image above is an image cast in silver and comes from Nepal, his native land. As can be seen here, it was very austere while its most prominent feature was its curly …

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Our History Series 7

In this Our History Series 7, we are going to witness something more tangible that our forebears have left behind, something to base our study upon how a Kirati Mongolian Prince became a household word centuries ago in our neighbourhood. Let us examine: The first picture above is of the script carved on rock by Ashok the Great; it is written in Pali language the lingua …

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Our History Series 8

Our History Series 8 has brought us right across our northern border and it is that part of our history which has remained virtually sealed off from us. Its significance is very grave and it demands our serious attention, so let us get on: The first picture is that of Princess Bhrikuty of Nepal, daughter of King Angsuburman Thakuri of Kathmandu, she was married to King …

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Our History Series 9

Here is Our History Series 9 and as you can see we have suddenly landed in modern times. So, let’s get acquainted with it: The first picture is the Memorial the Brits had erected in a remote corner of India in Uttarakhand at a place called Kalunga. The Left Obelisk is inscribed to the sacred memory of General Rollo Gillespie and the Right Obelisk is for …

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Our History Series 10

Our History Series 10 is eclectic, it shows how our forebears have passed through in the past ages some hitherto unrecorded stages of history. The first picture shows Alexander the Great hunting lion barefoot. This ancient fresco depicts Alexander killing a lion with a single stroke of a khukuri and there is another picture which shows Alexander severing the Gordian Knot with a single stroke of …

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Our History Series 11

With this Eleventh Episode of Our History Series, we are planning to exit. However, it will be prudent to remember, these are rather emotive issues and have never been told before by historians. So, let’s proceed: The first picture is of a now forgotten Gurkha Regiment. In 1850, a battalion of Native Infantry of British Indian Army had mutinied and seized the Fort of Govindgarh. Finally …

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Coronavirus: Conclusion

We have followed the Coronavirus Episode from Day One, from its very beginning until today which has led us unto something. We are now ready to conclude this Episode. We have done all our China-bashing and it has led to nowhere, we wasted our time. It had all begun in a belief that Chinese will be grossly embarrassed and come out with the truth. What truth, …

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Coronavirus IV

Of all the things that have captivated our imagination as nothing before, coronavirus most certainly comes up first and foremost. Yet, we seem to know so little about it and none seem to care. The pandemic had at times created itself an aura of negativity and many ignorantly believed it to be a gift from China. There were instances when some Chinese people were treated offensively …

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The Democrats

Now that the Primaries are safely behind, I feel like reminiscing how we have arrived where we are now. From the very beginning of the Primaries, I have been lamenting that no Candidates has even mentioned the name of President Obama. As if that was not enough, they all had their own Health Care program which clearly suggested they had done away with ObamaCare. No candidate …

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Coronavirus Today

Come to think of it: Europe in the Middle Ages was ravaged by The Plague decimating its population and we know it now that it was spread by rats. Coronavirus today however, is being spread entirely by humans. We are not happy that it was neither rats nor bats nor pigs who spread the disease, it was humans who alone are entirely responsible for the coronavirus …

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Coronavirus: Phase II

Imagine the Dark Ages when Europe was struck down by the Plague and compare and contrast it with the prevalent situation worldwide today. From what records that are available to us of the days gone by and the fortitude with which Europeans fought the scourge encourages us to take similar steps towards coronavirus. Cleanliness is next to Godliness the Europeans were taught and our noble leaders …

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Coronavirus: pps

It has been quite a while since we have been gripped by the unwelcome stories about the coronavirus and its manifestations in American soil. Mercifully, the fog is now slowly lifting and we are better informed to form an opinion, an independent unbiased opinion. We have now learned that the pandemic virus had entered American soil long before we knew of Wuhan Episode. Coronavirus had come …

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Coronavirus: postscript

The world is still reeling under the onslaught of corona virus which really caught us unaware. Even months after months of relentless attack, the world at large hasn’t got fully informed of the nature and strength of the enemy numero uno. All that we know of this dreadful disease is that it was first detected in Wuhan Province of China some seven months ago. We will …

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Coronavirus

Nothing has had ever so totally gripped our Lonely Planet than by this ubiquitous malady called corona virus. There appears to be a rather enigmatic halo surrounding the true color of covid-19 which it has managed to keep shrouded in mystery, even after it has decimated several thousands of victims on its wake. It has at the same time some very useful lessons for us humankind. …

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The Inevitable Question

Super Tuesday has come and gone but on its wake tremendous lot of speculations are afoot. Obviously, first and foremost question in every Democrat’s mind is whether it will be Joe Biden or Bernie Sanders. But some of them know it, some who orchestrated the Act I, Scene II from behind and when the denouement comes it will not be what everyone has in their mind. …

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The Great Rope Trick

Opening scene was filled with suspense, a young lad just idling around a pile of nondescript lot of bundles when his fierce looking master wearing a pompous turban enters the scene. The master settles down on the floor cross legged and starts playing his flute when lo and behold, the pile of rope comes to life and slowly begins to rise up and up and beyond. …

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Afghanistan Today

An historic peace treaty has been signed by USA and the Taliban, which is a recognized terrorist organization and based largely within Afghanistan. However, the two very much affected parties namely Afghanistan and Pakistan, were not invited. This deal was necessitated due to the promise President Trump had made to the nation that he would bring back home US Military from Afghanistan where they had been …

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Symbolism Galore

We watched President Trump in India and clearly the hosts love fanfare. It is in their psyche. The Brits loved it too but for a reason, Brits actually ruled over India through series of fanfare, all mesmerizing fanfare. The Viceroy rarely took part in fanfare personally so he let his Second-in-Command, the Commander-in-Chief of India stand in for him. Fanfares showed off the glory British Royalty …

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A Blessing in Disguise

A cursory glance at the Democratic Primary lends us a very serious image of the Party in disarray. It is so serious the organizers are unable to declare the results of the primary which gives us a hint of shady deal behind the screen. Perhaps, it is not in Bernie Sander’s backyard syndrome, not just yet. While the entire machinery of Democratic establishment remained firmly occupied …

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Balance of Power

China is comfortably settled down with its new found position of authority in Asia, its right none there to dispute. Here and there, India has been trying its subtle tactics but its feeble efforts are visible to the Chinese even without having made any effort. In total desperation in India’s urge to exert its influence, its right foot seems to be stumbling upon its own left …

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The Right Royals

Her Majesty the Queen described the year as Annus Horribilis to express her sad experience not as a Sovereign Monarch but as a mother, she was actually chastising her offsprings. The Right Royals do not normally use harsher words, the year was 1992 Anno Domini. But since then, her children and grand-children have offended the august monarch even worse. The concupiscible Prince Charles of Wales gave …

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Princely Dilemma

In 1936, justice is served when King Edward VIII decided to abdicate on his own to marry Mrs Wallis Simpson, a divorcee. In 1953, justice is served when Princess Margaret was denied permission to marry Gp Capt Peter Townsend, a divorced man, whom she loved. But when Prince Charles insisted on keeping a mistress when he was still married to Princess Diana, their fairytale marriage ended …

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We are right

The nation has had been held hostage for the past four months by an undiagnosed fever of impeachment which eventually proved to be just a hoax. However, it has managed to divide the nation irreversibly further into two, we and they, just as I had written earlier like Shias and Sunnis of the Moslem World. To imagine the Democrats knew all along that they have been …

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The die is cast

If I were the speech writer, I would be the last person to advise the President to go out showing V for Victory sign, neither would I make a hit list of all those who have out of sheer malice moved heaven and earth in their attempt to bring dishonor to the name of President Donald Trump. We know who they are but it would be …

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Russians in Nepal

Current news about Russian President Putin’s impending visit to Nepal appears to have been held in abeyance. Perhaps, for a good reason. I have written more than once about the desirability and wisdom of USA getting involved in the affairs of Nepal and its surroundings. That China has been playing a major role there should surprise none because it was the Chinese who had been culturally …

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It is a mystery

President Donald Trump has granted clemency to Gov Rod Blagojevich for a reason not quite well known as on today but we can reasonably hope to know the details by and by. One very obvious reason of President Trump pardoning Gov Blagojevich could be that he is showing off; that he can undo what his predecessor had done. But wasn’t Gov Blagojevich found guilty of moral …

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Enter the Lamas

On 12/13 Oct 2019 President Xi Jinping made a State visit to Kathmandu and this historic event has raised certain concern in international arena. It is therefore the opportune moment to let my readers know how His Holiness the Dalai Lama is connected to Nepal and China through history. Read on: Srong Tsen Gampo had become the powerful monarch of Tibet during the seventh century A.D., …

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Xuan Zang’s Kathmandu

Nepal has often been described as a poor landlocked country and in essence Nepal has been an India-locked country; Indian leaders have always believed they controlled Nepal’s destiny. Nepal was virtually at India’s mercy and oftentimes Indian truck-drivers would declare road block cutting off all supplies on way to Nepal. Nepal saw it as a political strong arm twisting just disguised as truck drivers’ strike. That …

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Is Globe Warming?

This is a game someone invented while in a state of amnesia. What about people? There are billions of people more on the surface of our planet than only a lifetime ago and do you know they breathe out billions of cubic feet of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. What about the huge poultry farms and the hog farms and the cattle farms? and what about …

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Himalayan Orchid

A while ago, I happened to be reading an article on “Atacama Desert in Chile” by Sarah Gibbens in National Geographic Magazine and what I found so fascinating is how the lifeless desert comes to bloom, not just bloom but how a colourful carpet seems to cover the arid landscape in response to the overwhelming urge of nature after a shower of rain that falls once …

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A Forgotten Page

It suddenly dawned upon me that what I was reading is actually one of the pages of history which had been misplaced for nearly a millennia and a half. In the year circa 636 A.D. the famous Chinese pilgrim, Hiuen Tsiang had visited Kathmandu, Nepal and made the following entry in his famous autobiographical journal “Buddhist Records of the Western World”: “To the south-east of the …

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Caste System and the Kiratis

It is not easy to define and even harder to understand what Caste System really means. While it is a very complex social code it also is unwritten law of the Hindu Religion based entirely upon tradition and supported by various orthodox books held by Brahmin priests. Entire Hindu Society, or the Brahminic Society has divided human-kind into four categories; namely the Brahmins, the Kshattriyas, the …

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Lal Mohur or Red Seal

Adulations to the Lord of the Hills, God in the Image of Human, Celebrated among Men, King of Kings, Prithiwi Narayan Sah Bahadur Shamsher Jung, Victorious in battles in the name of gods; to the Honorable and Capable of shouldering Royal Responsibilities Sri Soon Rai, Sri Kum Rai, Sri Jung Rai and all the rest of the Limbu Rai Community is this epistle addressed. Henceforth, we …

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Brahmins in Nepal

“If Brahmins kept strictly to the letter of the rules of their caste, they would live in isolated places far from the haunts of men, where their whole lives would be spent in religious exercises…. But the poverty of many of their number and the avarice and ambition which are the ruling passions of each and all, preclude the possibility of such a philosophical mode of …

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Brian Hodgson, the Maverick Scholar

Brian Hodgson was a maverick of a gentleman. In 1819, while still a teenager, he was posted as a Post Master and Assistant to the Resident in Kathmandu, Nepal. He had had only four years of formal education upon which he had added a year of training at the East India Company College at Herfordshire, learning the basic trade of a writer. With that background he …

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Xuan Zang in Kathmandu

Petra Cave Monastery lay on the main Silk Road Highway where Chinese caravans on their way to or returning from the main markets of the day would spend their time on and off. The message the monk missionaries were giving out at the Petra Monastery greatly appealed to them and they in turn encouraged some of the monks to make the long journey back to mainland …

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Guru Padmasambhawa

Earlier in this website we have read about how Princess Bhrikuti of Nepal had converted her heathen husband, King Srong-Tsen Gampo into Buddhism in or around 642 A.D. For a century, except for the royal household and a few faithful retainers had remained an isolated island of hope in Tibet, until King Ti-Son Detsen ascended the throne in 745 A.D. King Detsen was a noble King, …

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Holiest of Tibetan Temple

Princess Bhrikuti had brought along a gilded icon of the Buddha as a part of her dower and was accompanied by artisans and craftsmen with a royal mandate to build a suitable temple to house the icon. Until then there were no temple of any sort for the Tibetans practiced Bon which required no permanent structure, they worshipped primarily to ward off evil spirits, out in …

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Princess Bhrikuti, the Tibetan Goddess

According to the Nepalese tradition, King Srong Tsen Gampo (pronounced Srong-zen) was a powerful monarch of Tibet and apparently had exerted good deal of influence in either direction of his kingdom. The Tibetan potentate was married to Princess Bhrikuti, daughter of Angsuburma, the Kirati King of Kathmandu as well as Weng Chen, Chinese Princess of T’ang Dynasty of China. In those far off days, before the …

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The Buddha as Apollo

After conquering all the known world of his time, Emperor Ashok had chosen to be the champion of faith to spread the gospel of Four Noble Truths. Consequently he not only demobilized his army but converted them rank and file to a monastic order and gave them instructions to carry the message sans frontiers throughout the world. The accounts of his monk missionaries through South East …

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Bi-lingual Edict of Ashok

As has been said earlier, Ashok had demobilized his army and turned them into monk missionaries to carry the gospel of Four Noble Truths and they moved about precisely in that orderly and disciplined manner. It was the serendipity of this step that made the monk missionaries so successful in their mission. The monk missionaries who went East and found vast empty lands, they encouraged the …

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Buddhist Monastery at Petra, Jordan

The year 1812 was a momentous year in our study of the discovery of ancient linkage between Buddhism and the Western World; in that year, an intrepid Swiss archaeologist named Johann Ludwig Burckhardt had stumbled upon the ancient ruins of a flourishing human habitation in the middle of Jordanian Desert. The ruins of a city carved out of rockface quickly got christened as Petra, from Greek …

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