Manang Journey 2018
Journey to Manang 21-27 September 2018
I had a wonderful trip to the Manang region for a week. It was an invitation from Botrul Rinpoche from Manang who rebuilt Tanki village temple. I was honoured to be present during the temple’s inauguration ceremony and performed in the consecration and opening ceremony. It is a very small and beautiful temple uphill.
The three days programme at the temple was very enjoyable and it created a huge response from people of the entire Manang region. The initiation was attended by more than 800 people.
At the end of programme, I have the opportunity to visit Milarepa cave called Nyeshang Gurta. This cave is situated at a high altitude of 4,075 meters above sea level. In fact, it is very near the snow mountains. Together with me were around 60 Manang disciples and sanghas. Some of them started the journey at 3am in order to prepare lunch for us. It was very kind and thoughtful of them.
The Milarepa cave was dripping of nectar. It contains a very clear foot print of Milarepa and a big bow that had belonged to Khyira Gonpo Dorje, the hunter whom later became Milarepa’s disciple renamed Khyira Repa.
The story was while Milarepa was meditating in that cave, suddenly there was a deer who was chased by a hunter’s dog. When the deer approached Milarepa, it calmed down and lost all its fears. Milarepa kept the deer by his side. When the hunter’s dog went towards Milarepa, the dog also became calm and peaceful and sat on the other side of Milarepa. Finally, the hunter arrived his his bow and scolded Milarepa for keeping his dog and deer. He even attempted to kill Milarepa the latter was calm and gave the hunter some words of advice him. Finally, the hunter was regretful of his deeds and confessed his wrong doings and became good disciple of Milarepa. He threw his bow away and it landed on rock above the cave. Amazingly til today, the bow is still there. We were all in awe and reverence when we sighted the bow and Milarepa’s footprint
Thus, this is a very holy place of Milarepa that many pilgrims hiked many long hours to visit. It is an arduous journey because of the high altitude and narrow rocky trails of the mountain . But once you reached there, it was amazing.
The entire Manang valley is filled with greenery. It is surrounded by snow mountains. It was my first trip there and I really enjoyed the scenery of every place I visited. My first life Shangpa Rinpoche has visited Manang twice and he spent some time there. Most of the elderly people who are still present in Manang have seen my first life and are his disciples. They told me stories of how they met him and what he had given and advised them. He did many animal release that were meant for for slaughtering. He also supported the animals lives until they died naturally. When the animals eventually died, mantras were engraved onto their bones. They were displayed by the road side for people to make dedication.
I also visited the Pisang Monastery where the past Shangpa Rinpoche resided there for a long time. During his stay, a western professor named David Snellgrove visited him. He was the only western person who manage to take a photograph of Shangpa Rinpoche.
I am now back in Kathmandu but my memory of Manang is still fresh and distinctly clear in my mind.
1 October 2018