Great Night Shiva – in the 14th Day of the Dark Moon

In the 14th day of the dark moon of the month of Phalgun on the Nepalese calendar in the Hindu temple complex Pashupatinath on the shores of the Baggmaty River, something similar to the universal pillar. Thousands of pilgrims – both from Nepal himself and from neighboring India and other countries – flock here to hide on the Great Night of Shiva – Mahashivaratri.

At that night, according to legend, Shiva, one of the most revered in Nepal the gods of the Hindu Pantheon, made Tandava – the dance of primary creation, conservation and. Destruction. This year fell on March 4.

Local calendar Bikram Sambat consists of the same 365 days and 12 months, but to relate the numbers of our and Nepalese calendars is very difficult. And not only because Bikram Sambat originates in mid-April. This, by the way, can happen 13, and April 14. The main problem is that the month here can last 29, and 32 days.

For residents of Nepal – the only Hindu kingdom in the world, whose king is considered to be the embodiment of another important Hindu god Vishnu, – the celebration of Shivaratri is essentially a national holiday. And how can it be different when Shiva in the image of the god Pashupatinath – Siva has a total of 1008 names – is considered a patron of the Himalayan Kingdom, and all official speeches of statesmen will certainly end to toasts in honor of Pashupatinath. On the day in the capital Kathmandu, even a military parade, which takes the king himself. The passage of troops is ends with an indispensable salute of 31 volley. In the evening, the royal family goes to Pashupatinath and makes it imposing, or, as the Nepalese say, Puja Siva symbols.

Shiva’s spirit, you can say, vitates above all Nepal, including even in the most hard-to-reach corners of the kingdom. God glorify thousands of stone images and monuments. His name worn temples, mountain peaks, cities.

But what is interesting, the Nepalese belongs to Shiva not only with limitless respect, but with a certain fraction of fear. After all, however god destructive. Yes, and he is depicted in Grozny form most often in the sacred, but extremely ominous dance.

However, it’s time to go on the outskirts of the capital Kathmandu in Pashupatinath, who is also called the Golden Temple. This sanctuary is perhaps not only the most ancient and revered, but also one of the most beautiful in the Hindu world. And there are many pilgrims, and on holidays – especially on the night of the seam – do not push around at all. No apple fall.

Buses, passenger and even trucks with long strollers bring Pilgrim Hinduists from different states of India, remote corners of Nepal. Many get here on foot, carrying a simple skarb on the head and knocking down their feet on dusty roads and rocky mountain paths. Everyone is in a hurry to hide on the Great Night of Shiva, which is also considered to be his birthday.

Bank of the Bagmaty River turn into the most real anthill. Near the tents of pilgrims smoke fires, on which dirty people prepare a meager food. Children collect everything that can go to the cross. At night at this time of the year there are still quite cold here, and you have to sleep at best on the matters. But all adversity are perceived as good. Holy Hospitality believes – for all suffering a lot of storm in a different life will be redeemed.

I went towards Pashupatinath in the afternoon in the hope that the main mass of pilgrims, waking up with the sunrise of the Sun, had already made all the rituals in the early morning, and now with a sense of duty enjoy the modest meal away from the main holies. However, vain hoped. Influxing pilgrims at all weakened.

All major entrances to Pashupatinath were blocked by the police within a radius of 2-3 kilometers. But this is not very embarrassed. Having lived in Kathmandu for more than two years, I knew almost all the area. In general, I decided to get to Pashupatinathu, as they say – from the other shore of the sacred river Bagmaty. Looping around the narrow streets, left for a small temple, from which the stone staircase began, descended to a small bridge through Bagmaty. However, one glance at the bridge was enough to make sure – to overcome the police, I was clearly failed. In the opposite direction on the bridge, a dense crowd was moving by the temple of pilgrims, through which there was no possibility. In addition, all approaches to the bridge were again blocked by barriers and the police.

There was only one way – to move the sacred river Vbod, together with the locals, also decided to get to the sacred temple by the district.

The Bagmati River at this time of the year, before the start of the rainy season, is a rather small and calm river, which is not difficult to go in principle. However, in order to enter the water, to the limit saturated with sewage, garbage and ashes of burned corpses, it is necessary to have a non-shy courage, if not recklessness. But not in vain, you can see, say: hunting in the forest. I decided to jump from stone on a stone, which performed over the turbid surface of the water. Stones turned out to be incredibly slippery, but overcome this bar obstacles still managed.

Rising on a steep coastal slope, I found myself in one of the pilgrim tent camps. Someone rested, others, gathering groups, did something lively discussed. Somewhere boiled lunch, spreading around the specific smell of spices, burned oil and kerosene. Big Lotoshnists who offered ordinary water and cool drinks were flashed everywhere. Mass of beggars, invulsively wrapped in a trifle in copper plates. Immediately play amateur orchestras, showing their arts Snake spellcasters, surprise all the unprecedented wonders of yoga.

From the top of the hill, an almost mystical panorama was opened – numerous temples and fancy stone sculptures, above which, majestically sparkling gilding in the rays of the pre-order sun, rises the bunk roof of the main sanctuary. The temple is descended directly to water steps with Hhata – stone vessels for cremation. Hindus honor the honor to die on these steps at the moment when their feet washed by the sacred waters of Bagmaty.

From afar, it is also well visible to more than a kilometer turn of pilgrims, patiently idle a few hours to commit sewing offering in the main temple, usually consisting of milk, colors, coins and rice. And thereby free from all our past sins. Powerful speakers are distributed to the entire territory of Pashupatinath monotonous anthem chants in honor of God Shiva.

Going down, I found myself in the heart of a pegless waves of a motley crowd. Citizens in the main, diligent-depleted dark jackets, and their wives are in bright festive sari. Residents of mountains in shapeless domain pants, women – in sorongs. Saints Wise men – sadhu, closed in bright orange robes, nude ascetics, smeared from head to feet ashes.

Standing every few meters by police struggled to regulate this almost natural human stream. Each of the spans descending to the river stairs occupied Sadhu and Asketa, clearly arranged there for a whole day. Around Sadhu crowded the suffering to get the wise advice: how to live on? And the beggars with confined to the state of felt by hair and decorated sacred signs, the impression was created, at all they did not pay attention to. Most of them were sitting in the lotus position, deeply plunged into meditation. And each in his hand was a long tube with a smoking hashish.

Great Night Shiva - in the 14th Day of the Dark Moon

Gashish smoked not only sadhu and ascetics, but many of the simple Nepalese. And nothing in this is no terrible. Smoking Gasisha during Shivaratri – a long tradition. They say, Shiva himself enjoyed hashish to achieve a deeper status of trance.

Allowed through the crowd to a paved embankment, I was among the low temples built in the right, almost chess. Inside each temple – obviously on the occasion of the holiday – meditated Sadhu. But the main decorations of each temple were traditional stone lingams of Shiva – symbols not only its constructive start, but also sexual greatness. After all, the god-destroyer Shiva is honored as a deity of reproduction. And the foundation for the lingam usually serves a round stone disc, symbolizing yoni, women’s start. By the way, initially – in time immemorial – on the site of the Pashupatinath temple complex, it was generally only, and only then gradually all new and new buildings arose.

The tradition of worship of Lingam Shiva, apparently, comes from the long-lasting phallic cults of the local population. Ancient manuscripts tell about the hot dispute between the cherry and brahma on the one of them is more important. The argument of the gods was long and as unsuccessful. And suddenly in the midst of the discussion, from nowhere, neither the sparkling fire lingam appeared, which sparkled like hundreds of universal lights. He did not have any beginning, nor the middle, nor end, it could not even compare with anything.

Vishnu, who decided to determine where this lingons originates, turned into a gigantic vapor and rolled down. And although his path continued a thousand years, he never got to the foundation of this monster. At the same time, Brahma turned into a dressed white swan, fast as a thought, and rushed up in search of the end of this post, but also did not have success. When both of them, tired and amazed, returned, the owner of a giant lingam appeared in front of them – Shiva. He who declared himself the ruler of the worlds. And his lingama, established again in all the worlds, became a symbol of the rule of the God of Creator and the Destroyer.

Stone and other images of Lingamov Shiva, perhaps, the most common architectural monuments of Valley Kathmandu. They can be found in the most unexpected places, sometimes they block the sidewalks and even interfere with the automotive movement. But demolish them or at least move to another place, hardly anyone dare. With such a terrible god joke bad – he can only worship. And no wonder that the Nepalese, passing by Lingamov, shower them with petals of flowers or – at a thin end – as a sign of respect, they first touch the lingam, and then to his forehead.

But the most important image of Shiva-Lingam is, of course, in the main temple of Pashupatinath. From making brahmanas of rites of worshiping this lingam and begins at midnight the official celebration of Shivaratri.

. Righting at the rays of the Golden Roof, the Sun meanly slowly descended by the horizon. Twilight thickened. With the onset of darkness got cold, and the main mass of pilgrims was separated. However, the religious dust of the remaining unexpectedly weakened, but on the contrary, even intensified. Then there, then the bonfires broke out, and together with them, the mantras were even louder, equipped with pilgrims. They also struggled to help Shiva. After all, its firmly convincing his admirers are firmly confident that this night shiv is scary frustrated, but you can warm it only in fire. And, of course, the hymns in his honor.

Smoke hashish, mixed with the smoke of fires, rhythmic mantras and the whole cuping atmosphere of the holiday had such a strong magical impact that, honestly, I myself turned out to be almost on the verge of trance. I insurmatimately wanted to join one of the groups gathered around the fire, and having accepted the handset with Hashel Sadhu, look at the world with an unusual side. However, my satellites, whose consciousness could not open for magic vibrations, carried away me to the other coast of Sacred Bagmaty. There, the Chiva Chairs no longer acted so much, and my desire was gone.

The return road was lit by the light of burning fires. Clubs of smoke stood over the entire valley until the morning. And until the morning heard echoes of chants glorifying Shiva – the patron saint of this mysterious Himalayan kingdom.

Great Night Shiva - in the 14th Day of the Dark Moon

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