Sunday, October 30, 2005
Om ah ra pa tsa na dhi dhi dhi........
The Mantra of Manjurshee. The Bodhisattva of Infinite Wisdom. My students in the conversation class told me that if I chant his mantra "Om ah ra pa tsa na dhi" and repeat the dhi until I run out of breath, my Tibetan will become fast and clear. Now, I do not know about the actual power of this mantra, but it definitely give the mouth quite a exercise. I have decided that I will give the mantra a try. It sure won't hurt and even if my Tibetan doesn't improve cause of it or I don't gain any of Manjurshee/ Jampel Yang's wisdom, I will be giving my tongue a good exercise. Last Sunday I took the hike up to the Tibetan Children's Village (TCV). I think all or most of McLeod Ganj was in attendance including the beggars. I got there around 8 am and could not find anywhere to sit. I eventually found my landlady and sat by her. I had a pretty horrible spot for I had a tree in front of me. But I did get to see many of the tradition Tibetan performances, including a Western Woman doing a Tibetan dance traditionally reserved for men. She did a excellent job, and I could hear throughtout the crowd their amazement that it was a Western woman. I eventually moved from my crappy spot to a small roof that was on the other side of the TCV track field. I got a better view of the show and His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Karmapa. For me the shows are very interesting, but for many they have seen the same or similar performances for years. At lunch time I went to the nearby Dal Lake to eat some food that I had just purchased. My friend Wangyal was telling me that there is a myth about the lake. Many believe the lake was created by the urine of Lord Shiva. Thus the lake is holy to Hindus who come to the lake to take a dip in its glorious waters. There are more than one Dal lake in the Himalayan region each formed by a different action of Lord Shiva. If this Dal Lake is Shiva's urine, I am not sure I want to know what the other lakes are made of. The rest of the day at TCV was a delight. We went to the TCV temple and I circumambulated around it turning prayer wheels as I walked. We could see all the performances from above the basketball court. Eventually I went down to the court to get a closer view. While I was there I got to see HH the Karmapa walking about 50 feet behind me. I was watching the performance until all of a sudden I hear people murmuring "Rinpoche, Rinpoche!!!" Then the next second there he was the 17th Karmapa head lama of the Karma Kagyu. He is only 20-21 years old and quite handsome. I have heard some American girls who have a bit of a crush on the young lama. Anyways I have been wanted to see him and so I did. Things are going fine at MEC so far. Lakha Rinpoche gave a speech to the whole school on Thursday, and the school is implementing some changes. I am working more in the office because a more experienced volunteer has arrived and is teaching the beginners. I still have the conversation class which I enjoy the most. I am now tutoring Dorje Rinchen aka Dorje Momo every evening which is going good. I will go watch a Tibetan film called "Dreaming Lhasa" tonight at TIPA. I have seen only one other Tibetan film called "Samsara" which was quite good, but I had some issues with that film. One can see many newly released American film here but they are ripped from the Internet or bootlegged and I don't want to pay money to sit in a theater to watch bootlegs. I will get my fill when I go back to the states. I hope that everyone has a great Halloween. The Hindu festival of Diwali is around the corner, but being here in McLeod Ganj I don't think I will see the full effect of this holy day.