Saturday, February 28, 2009

J'arrive


Thanks to Double T of Black Cats Manor, I am happy to confirm that my photo "Makar Sankranti" was indeed published in the new Lonely Planet coffee-table book, A Year Of Festivals.

Lonely Planet requested a larger version for a half-page shot, but I was unable to access my photo DVDs which are, I think, in a trunk in Rishikesh.

The down side of perpetual traveling.....wonder if those photo DVDs are still any good.

 Makar Sankranti

Here's where you can purchase the book or a calendar:
 A Year of Festivals (General Reference)

Festivals Calendar 2008

Friday, February 27, 2009

tiny asian goddess





tiny asian goddess
indian women unwashed
red and blue in india


It's a new poetic form...making three-line verse out of random search phrases from your Sitemeter. In other words, these (each line) are phrases someone somewhere typed into a search engine, and got my blog as a result.


Thursday, February 26, 2009

Still missing

The 50 Million Missing International Campaign project on Flickr.com continues (despite my absence of nearly a year) to raise awareness of Indian women's situation in what has become a silent gender war.

Sex-selective abortions (female-fetuses only), female infanticide (killing baby girls immediately after birth), and dowry deaths are just two of the factors that have skewed India's gender ratio (aka "sex ratio" or number of women vs. number of men in the population) to dangerous lows. Discussions on these issues and what to do about them continue here.


Due to a traditional preference for sons, daughters are regularly dispensed with through selective abortions and the practice of infanticide. The medical journal Lancet recently announced that about a 1000,000 female fetuses are aborted in India each year. In the state of Kerala, India's most literate state, it is estimated that about 25000 new born infant girls are annually killed. The figures of female infanticide in Bihar are far worse. There, mid-wives admit to being paid to kill at least half of all baby girls they birth. It is also estimated that at least 25000 women are annually murdered by their in-laws and husbands, after being subject to extended physical and mental torture for reasons of dowry. This is India's silent genocide, and it is time for it to STOP.


And, the (now 2,078) international members continue to upload photos that show the breathtaking expanse covered by Indian women and their lives, such as the one above, contributed by Ahinsajain , or the one at left, by BagLady. The project has now collected and catalogued some 13,583 such photos, with dozens more uploaded daily.

Founder Rita Banerji's original goal was to attempt to collect one photo to represent each of some 50 million estimated Indian women who have vanished from the population as a result of such practices.

Sign the petition here, and visit the group's own website.

Template in a teapot

You may have noticed the template is a bit wonky. Yes, I am trying to update the hoary old thing with a few more current features, getting rid of old links, adding new mutual links and so on.

Suggestions welcome!

Work In Progress.



Related reading:

 

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Of Slumdogs and Scotsmen

It's Oscar Night!
Kathmandu

As Oscar night pends, the Slumdog discussion continues in India as elsewhere. This week on Desi Pundit, Lekhni asks "Why do Indians hate Slumdog Millionaire?" and gives some thoughtful answers.

I find this an endlessly fascinating discussion. A lot of the arguments are familiar; brings back memories of Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing in the golden days of hip-hop (for you young peeps, that was the 1980s). At that time, I lived in New York City where the move was set.

"Why didn't he show this, and not that?"
"Why does he depict Jews that way?"
"Why did he have to end it in violence - shouldn't he have been more 'positive'?"
"how come most of his characters have no jobs, isn't that a stereotype?"
"Such portrayals will only further mainstream America's bad image of Black urban America,"
and so on.

Being Black American did not spare Lee from harsh critiques from his own people.

Such criticism ignored the achievement: Lee had made the most powerful film about American race relations in decades, and dared to ask (and pose answers for) many taboo questions. So it wasn't perfect; what is?

As I've spent way too much writing time the past 2 weeks answering Comments, I will reproduce some of mine here:


In answer to the critique

"Why didn't Slumdog Millionaire also show middle-class, prosperous India? The west just wants to perpetuate the image of Indian poverty." --

The movie did depict modern, middle-class, glass-front India- I remember finding the scenes in the flat-screen TV bungalow with security guard such a contrast with the slum scenes. The film does show that India has changed, and is changing. A character also says, “see the slums where we grew up? now it’s all high-rise housing.”
The call centre scenes were also filled with educated, well-dressed middle class youth. Middle-class “new India” was not the sole focus, but it was represented.
Director Danny Boyle is experiencing “the burden of representation” — what every artist, in film or other media, encounters when portraying or addressing an historically underrepresented people, nation or topic. The (usually well-meaning) artist is unfairly expected to redress every mis-representation of the topic that has occurred throughout the centuries, all in one two-hour film, 30 minute sitcom or 500 page book.
So let’s all look forward to AR Rahman’s Oscar win and more!

Mere desh mahan.

 Related reading:


A year in the life


The Lonely Planet coffee-table book, A Year of Festivals, was recently released.

I haven't seen it here in the shoppes yet, but it is supposed to feature m
y photo "Sankranti" (one of my most-ripped-off photos via right-clicking on the blog).

Anyway, since I can't find it here, if anyone has access to a copy it would be great to know whether the photo actually was published (they did pay me for it, which is more than I can say for a lot of people).

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Pressed

Unhappy new year
News From Tibet and diaspora
Waiting for HH
As I am usually what passes for a Tibetan-culture knowitall at most gatherings, foreign friends have been asking me: "So when is Losar?" (the Tibetan New Year celebration).

In 2009, Losar is supposed to be February 26. But this year, I don't know whether there will be any celebrations, or to what extent.

At least one sector of the Tibetan community feels Losar should not be observed with any festivity this year. This is partly due to the extreme state of distress in Tibet at the moment and partly to observe the 50th Anniversary of the Dalai Lama's escape from Tibet into India, and the Tibetan Uprising.

(If you would like to know more about the events of 1959, the Times of India has finally justified its existence by providing a handy online archive going back some 150 years with original news articles from the period.)

Of course, some don't agree; and I can definitely see the irony of asking a culture whose very survival is an achievement *not* to observe one of the major manifestations of said culture - even moreso when the Chinese government has tried to force ethnic Tibetans to celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year instead.


No more questions!
Recently, the Chinese government made a big deal of "inviting foreign journalists to Tibet" (after expelling most of them last year) for a highly-orchestrated press trip to Lhasa. The trip included a visit to Drepung Monastery, which last year became a centre of Tibetan resistance.

I read two different accounts of the trip (some
excerpted below); the reporters from different news outlets appear to have spoken with many of the same people and gotten the same rehearsed responses. China defenders say things like, "You can't believe what you read; you should go there yourself." As if that were even possible for most people at the best of times, the Chinese government has now declared several Tibetan-majority areas off limits to visitors.

Those who do go - such as these various journalists - give very similar reports.
Every tourist account I have heard first or second-hand has reinforced these accounts (from one Indian tourist: "I was on a boat with a uniformed police officer; later I saw him in the monastery wearing monk's robes").

Tibet's religious life still bruised by riots (Reuters):
Inside, monks take patriotic education classes on Chinese law, alongside their Buddhist scripture studies, and were kept closeted away from visiting foreign journalists on a rare and tightly controlled government visit on Thursday.

In Tibet, it's just the facts, ma'am (MSNBC): In this account, one of the brave young monks who, last year, interrupted a similar government-arranged press trip, is now mysteriously transformed and recants:

-He said he no longer felt
the way he did last March, because he and the others realized they had been "misled by the wrong people" (he did not elaborate what he meant). Norgyal also maintained that he had been able to continue his religious studies although he did say the monks had been given "patriotic" study sessions, during which they learned about Chinese law and constitution.

At Drepung Monastery, Ngawang said his monks had also been studying the legal system. "We have legal knowledge sessions for all the monks," he said,
in order to ensure order in the monastery.
"We study the laws and the constitution so we understand the laws better and do not break them," he added. "The monks are also Chinese citizens."
A visit to TibetInfoNet gives an idea where some of the dwindling monastic population may have gone: "Nine monks sentenced; others committed suicide"


This week's Site for Sore Eyes

If you're one of the majority who will never physically get close to the sacred places mentioned above, you might want a virtual visit via Sacred-Destinations.com -which looks extremely cool, well-arranged and informative, and is certain to become one of my preferred time-wasting devices. 


Related Reading: 
Tibetans in Exile 1959-1969 : A Report on Ten Years of Rehabilitation in India 
Tibetans in Exile: The Democratic Vision 
 

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Grand trunk railroad

Smile Du Jour
News from India

In among all the serious news from India (from anywhere, really), is this front-page bit from Times of India. This is one of the things I love about India. Sometimes, like most superpowers, they just plow ahead with progress and let nature go to hell. But there is enough combination of sentiment and common sense to come up with this kind of solution when nature meets expansion.
Patna-Gaya Highway
Not nearly often enough....but I take encouragement where I can get it.

TOI: Call it a Grand Trunk Road. The National Highways Authority of India says it will build the world’s first flyover corridors for elephants over the highway and railway line that cut through Rajaji National Park to link major pilgrim towns of Hardwar and Rishikesh in Uttarakhand. ...The passes would be covered in foliage resembling natural environment. 

Related reading: 
The Elephant Dancer: A Story of Ancient India (Read-It! Chapter Books) 
Right of Passage; Elephant Corridors of India (Conservation Reference Series, No. 3) 

Thursday, February 12, 2009

This just in

Undies For Fundies
Karnataka, India

This just in: Fundies Buckle Under Onslaught Of Undies
Whoo hoooo! Free, nonviolent expression works.

In the pink

the Underwear Underground
News from India

It's time for what has become the annual update on the Great Indian Valentine's Day Controversy.

In case you have only recently joined us, self-styled "defenders of Indian culture" have protested, often violently, against the de facto adoption of Valentine's Day into the calendar of many and varied Indian festivals.

And it's not just "Hindu nationalists" - reports indicate Muslim hardliners as equally incensed. Looks like a great opportunity for interfaith bonding against a mutually recognized "threat."

Mind you, no one in the pro-VD camp is suggesting that VD be an official, government holiday...the cultural curmudgeons just don't want private citizens strolling hand-in-hand or sending valentine cards.

The recent Mangalore pub incident has the Moral Police back in the headlines, major. (As Richard Gere, Shilpa Shetty and Khushboo can tell you, they are not to be trifled with.)

This year, there's a very creative response - the Pink Chaddi Campaign from the Consortium of Loose, Forward & Pub-Going Women. PCC asks participants to send a pair of pink women's undies (any size, style or fabric) to the head office of the Moral Police - mailing address found here.

No, Valentine's Day is not a part of traditional India. Neither are televisions, cell phones, DVD players or cars. Or speaking English, for that matter. Or cricket. What a great idea - let's get rid of all those, too!

Even in America, I personally always found "V D" to be an obnoxious holiday, regardless of one's relationship status. If you are not attached, VD sucks for obvious reasons. Even if you are, it puts insane pressure on the relationship to prove itself visually and materially. Yuck! But if someone chooses to celebrate it in whatever fashion, that is their choice. My anti-Valentine's friends and I used to have an annual "Love Stinks" party, the apex of which was playing the J. Geils anthem at full volume.

One of the Ram Sene's threats is "tie or die" - that any couple found holding hands or "canoodling" on the 14th will be forced (by them) to marry then and there on the spot. OR ELSE.



Now, despite the death threat, let's try to look at this in a positive way. What a great opportunity for all the gay and lesbian Indian couples who otherwise could never marry! Now's their chance!

Subhamoy Das of About.com Hinduism has thoughtfully provided an overview of (shock!) romantic love stories found in the annals of traditional Hinduism. The image at right is one of the more G-rated depictions found in "traditional" art.



Perhaps no other faith glorifies the idea of love between the sexes as Hinduism. This is evident from the amazing variety of mythical love stories that abounds Sanskrit literature, which is undoubtedly one of the richest treasure hoards of exciting love tales.



Let's face it, the western Cupid is just a cheap, cherubic ripoff of the god Kamadeva.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Naya ghar ko puja


At least, I think that is how one would say "New house puja" in Nepali.
On Saturday, Raju and I walked out to Dallu (a neighborhood beneath the famous Buddhist heritage site Swayambhunath stupa) to the home of Sarvaghya Bajracharya, the eldest brother of Raju's dance guru Prajwalratna Bajracharya. (There were six children in the family. At about 40 years, Prajwal Ji is the youngest.)

Sarvaghya is a
Bajracharya by family/caste, and a "guruju" by trade. That is, he is an itinerant Newar Buddhist priest, going round to various Vihars or Buddhist temples (formerly monasteries long ago), performing ceremonies and reading ancient sutras as called upon.


(photo above: Newar Buddhist women prepare to worship the Prajnaparamita sutra at Kwa Bahal, Patan)

It was pitch black on the streets, as has become the norm these days. A few shopfronts stayed open with people congregating round candle
s and oil lamps. As if the people dwelling right on the open sewer of the Bagmati River weren't medieval enough, the lamplights reinforced my feeling that Nepal is going back into literal Dark Ages.

Like most urban Nepali dwellings, the residence was cramped and dark. The dim battery powered light showed the walls painted in a lurid turquoise. Sarvaghya sat on his bed (as guests we were given proper chairs, always a sign of respect). That afternoon, Mr Bajracharya had just been to a conclave of 21 other Bajracharya priests, at the Bidyeshwori temple just up the hill (one of my favourites - the home of AkashYogini or the Flying Space Vajrayogini).

The Buddhist community had honored 21 selected acting priests for their services. He held up a handsomely framed certificate that was in Newari language, but rendered in Devanagiri script, which means that I could sound out the words but had little idea what they meant.

Mr Bajracharya was very quiet, but understood more of my Sanskrit- and Nepali-sprinkled English than he let on. Raju acted as translator but often the priest understood my questions without translation.

I realized this was an ideal person to help inaugurate my new flat, and asked Raju to invite him to perform a New House Puja. He agreed, then we had a discussion about which exact puja of the dozens he knew would be appropriate. Sarvaghya decided something called "Kalasha puja" was ideal. The reason? Tara Puja is great, too, he said, but it is some three hours long. The Kalasha puja is "only" one and a half hours.

"the main aim of the kalasha puja is to make the deity present in the kalasha by means of sadhana and then through the abhisheka of the kalasha bring about participation in nirvana itself." (JK Locke, 1980)

We discussed where to get the necessary ingredients (I gave a 500Nrs -- about $7 USD - advance for the supplies - most likely rice, flowers, incense, various fruits and foods and oil lamps) and added that I wanted to get the classic Newar Buddhist Panch-Buddha signboard, as seen over countless doorways in Patan, to install over the
entrance. Deluxe ones are available on wooden board; more transportable ones are on paper, pasted up like posters and renewed every so often.

I guess I will blend all my South Asian influences and also have the lemon-and-green-chili charm strung up over the doorway, as well as a garland of mango leaves in south Indian style! Oh and don't forget the Kollam. That is going to be one crowded doorway for a few days.

It also remained for me to choose my Ishtadevata (Tibetan "Yidam") or personal protector deity to invoke at the puja. I have to acquire an image (ideally a thangka or bronze statue) to be present. Vajrayogini is my personal favourite, but seemed a bit incendiary for a house-blessing. Maybe Avalokiteshwara, the 1000-armed benevolent Buddha now believed to be incarnated by HH the Dalai Lama. Then again Avalokiteshwara is, technically speaking, not a Yidam but a bodhisattva.

And the way things have been going lately, maybe we should invite at least one very strong Dipala or Protector Deity.

Then I asked Sarvaghya to choose a Muhurttam for me, or the most auspicious, appropriate day and time for the ceremony. He reached over his shoulder to the wall behind, where a long, rectangular paper brochure hung. It was a Nepali ephemeris, a sort of almanac designed for just such a purpose - to indicate the phases and "houses" of the moon, and appropriate dates for various ceremonies but every activity imaginable (planting, marriage, operations, applying for jobs and so on).

The ideal time and date was determined to be at 9AM Tuesday the 17th of February, on Ashtami (the 8th day of the waning moon).

As we left the darkness and went back out into even greater darkness, I reflected - rather cornily I admit - on the conditions of Nepal generally these days.

All Darkness, no light, and no power. Blankets of air pollution choking us off from the redeeming views of Himalayas, ground pollution (in the form of uncollected garbage), incessant noise pollution, unspeakable water pollution. The five elements of air, space, water, earth and fire all unrepentantly violated. (All right, I am not sure exactly how Fire is being violated; give me a minute, I will come up with something. Burning plastic garbage is pretty bad.)

On the way back to town we stopped at the Bidhyeshwori temple to pay a visit to the Space Yogini, flying through the ether with legs like wings. (my picture at right)

Super Stupas

News from Nalanda

Holy Coolness! New stupas on the Bihari block!
This time it's near the famed former Nalanda University in a place called Ghorakatora.

Imposing Buddhist stupa discovered in Bihar

New Kerala Mon, 09 Feb 2009 06:09 AM PST
Patna, Feb 9 :
A huge Buddhist stupa has been discovered in Bihar's Nalanda district and archaeologists Monday said it could be the second largest such structure in the world.

Two winters ago (2007) after the Kagyu Monlam, I took a wild ride through the Bihar countryside to see the ongoing excavation of Kesaria stupa (one of my photos shown below).

Kesaria is huge - about 10 storeys. Some sources say it's the largest stupa in the world (and just think - there is not one tourist facility there and it's not even completely excavated).

Within 11 of the star-shaped niches are 11 seated Buddha statues. Every one of them has had its head lopped off. If I were in India, I would be too politically afraid to say "Muslim invaders did it." But I am in Nepal, so I can say it. It's true.

Amazingly, there is another almost identical to it in Bihar and even lesser known, called Nanda Laharia. I would imagine this "new" (old) stupa is very similar to both Nanda Laharia and Kesaria.


Since my visit to Bihar I have raved that the entire state is a treasure-trove of barely discovered Buddhist ruins. I think this is still just the tip of the iceberg.

Nalanda was at one time a world-renowned university for Buddhist studies, as well as a monastery. It would be politically incorrect to say what happened to it. In fact, you can visit the site yourself, see the destruction, and not see one single sign indicating what happened. Some mean nasty people tore it down and beheaded hundreds of monks. But we can't say who they were or where they came from. Then we might not get certain votes in the next election.

Nalanda was not the only one of its kind. Taxila (now in Pakistan), Odantapuri and Vikramashila were all major centres of religious education.

Even if it's for primarily commercial purposes, I am glad to see Indians rediscovering their Buddhist history and heritage. Vikramashila (in what is now Bengal) is once again in the news:

Vikramsila (Bhagalpur), Feb. 8: Another festival to celebrate the glory of the ancient university has come to an end today, but without any sign of reviving the seat of Buddhist learning. Governor R.L. Bhatia attended the inaugural ceremony of the three-day Vikramsila Mahotsav at Antichak near Kahalgaon on February 6, raising hope among local people for possible inclusion of the ruined university in the Buddhist tourism circuit.

...Excavated remains represent the ruins of Vikramsila Mahavihar, the celebrated university founded by Pala king Dharmapala in the late 8th or early 9th century. Vikramsila, one of the largest Buddhist universities spread across the bank of the Ganga, was six times bigger than Nalanda.

The story goes on to say how locals are eager for the Mahavihar (Great Monastery) to be restored and linked to what is called, in India, the "Buddhist Circuit" (historical and living pilgrimage route; read: Spiritual Tourism).


As an opportunity for India to increase tourist dollars without opening itself further, as some complain, to the sex, drugs and rock'n'roll decadence of the "evil west," Spiritual Tourism would seem to be ideal.

And back here in Nepal, Buddhist ruins from the 12th century are still being discovered. Here's a story about the site of Kakrebihar.
.... Kakrebihar, a site in remote Surkhet district in mid-western Nepal that during excavation by the country's archaeological department yielded a treasure trove of sculptures and stone carvings.
... the findings established the area as an important centre of Buddhist art.

The Kakrebihar mound is probably the biggest instance of rock architecture in Nepal. The ruins suggest a temple built in layers and decorated with images that illustrate the life of the Buddha, the founder of Buddhism, and his teachings.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

High lonesome sound

Down from the mountain, part 2
Kathmandu


Last night's UNESCO bash, the opening ceremony and performance for the three-day mini-festival Music of the Gods: the Intangible Heritage of Nepal's Musical Castes, was like a Himalayan hootenanny.




UNESCO is an organization better known for preserving architecture and works of material art. However in 2003 they passed a resolution to begin work on restoring and preserving "intangible heritage" - music and dance.

Last night they had gathered traditional Nepali folk musicians from remote areas; for some of them it was their first trip ever into Kathmandu. Folk musicians and dancers are of various traditionally "lower" castes such as Badi, Gandarbha and Damai.

I really enjoyed one fellow whose music, except for being in Nepali, sounded just like Old Time American, and the 22-year-old Gandharba girl who had carved and created her own sarangi (Nepali fiddle).

By the end everyone was dancing, including the grey-haired expat crowd, in a celebration of Nepali pride. I like the way Nepali pride never seems to verge on arrogance, unlike some nationalities I won't mention here.

As a Tennessee native, I have long noticed the similarities between Nepali folk and Appalachian folk music. Especially, the sound of the sarangi is so much like the Old Time Fiddle. Even the melodies are eerily similar. After talking to Sean from UNESCO I find that great minds think and hear alike, and there is now something called the Mountain Music Project linking these musicians of these two traditions. Check it out!

Our house... is a very very very fine house

House of the rising fun
Kathmandu


New house blues. They put the carpet in where it shouldn't be. They made the bathroom floor all wrong for drainage. There's no bolt lock on the door, yet.
I had to insist on one being installed (easier than replacing all my belongings, yes??) Then there are the usual Nepali problems everyone is having, like electricity only 10 hours a day if you are lucky, and connectivity issues.
There's not a stick of furniture in it, yet. I have to buy stove, fridge, gas cylinder for the stove, bed, mattress, chairs and all. For some reason they were kind enough to install a huge heavy wooden armoire in one corner, taking up precious dance space. Armoire, but no bed or chairs. Aunties are very big on armoires.

And so on. No date for a new-house puja yet, nor a housewarming party. Here are a few photos.This is the living space, complete with coffin-like intrusive armoire that i did not ask for. But essential things like a floor? That you have to beg for.


This will be the sleep-chamber. I could have a double bed but then there will not be room to have a nightstand AND open the door.

Kitchen area, brand new kitchen with tiles and marble. Loving it.

Type INTP

Just took another personality test. The result: I fall into a category that includes Abraham Lincoln, Einstein, Charles Darwin and so on - Intellectual-Engineer. My primary purpose in life is Deep Thinking.

No, I'm not sure where I went wrong....

Click to view my Personality Profile page

And on the Learning Styles test - how can I be100% on three categories?
Click to view my Personality Profile page

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Fun with anagrams




This is great. Go to
the Beyondananda site to check out the whole thing.

....when we scramble the letters in “Barack Hussein Obama,” we get “Abraham is back: One U.S.”

Monday, February 02, 2009

Hymn to Her

Fun with liturgy
Kathmandu

Here's one of the Charya Giti I have been transliterating and, partially, translating. Not because I am good at it (I'm not really), but so that I can understand the dances I am learning. There are no English versions of these songs and poems. For those who've just tuned in, I am here studying the Newari Buddhist Charya Giti or Buddhist devotional dances.

Most of the lyrics I can "feel" but don't think my literal translation will do them justice. This is my attempt. There is a chance that this gita appears translated/literated in Kvaerne's 1977 Anthology of Buddhist Tantric Songs (Oslo) but as I can't locate this publication, I don't know.

My goal is to create an illustrated book of the Giti with Sanskrit, English phonetic and English translation, some background and illustrations of each Deity.

 
Sri Kurukulla Devi
Raga: Nata .... Tala: Jati
(the Raga is the South Asian equivalent of the key or "mode." This set of notes determines the "mood" of the melody much as the key does in western music - imagine playing "She Loves You" in Eminor instead of Emajor.
Tala is the rhythm or time signature of the piece. Again, imagine playing "She Loves You" in Waltz-time instead of 4/4. Changes everything. Every dance student must know their talas and ragas to some extent, though not as thoroughly as music and singing students.)Kurukulla
Tribhuvana jananii sri kurakullaa devii
Svetavarna makuta keshii trinayanaa
Mother of the three worlds, Sri Kurakulla goddess...
White-coloured with a crown of hair, three-eyed....

Namami devii sri kurakullikaa taraa
Chatura bhujaa karti khatpara shara dhanudharii

We bow to goddess Sri kurakulla the deliverer
Four-armed, holding chopper, knife, bow and arrow.
Rahu mastaka sthita nrtyapada dharii
Natha shodasha bhujaa aalikngana chun.
Tribhuvana vyapita niilavarna dehaa
Tumha varna devi anuttara sangama
Tempting Rahu (?), standing in a dance-pose
Permeating the three worlds, with blue-coloured body...
(This part confuses me. At one point she's red, at another blue....Sodasha means sixteen; the verse seems to say she has 16 arms but elsewhere she is described as "looking 16 years old.")
Piivad re mahaarasa sudrishta dehaa
Namami sri devii loka udharitaa
Drinking Maharasa (amrit), her form pleasing to see
I bow to the Goddess who uplifts the world
Bhanayikulishaa ratna giita charitaa
Namami sri devii loka udhaaritaa.
(This verse is an attribution stanza telling the name of the Gita composer; and again I bow to the goddess who uplifts the world.)

Here is more about Kurukulla from Vajranatha.com, which appears to be a cool and informative vajrayana web site.

And here is a fun "message from Kurukulla" which was received by Akkarri at Spontaneous Combustion. I especially liked this part:

"I am DANCING. This is to show you how to manifest divine energy for benefit of all....itting in uniform rows reciting rote attribute-lists of the results of human male ego-trips is not a Divine Activity, because it has nothing whatsoever to do with the acknowledgement of MY DANCE."

Related reading: 
Meditation auf Kurukulla 

Sunday, February 01, 2009

''lisa simpson goddess population of tiny people watch''

Defining Random
Kathmandu


...Someone landed on this blog by typing the above words into a Google search. From Turkey, no less.