Home    Previous    Next                         Photo's 2001-2002 part 2


Burmese temple Small kids making huge noise

Than just outside the Tibetan temple we heard tremendous noise from inside and wondered if some kind of ceremony was starting so we went inside to see. But nothing there... Just some kids studying the scriptures. Than again a bit later the same noise, but this time we were still inside and saw what was happening. It were the studying kids! They would read the scriptures quietly for some time maybe 5-10 minutes... but than, like children everywhere, they would get restless. So the system was that every that would happen they would pick up some instruments (like this long horns in the photo) and just make what ever noise they could and as loud as they could. After a minute or so, once that energy was expressed, they would again peacefully continue their study! Great idea, and very effective. Maybe something to introduce in our schools:-)

30 meter high Bhudda statue

It seems that having the biggest Buddha statue is something to aspire for, so in many places one can find these. For me they are not so special unless the art work is exceptional but in this case the sunset behind it made it really beautiful!

From Bodhgaya to Jamalpur. A often challenging journey as for part of the train ride there is no reservation and these trains can be really packed. However we made it and walked to our Jagrtii there. 

This is the very first Jagrtii of our mission and Baba came here many times. Baba didn't believe in pilgrimage but certainly to visit the place where He was born, grew up and started Ananda Marga gives us a better perspective. So many of the 'Baba Stories' (real experiences of the devotees with Baba) happened here in Jamalpur. Seeing the place and experiencing it's vibration gives a deeper meaning to all these 'stories'. 

Front yard of the Jagrtii All in the jeep to see the sites

Jamalpur is a relatively quite town with a big railway workshop, it was surrounded by dense jungle but unfortunately that has been cut, also the hills itself have been cut, blasted with dynamite to make gravel for the railways. The photo below is 'The Tamarind Tree' a place where Baba often went. The first Kapalika initiations were given there. In it's time this was in the jungle, and the area was (is still) called Death Valley... No one dared to go there even in broad daylight. Last century a whole army had disappeared there. (Oops, I have to catch up! We are already a century further. It happened in the 19th century) That time it was dense jungle but now all trees are gone except this tree and few others. The people in the town have great respect for Baba and last year a little platform was build around the tree to protect it and as you see, for us it's great to sit for meditation. During the day the blasting can be a bit disturbing but in the evening and night that same atmosphere can be felt as many decades ago, meditation feels really special and it's much easier to go deeper.

Meditation under the Tamarind Tree.


We visited quite a few other places: the tigers grave, which is an other famous place. In the late 19th century there was a tiger who was creating a lot of disturbance in the town, one brave Englishman went to find and kill the tiger so the town would be safe. He found the tiger (or the other way round) and a fight started and in the end both parties died. Both graves are in short distance from each other on what is now a big field. Almost every night Baba used to visit this place with a group of Devotees. Here He would give guidance and share wisdom, a few of the early Ananda Marga Publications were dictated here in this mystic environment.

Meditation sitting on the tigers grave A tree with an very interesting past life...


A bit further up in the hills is a Kali temple, Baba used to go there often in His early primary school days, again it was a place where few would go as there were still wild animals in the jungle. Someone followed Baba and witnessed Him sitting on the back of a tiger! He used to go there for hours and sit deeply absorbed in meditation. Several years ago I went there alone and found a nice place for meditation, I enjoyed and sat much longer than I thought, the year after I found out that this was the spot Baba used to sit! This time also we went there and did meditation with the whole group.


View from the Kali temple, the tree in the far
end a bit left of the middle is the tamarind tree.
Behind Kali temple where Baba used to do
his Sadhana


After we visited Baba's school, birth house (which was demolished but will be rebuild) and lastly, probably the first time in a long time, we got permission to go into the office where Baba worked for many years. All the people there knew about Baba and few had even worked under His supervision in the 1960's. Though not members they have deep respect and many interesting experiences of Baba's natural and super natural... 

Sign on the outside of the building Inside the office... 


After two days it was time to go to Patna. I didn't want everyone to go through the same trouble (standing on the train for hours) as on the way coming so I managed to get reservation for an early morning train... Everyone was looking forward to a relative comfortable journey and we brought our breakfast along with banana, yoghurt, and many other nice items. The train was a bit late (not unusual!) and when it finally arrived we looked for the carriage were we had allocated seats... And... looking everywhere, running up and down the train (outside) but our carriage was no where! The last moment we had to just enter the what's called 'general compartment' and sat squashed in the entry with our packs and breakfast. I felt so bad putting everyone again in such difficult position but what to do? The others got over it more quickly and while I was still digesting our the trouble I was giving to them, they had made themselves at home and started distributing the food. Yes, it is not only learning to be able to do meditation under difficult circumstances...

After a while we got some seats and maybe after two hours we could all sit. This is India!


The school where Baba used to go Baba's birth place...


In Patna we took taxi to the Prout Office and the next day we could visit Dada Chandranath. Dada is one of the first Acaryas in Ananda Marga, his wife was the first lady Acarya. In those days all the Acaryas were family people, later when the mission grew and the travelling needed was not practical anymore for family people Baba introduced synyasies, those who fully dedicate their life to teach and guide without bondage of family. Still today dedicated members with family can become Acarya and work in their local area. Anyhow this Dada has after so many years of meditation definitely reached a high level of realisation and just to be with him and have some questions clarified by him is very inspiring. I could explain exactly the same questions but when you hear the answers from someone who has actually realised these things in their own being, rather than just understanding in the mind, makes a enormous difference. The other part which is always inspiring for me that he (and his family as well) were normal people, who led a normal life and trough sincere practice have reached perfection in life. Dada was a police officer which is not an easy job, further in a corrupt system he had to balance his uncompromising strictness in spiritual morality a diplomatic way that he could do his work without getting in trouble with his supervisors and supervised workers. He managed very well and even those corrupt officials developed great respect for him and gave up trying to manipulate. Dada is now in his 80's but still up to date with everything and more disciplined than most of us!

We took an other day rest in Patna and next day we were on our way to Nepal. This brings us only to the 10th January...

Though the multinationals are slowly entering India, in Nepal they are making themselves known where ever possible. That the bill boards spoil the view is only minor, spoiling peoples minds to drink garbage at high price instead of nutritional food. Also Alcohol is pushed everywhere and in the evenings you find many drunk. It's bad in the west but here the cost of it is so high that a lot of families cant afford essential things. It's sad, when you see the beautiful old woodcarvings and other handicraft made in the long winter evenings and now people drinking instead. The introduction of pseudo-culture robs people of their traditional values and customs. It has happened all over the world. 

Still lot's of positive things everywhere but we shouldn't forget the impact the western nations have and what damage the multinationals are doing. With full legal backing naturally... morality is not an issue these days! We have to change this!!

Multinationals spoiling more than the view... Pamkaj in action

After all the travelling and stress of crowded trains, busses and cities it was great to be able to relax in quietude and peace. The hotel had a nice backyard with grass, and we were allowed to use the kitchen so we could cook our own food. For us it's hard to eat out because of the special vegetarian diet, so where ever we can we cook ourselves. This guarantees us not only the right type of food but also the right quantity... and much cheaper too! Preparing and cooking together is also very good to get to know each other better:-) 

Malati who always joins and helps on
 the trek. Our hotel in the back
Pokara lake

Just five minutes walk from our Hotel was the lake. Pokara has one part which is just normal city, noisy, dusty and crowded. But the other part is mainly for tourist, it's right on the lake and relatively quite. Especially this time in January it's very quite as its low season. 

Steep trails along the Kalimandaki river Tatopani (hot water) with hot springs to 
relax tight muscles and lots of oranges

After few days we were ready for the trek. A ten day 120Km journey from Pokara all the way up to Muktinath (3800m). Most of the trek follows the Kalimandaki river which has been flowing from the Tibetan plateau from much before the Himalayas were born. The result was that while the Himalayas were coming up the river was cutting down through it. So the river cuts right through the massive and brings us from the subtropical south side which has plenty water and plenty lush vegetation to the dry and desolate Tibetan side. At the same time we go up in altitude so we also move through all the different climatic zones. In the beginning there are bananas, oranges and plenty greens. Than apples & apricots around the village of Marpa. They have recently installed a solar drying system and the high quality dried fruits are found all around Nepal. Beyond there are no more fruits:-( But here buckwheat becomes more popular and makes a very tasty cereal also the pancakes are delicious! Beside food... also the character of the villages changes with the change in climate and altitude.


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