Thursday, 18 August 2016
The tagadharis or those who wear the 'Janai' (the sacred thread) around their bodies from the left shoulder change the sacred thread today after having a haircut and a bath on the occasion of 'Janai Purnima', also known as 'Rishi Tarpani'. This festival observed by the Hindus, especially of the Shaiva sect, on the full moon day in the Nepali month of Saun is also popularly known as 'Gunhu Punhi' in the Newar community. According to the time-honoured tradition, the people receive the 'Rakshya Bandhan' thread, which is tied around the wrist as an amulet. The yellow thread is purified through the chanting of mantras by Brahmin priests as a symbol of protection from fear and disease. They also observe the occasion as 'Kwanti Purnima'. Kwanti, a soup prepared from nine different beans, is a special delicacy added to the Nepali menu today. The 'Kulabarna Tantra', a Tantrik scripture, says that the soup is highly nutritious and keeps diseases away. In the Terai region, there is a tradition in which sisters tie an attractive 'Rakhi' around the wrist of their brothers wishing them long life and prosperity. Today, thousands of devotees worship lord Shiva at Pashupatinath in Kathmandu and at Kumbheswor in Lalitpur and take holy dips in ponds and lakes. Religious fairs are held at Gosaikunda, an alpine area in Rasuwa District, and at Dansanghu, Triveni in Jumla district to observe the festival with offerings of worship to Lord Shiva. A big religious fair takes place at the Gosaikunda Lake and pilgrims come from faraway places to take a holy dip in this lake and other lakes nearby.
Religious fairs take place today at Pashupati and Manichud of Kathmandu; Gosaikunda of Rasuwa; Kumbheshwar of Lalitpur; Panchpokhari of Sindhupalchowk; Janakpurdham, Dhanush Sagar and Ganga Sagar of Dhanusha; Dansanghu of Jumla and Trivenidham of Nawalparasi. The Buddhists observe this day in commemoration of the day the Lord Gautama Buddha defeated the evil power of lust. This episode is well-described in the Buddhist scripture 'Lalitbistar'. A special fair takes place at Swayambhunath of Kathmandu today for this reason. RSS
Traveling gives us the opportunity to disconnect from our regular life. You get to forget your problems/issues for a few weeks, it can also help you figure things out that you would not have understood without the distance traveling can give you. We all have crazy schedules, work and a family to take care of, going away alone or with some friends can give you distance and perhaps even make you realize how important these people are for you. Like the saying says: we never know what we have until we lose it.
Another great benefit is the relaxation you get to do. It’s nice to live life to its fullest and enjoy a stress free time with yourself. Going on vacation lets us recharge our “batteries” by disconnecting us from our regular life. When we come back we feel invigorated and we are happy to be back in our day to day routine. It’s a very good stress remover that has a lot more to give than most people are willing to accept.
Traveling increases our knowledge and widens our perspective. To view new customs, different ways of living is fantastic for the mind. It gives us a new perspective about life and especially our life, it can help us change some of our habits or even create new ones. When I travel I usually make it a point to try new food, some cultures don’t have fries in their diet and they are all skinny, others use spices to give taste and not oils or fats. Discovering different values and ways to get by in life is really interesting. You also need to visit exotic new places and discover what this wonderful world has to offer.