-Yogi Rajan Bastola,
Why is Nepal the most important space for Yoga and Meditation?
Historically Nepal as a word refers to the sacred land in the lap of the Himalayas. In the ancient time there was a saint named “NE”, who engineered social, political, economic, cultural and spiritual dimensions of the communities to ensure the ultimate happiness and salvation of the people concerned, which is commonly known as “PALANA”, means governance in the modern sense. This is how it evolved as NE+ PALANA= NEPAL. Why is Nepal the most important space for Yoga and Meditation?
Nepal is the most ancient community in the Asian continent, perhaps in the planet Earth. Many other civilizations claim differently, however, more research is required to validate their respective claims. Nepal is mentioned in the most ancient Vedic scriptures like Veda and Upanishad, among others. Ved Vyasa who decoded the divine knowledge of the Veda, author of the Veda; the great Vedic compassionate harbinger poet and saints like Valmiki , author of the Ramayana, meditated in the lap of the Himalayas, present day Nepal. Additionally, there are historical facts about the presence of well structured geo-political territories governed by King Janak of Mithila, present day Janakpur, with his daughter Sita, and enlightened personalities like Asthavakra, Nachiketa, among others. They were the vanguard of the humanity to practice philosophies like Tat Tvam Asi,( That thou art), Neti Neti ( Not this, nor that ), Nothingness, Upanishada (Sit below the learned to learn more), among other in the pursuit of wisdom by the way of life.
Geographically Nepal is a small Himalayan country in South Asia, however she is the richest in her natural as well as cultural diversities. Nepal has never been colonized and has remained as a free country right from her genesis historically. Nepal has more than eighty ethnicities and one hundred thirty languages and linguistic families. There has never been violent conflict despite the diversities in ethnic, linguistic and other spheres. Negotiation, mediation and reconciliation are embedded in the fabric of Nepalese cultural spectrum. Diversities and various religio-ethnic groups have paved the way for a peaceful social transformation and justice with equity. For these and many other reasons, Nepal is considered to be an emblem of peace in the world arena.
Geographically Nepal is the most pristine place on the Earth. Out of ten highest mountains on the earth, Nepal has eight highest mountains, including Mount Everest—the top of the world. According to ancient scripture Mahabharata, Nepal, as Himbatakhanda, the land of snow, is considered to be the stairway to heaven. According to the Ramayana, Goddess Sita voluntarily took refuge as land cremation, Bhumi Samadhi, in Nepal, the last resort to eternal peace. Hanuman, the Monkey God in the Ramayana, found life saving herbs in the Himalayas, Bindhyachal parvat. In many ways, Nepal is historically a sacred place.
Nepal is at a confluence of Vedic, Hinduism, Buddhist, animism, and other local traditions and rituals. Culturally, it is a mere melting pot, but a carpet with different fabrics , colors and tastes in harmony. Hindus, Buddhists and Kirat all worship at the same sacred place respecting each others’ identities and faith system. According to Hinduism, Buddha is the tenth Lord Vishnu incarnate. Buddha was born in Nepal, Lumbini, and positive vibration emanated everywhere,, for this and many other reasons, Nepal is the best place to meditate, yoga, introspection, reflect and elevate self-consciousness. Nepal is also a place of historical enlightened personality Guru Gorakhnath and his teacher Machhindranath. In Nepal, we have the most ancient and important temple of the Lord Shiva, Mahadeva, in Kathmandu, that attracts thousands of devotees and practitioners from around the world.
Kathmandu is also known as the city of the temple, where you find a temple every step. There used to be more temples than households in Kathmandu, now the scenery has changed due to urbanization. Within fifteen kilometer periphery there are more than seven hundred cultural sites in Kathmandu valley. It is the number one cultural space by density in the world. Nepal is the only place on the earth where you can have an auspicious sight of a living goddess, KUMARI. Nepal is enriched by white mountain, black mountain, blue mountain, smoky mountain, ravine, brooks, grooves, falls, white water rivers, terai, among others. Moreover, Nepalese often smile by eyes and Athiti Devo Bhava (Guests are the Gods) is entrenched in the Nepalese way of life as a mantra.
Nepal is not only an ideal place to practice meditation and yoga; but also a place of origination of these genres according to various classical texts. Nepal is located in-between China to the North and India to the south. Southern part is hot relatively, tropical, whereas the Northern space is cold dotted by highest peaks and snow blankets, relatively polar. The middle region is temperate. With these geo-physical diversities weaved by cultural fabrics , a mediator or a yoga practitioner will realize the ultimate satisfaction and bliss. In a short distance, a passenger can travel from Terai, the temperate zone, to the polar region, passing diverse thermal climatic conditions. This diversity is enriched by rare herbs, vegetation, animals, amphibian, avian, and other species.
This is a country of greenery and peace, and the second largest country in water resources, specifically potable and usable water resources together with green forest, herbs, and minerals. In Nepal people use 113 languages in their everyday lives according to their tradition, however, Nepali, Sanskrit and Pali are major language groups. Instead, Sanskrit is often a major language specifically in religious and ritualistic ceremonies like worship, wedding and death rituals. No more to say that Veda Vyasa , the writer of the Vedas, a tradition rather than a single writer , had Sanskrit as a medium of expression that developed in Nepal, in the same way, Panini, the greatest philologist of ancient civilization, had Sanskrit as the ultimate way of expression. These linguistic traditions are still evolving in Nepal.
Yoga and meditation are words deeply entrenched in Nepalese psyche; they are connected with the way of life, not merely an oratory phonetics. Nepal is the only one place one the earth where you not only practice ancient wisdom like Yoga and meditation, you will live with such doctrines to the fullest of your capacity. The climate will attract you, our mountain will sooth your past wounds. Our culture will give you a home away from home. Our smiles will rejuvenate you, getting you back to life with full of hope and enthusiasm. You are never alone.
Sidhartha Gautama through Vipassana tried to attain Buddhism, but you have your own way. You are the WAY. Nirvana is not an easy task, but it is not impossible. We will have interactive and collaborative sessions together, and inspire each other to embark on an expedition to explore our own Nirvana or Mokxa. You are the WAY
You’re the Way
You feel sometimes hurt
Other times you feel happy
You doubt and harvest illusion
You are the way
You live among worlds
You define words
You pretend to know everything
But you do not know what you do not know
You bleed to attain eternity
Graveyard is your destiny
Eudaimonia is nowhere but in you
Listen to your sound of silence
You are an indifferent witness
You are just a visitor on the road
You have nowhere to go
You are the way
Nepalese are known for their honesty, brevity and simplicity, without some exceptions. But those living with blood, toil, tears and sweat are NOT dishonest. This is my promise. We are eager to host you with welcoming smiles in hearts in this land where you might discover footprints of Vyasa, Panini, Buddha, Tao, and others. Welcome to Nepal.
Thank you for your time reading me.