NEPALESE PILGRIMAGE

NEPALESE PILGRIMAGE

Braving the freshness of this morning full moon, more than one hundred and twenty thousand Nepalese, Buddhists, Hindus and Sikhs confused, found themselves on the height of Patan for a journey of 24 hours between Kathmandu and Patan, totally paralyzing the circulation throughout the valley and forcing the population to walk to work.

According to legend, this event gives the fact that the Buddha of the past, Diphankhara gave life to a statue of Neel Thu, the Blue Bull, but it was stolen by a great Indian Master. The priests tried to recover their bull but it was lost and wandered for 3 months, visiting 131 sacred places in the valley, before finding the way to his temple.

According to other sources, this great pilgrimage was established in the nineteenth century by the Malla rulers to restore peaceful coexistence between Hindu communities and Buddhists who clashed on issues of forced conversions ...

Normally celebrated every 19 years, the previous edition did not take place because the priests had forgotten this story but after 38 years, they decided in a few days to put the procession back to the taste of the day: the crowd of devotees thus elongated in the footsteps of the Blue Bull for a long walk linking the Golden Temple of Patan and Pashupatinath, the villages of Bungamati and Kokhana and the Stupas of Swayambounath and Bouddhanath, returning after 27 hours and nearly 60 km of uninterrupted walk at its starting point.

In the political desert in which the country is wandering, with no apparent savior and facing an uncertain future, would not Blue Bull be the Golden Calf to cling to, to find meaning, direction, to give itself benchmarks and be able to look again at a more serene future? One hundred twenty thousand Nepalese peacefully parading the streets of the capital seem to have wanted to show that they needed landmarks to continue living, to continue to hope, and who would dare to throw the stone?

Jerome Edou
On this day of full moon eclipse,
Kathmandu, the 17/10/05

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