A Private Visit at The Karma-pa

22th April 08, McLeod Ganj, Dharmashala

I am going to meet the Karma-pa in half an hour time.

I do not know what drove me so urgently to meet The Karma-pa, but it looked right and immediate for me to meet him, at the end of my journey. I was more than happy that it happened!

On Sarurday I went to the Gyuto Monastery were Karma-pa's home is permanently located. He is second of importance after the Dalai Lama. He is 23 years old now, and was chosen at the age of 3. Until the age of 21 he studied and got prepared for the high position in the Tibetan world. He is the 17th Gyalwa Karma-pa, and now he is taken the full responsibilities as the spiritual Karma Kagyan lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. He was smuggled to India at the age of 14.

The young Buddhist priest that sets the meetings, asked me about the reasons and needs of me to meet the Karma-pa. He questioned me of the importance of that meeting for me, looking deep into my eyes, watching at my body language. Than he asked me: You are not a Buddhist, aren't you? Not too many questions! he added.

At the end he was convinced. But than he asked me: What are Your questions? that you are going to ask him? I stopped breathing and stopped thinking! I didn't know what to answer him. What were my questions???

I was with another Israeli woman, that hesitated about the all thing, and he quickly noticed it, and pushed her aside.

He did not waist time, and started talking to the next guy queuing after me.

I had to focus and give quickly my questions!

Two questions!! I said with great confidence. I am going to ask The Karma-pa two important questions, one personal and one collective!

He looked at me again with some interest. Give me your passport. He said. He's very busy, he sees just very few people a day.
I had to tell the Buddhist monk my questions, before signing me in!

The meeting was set in 2 days time, as I told him that I am leaving India. Thank God I convinced him.

I was extremely excited before the meeting with the Karma-pa. Already in the bus I felt on the edge of cry.

I felt clean and pure as Cristal in the talk with Karma-pa!

No doubt, today was one of the most wonderful days in my journey. (I said that before… I think.) After the meeting I had Tibetan soup with a Chines guy called Lixuan, and than I went to Norbulinka Institute.

Norbulinka – is a place preserving Tibetan Culture. I saw artists painting the Thangka paintings which are in use as a basis for meditative practicing. It was great sitting in the Japanese gardens and listening to the dream-like waterfalls.

Ho Indian Women! 2

Jayalalithaa'a Poster, Chennai 3

Jayalalithaa'a Poster, Chennai 1 Jayalalithaa'a Poster, Chennai 2

Laxman Jhula, Rishikesh 11/4/08

Ms. Jayalalithaa drew my attention since the first day I landed in India. Huge posters of a woman's face were looking at me all the way from the Chennai's Air Port. In a city of 7++ million people, that kind of a large poster makes a remarkable statement, soon enough I realized that she is of great importance.

The next days I learned that she is a powerful politician, and she just celebrated her 60th birthday. She was a member in the Indian Parliament for many years and was the chief minister of Tamil Nadu – a big county that included Chennai. She was an actress as young, but than she moved to politics with great success, never married.

It happened to be that my Guest House that I stayed in Chennai, was a walking distance from her home. I wouldn't know about it other wise, but the Police closed all the roads around her house on regular basis. On one day they were some 50-60 very posh cars in the near-by streets, and a line of chauffeurs were waiting for their bosses.

In some days, people from all over the country came to greet Jayalalithaa, as they saw her a Healer, a Holy Amma etc.

On her posters it's written: AMMA IS GOD!

Jayalalithaa has a lot of power as she have the support and admiration of the masses; she attracts a lot of attention; most probably she have enemies too; she is on regular basis in the news, keeping always a high profile.

I met a woman in a the bus on the way to Bangalore, she spoke very highly of her, she said to me in an excellent English: Jayalalithaa gave a lot of confidence to the Indian women with her courage and powerful performance in politics – it was her new stage!!

White Rock Shines

McLeod Ganj, wiew from my window

Dharamsala, Mcleod Ganj, 17/4/08

McLeod Ganj, wiew from my window

Smiley sunny rays woke me up this morning.

The green valley sparking (opposite me), shiny dew, birds singing, raven raved joyfully full blast from height to the valley and loud cocks announced proudly – I am happy, the summer is here!

Above, powerful, peaceful, white, ever snow rock shines still, just like nature can be. Blue endless sky smiles all over.

Good Morning! It's all so beautiful!

Goodbye Rishikesh, Hello Dharamshala

Raining is not the problem... 2  

 

It's all to do with the Israelites leaving Egypt

Rishikesh 12/4/08

Saying goodbye to Kishikesh it's like on a very special day, when we do not want a wonderful day to end, but than, the next day – the sun is up again and a new wonderful day is waiting smiling.

Don't be afraid to look with a smile and courage at a new place, at a new day! I said to myself.

 

14/4/08

The Monkeys rule Laxman Jhula's Bridge, Rishikesh 1I want to cry. Why? I do not know. Is it because of leaving Rishikesh today? or, is it leaving the sense of freedom that I feel here? Feeling of freedom that I would like to carry with me every where.

In Rishiskesh every day is like any other day: Holy people and pilgrimages are coming and going, loud singing and prying are heard every where, colorful people, happy cows, wonderful different scents and smells – all together a happy place.

Today there is some kind of festival – I wouldn't know that, as it's like any other day, just like yesterday – another happy day – but the post office was closed!!

I have to take the feeling of freedom and easiness with me
everywhere. The knowledge that there is a special place for every one, and each one goes by his rhythm in his stream.

Is my mood reflecting the Ganga's colours? 4

My favorite place is Ganga View, of course it's located by the Ganga, also the food is fresh and the kitchen is clean. One meets there a variety of people, reading the daily news paper – is part of the event. It's of interest of every one, even the guys with the long rastas – surprisingly, they like to read the papers too. Each day the headlines on most Indian's papers is SPORT! Not the news about HighTec, nor the starving people, not the inflation that started to raise up in India, nor the rises voices of the Tibetans – sport is the subject that makes people happy, so it stands up first, politics & the rest is second.

 

Dharamshala, Mcleod Ganj, 16/4/08

Each time I arrive to a new place I feel ill. It takes a lot of energy to move with the bags, the long train journey, the buses, and than to find a new location to stay etc. On top of all my stomach was asking for rescue, after the farewell lovely party we had at the Pyramid in Rishikesh – that didn't suit my delicate stomach. To add the cream on that cake – I lost my glasses…

Only now, at last, I understand why the the Jewish people crossed the desert from Egypt to Israel in 40 years – not that it takes such a long time, but each time they settled down for a while, they wanted to stay there for ever! it was bloody (sorry) hard work for Moses to move that big heavy tribe again!!! … And than a woman gave just birth to a new born baby, and someone got married… etc.

I can feel-see it by my own actions – each time I arrive to a new place, I think it's wonderful, exciting and I reached The Most Place! – all that's only out of convenience!!!! That's way the Israelites complained – every new place they arrived – we like it here! They said. Of course, they even wanted to go back to Egypt, to be slaves again!!! No doubt, I am part of my tribe.

I am staying in a nice clean place with view to the valley in a village called Mcleod Ganj, it's 1770 high. 60 years ago the 14th Dalai Lama fled here with his people after the occupation of Tibet by the Chinese. On the edges of the village white mountains are looking at us from above.

The atmosphere is very different; it's colder, even that it's summer here, every one wears warm cloths, most faces looks Tibetan, solid type of faces. It a quiet place.

I am sitting in a Tibetan vegetarian restaurant eating just brown rice & veg, to clean my stomach… Every few minuets a beggar enters the restaurant, and the waiter asks him/her to leave, one by one. A young child enters to beg. Next to me there are 3 French people sitting and a child, she was mingling with her fork the noodles she did not like to eat. One of the French man invited the beggaer-boy to have tea with them. The kid immediately agreed and set done next to the French girl. They set together next to each other – the young blond girl and the Indian looking boy – both the same age, 6-8. The boy drank the tea with great pleasure, and than I saw him eating of the girl's noodles with delight, no doubt he was shay but he enjoyed the meal! The girl was looking at him closely with great interest.

Did the French man wanted to show his little girl how valuable the noddles are to an hungry child? Maybe he wanted to treat the young boy with something different of what he's accustomed, or both?

After the boy finished his noddles thoroughly, he looked deep into his pockets, than he put a small white stone at the table, looking at the French man with gratitude. All that happened with not a word said.

Ho Indian Women 1!

Women Builders, King's Palace, Hampi

    pic. Women builders, Hampi

Luxman Jhula, Rishikesh  5/4/08

I see a lot of Israeli women travelling all by themselves all over India, so I can say just the same: Ho Israeli Women!

Israeli women and men are second nature to tourism in India. Proudly all the good restaurants will add to their menu: Israeli Salad, Chumuse, Schnitzel etc. It means clean and fresh food.

Every Taxi driver will say with a big smile on his face: Israeli women are very beautiful!

But today I am writing about Indian Women.

 

The women In India wear the most colourful saris, also they wear lots of jewelery, hearings, bangles, fresh flowers on their hair, jewelery on their hair and feet etc – one big spectacle of expression of femininity!

Women in saris are extremely feminine, goddess like, I would say they look desirable and even sexy.

It's not a matter if choice to wear sari, that's the only possible alternative. The Indian men look a bit grey and dull compere to their women, but they have the choice – they can choose to wear traditional wear or ordinary.

Only in Bangalore I saw young women in trousers sitting by themselves in a coffee house! Woo!

Women will not sit in public places without their husbands, mother in low, or a member of the family.

One sincere Indian man said to me while waiting for the night train (after he questioned me about my journey): We won't let a woman go on a journey all by herself! No way!

Of course it is impossible for an Indian woman to travel, as the position of the women is very different. All marriages are arranged marriages, some are arranged as young as the age of six (6)!
As young, the woman are under the rule of the father, but as soon as the woman-child gets to the 'right' age and her marriage is arranged, she passes to the husband's family responsibly, and moves to live with the husbands family.

Saris are wonderful, rich, colourful, feminine, etc. – all that to the westerner's eye, but to the Indian woman it's not a choice. It's the only choice! Women builders, women cleaners, women in politics, women in all kinds of professions will wear sari, it can just deffer in the quality.

 

I was waiting for the night train in Bangalore train station. It's the town of technology & highTec, it's like the Silicone Valley of India. They are a lot of very poor people searching for money around all train stations, there is city within a city of the very poor.

I saw a couple – a husband and wife – both bar foot, looked very poor, walking around the station. The husband was walking pretty fast, up and down a long the platform station. His wife just hardly kept his fast steps and rhythm, she kept walking two steps behind him, to my western's eyes it was out of fear, her face was bitter and painful. The platform was over crowded with hundred of passengers waiting, but he did not turn his face even once to see if she is behinds him.