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Mount Kailash, nestled between Heaven and Earth

Mount Kailash

It is said that Mount Kailash – abode of the Gods in Asian religions – is the place where Heaven and Earth meet. This sacred Mount symbolizes first and foremost the ultimate goal of Man in his ascent to Wisdom.

Kailash, a sacred Mountain

Kailash is part of the Great Himalayan Mountain range. It is located in Tibet (in the Ngari region where the Indus River starts). Tibetans call it “Khang Rinpotche”: the “Precious Snowy Gem“. It peaks at about 22000 feet and is assimilated to the mythic Mount Meru. It is even said that “stones pray” around it.

Kailash, the Abode of the gods

  • Hindus regard it as the above of Shiva.
  • Jains see it as the Mount Ashtapada where the founder of their religion reached nirvana.
  • Bon Shamans consider it to be the abode of a major goddess in their Pantheon: Sipaimen.
  • Tibetan Buddhists view it as the abode of Chenrezig, the Buddha of Compassion. It is said that the Dalai Lama himself is his reincarnation.

Top and Center at the same time

In Hindu, “Kailasa” means “crystal”. Hindus picture it as both the center of the world and its top too. But, above all, they view it as the center around which human beings who wish to reach higher spiritual levels need to revolve. It is what they call their “inner castle”.

Purifying karma in Mount Kailash

Hindu tradition (just like Tibetan Buddhism) has it that going around Mount Kailash makes it possible to wash away our sins, to purify our bad karma. It is true that such a circumambulation (walking around the mount for several days) is a real trial, one that can only lead pilgrims to eliminate physical and psychological toxins, so why not spiritual ones too?

Reaching enlightenment

Believers are supposed to go round Mount Kailash (they perform what is known as “Kora“) at least once in their lifetime. They should preferably do that over the course of the astrological year of the Horse. This ritual is a bit like the Islamic tradition which requires all Muslims to go to Mecca at least once in their lifetime. And it is also said that performing the Kora 108 times ensures the pilgrim enlightenment (Nirvana)…

If you ever go to Tibet someday, and if you perform the Kora around Mount Kailash, you could declaim (just like Tibetans do): “Ki ki so so laghyalo!”… “The gods are victorious”… and see your sins washed away!

 

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