Sunday, February 24, 2008

The land of Buddha and the Yeti!

There is an ongoing strike in the Terai Region of Nepal, the lowlands along the border with India. The United Madhesi Democratic Front is behind the strikes and unrest. Their main issue is that they feel that the people of the southern plains (approximately one third of the Nepali population) have been exploited by the Government of Nepal for years.
As a result of their upheaval in the Terai, the supplies of food and fuel are unable to be transported from India to Nepal. The whole country has a fuel shortage and many cities and towns have been shut down with a day time curfew to keep rule of law. There are miles of lines of taxi’s and personal cars lined up outside closed fuel stations just waiting and hoping to get some rationed fuel.
Today’s paper though indicates some respite might be on the way. Forty-three tanker trucks managed to cross the border this weekend and should have arrived in Kathmandu today. Although todays paper also reports that Nepal’s interim Government, the Seven-Party Alliance, rejected the most recent Madhesi demands, so let’s wait and see what happens.
In other news, Pranchanda, the leader of Nepal’s former Maoist Rebel Group, has demanded the Nepalese presidency after the abolition of the Monarchy. He also stated that the Maoists might take up arms again if any section of society tried “to conspire against the peace process”. Violence in response to violence in the name of peace is always such a good idea.
Do you know that Buddha was born in Nepal? He was born in Lupini, near the border of India in 565BC. These are words from his last sermon before he died.
Words of Kindness
This is what should be done
Be the one who is skilled in goodness,
And who knows the path of peace:
Let them be able and upright,
Straightforward and gentle in speech.
Humble and not conceited,
Contented and easily satisfied.
Unburned with duties and frugal in their ways.
Peaceful and calm, and wise and skillful,
Not proud and demanding in nature.
Let them not do the slightest thing
That the wise would later reprove.
Wishing: In gladness and in safety,
May all beings be at ease.
Whatever living beings there may be;
Whether they are weak or strong, omitting none,
The great or the mighty, medium, short or small,
The seen and the unseen,
Those living near and far away,
Those born and to-be-born,
May all beings be at ease!
Let none deceive another,
Or despise any being in any state.
Let none through anger or ill-will
Wish harm upon another.
Even as a mother protects with her life,
Her child, her only child,
So with a boundless heart
Should one cherish all living beings:
Radiating kindness over the entire world
Spreading upwards to the skies,
And downwards to the depths;
Outward and unbounded,
Freed from hatred and ill-will.
Whether standing or walking, seated or lying down
Free from drowsiness,
One should sustain this recollection.
This is said to be the sublime abiding.
By not holding to fixed views,
The pure-hearted one, having clarity of vision,
Being freed from all sense desires,
Is not born again into this world.

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