Nepal provides many examples of the varieties of shamanic activity- shaman wisdom, shamanic healing rituals, shamanic energy healing. These activities are carried out by various ethnic group involved healing with spirit procession which are handled from generations to generation. This spiritual awakening tour is a great mental and emotional adventure, restoring and maintaining personal power by removing harmful intrusion.
The tour takes us to Sailung to have healing from spiritual practice of Shaman. Sailung is 130km east of Kathmandu and takes 7 hours of drive and couple days of hike*. The place is sacred for Hindu and Buddhist devotee and is also acclaimed as one of the places Gautam Buddha visited during his lifetime. Sailung in Nepali means land of hundred hills where “Sai means hundred, Lung means hills”. It offers cultural, linguistic and ethnic diversity of Nepal with great scenery of extending Himalayan range -Dhaulagiri and Annapurna in the West, Langtang Range, Ganesh Himal region & Rolwaling region.
Why Sailung for Shaman Tour
Nepal is religious and sacred and a place for wilderness for god, goddess. It is evident that hundreds of meditations and enlightens were carried out in caves and other parts of Nepal. Sailung have records, place visited by Lord Buddha, Lord Shiva and Guru Padmashabav:
During the the festival of Janai Purnima, Balachaturdashi, and the Bara Barse Mela (carnival that occurs once in 12 years) thousands of Hindu devotee visit Sailung. This festival falls on full moon of July/August and is celebrated with great enthusiasm all over Nepal. Two days before the full moon day shaman have special retreat and hundreds of Shaman gets to hill top with rattling and dancing.
Tamang people gather around the ruined Chortens at the highest point of Thulo Sailung. At Sailung offers magnificent views over Kalinchowk to the Annapurna, Langtang, Ganesh Himal, Rowaling, Everest and Kanchenjunga ranges, to the South the Mahabharata hills roll over the Sun Koshi River and down to the Terai below.
Thulo Sailung is regarded by the Tamangs as the abode of the territorial deity, Sailung Phoi Sibda Karpo, Sailung’s ‘White Male Lord of the Earth’. The chorten atop the hill of Sailung is the seat of this divine protector and the Tamang Community are the ‘custodians of the land’. The souls of the ancestors together with the ‘Lord of the Earth’ guarantee the well-being of the people and the fertility of the soil.
The four groups of stone chorten on the summit are related to the Tamang communities in the surrounding area – the groups on the highest point facing south over Ramechhap, today in ruins, are the largest. At the chortens Buddhist Priests perform ‘mandala offerings’ for the rebirth of the souls of the deceased. The lingos surrounding the Chorten were erected during Tamang death rituals and are left there to succumb to the forces of nature.
The main rituals held here are Buddhist offerings to the souls of the deceased. During the festival of Saun Purnima, held on the full moon of July/August during which Tamang pilgrims crowd around the ruined Chortens at the highest point of Thulo Sailung. Nowadays, no blood sacrifices are permitted on Thulo Sailung.
The shamans have surrendered to Buddhist Dominance and refrain from offering blood to the fierce female deities. Other sites of interest around Thulo Sailung include three rocks – tiger, snake and cow representing the Hindu, Buddhist and Shamanic simultaneous rivalry and co-existence. The King of the Tigers lived on Thulo Sailung. One day he was pursuing a cow grazing on the meadows of Thulo Sailung. Suddenly a snake appeared from the soil and came between the tiger and the cow. The three turned to stone and the cow was saved from the tiger. Two rocks below Thulo Sailung bear the footprint of Padmasambhava and his sword.
Below the summit of Thulo Sailung there is Gaurighat cave, it is believed that on full moon nights ‘milk’ is said to ooze from the stalactites inside the cave. The cave is believed to be a source of fertility and health. Pilgrims pray there for sons, relief from illness and for personal success and wealth. The cave is also considered the entrance to the netherworld, the realm of the Nagas serpent deity. Legend has it “when a yogi meditates inside the cave for five years, a door leading to the interior of the mountain appears”.
A second cave locally known as ‘Buddha’s Gate’ or the ‘Door of Dharma’ has an exit hole that almost too small for human passage. Only the most devout Buddhists who have not committed any sins can pass through the passage of the cave.
Godavari cave is the third small cave. It is believed that every twelve years at the full moon of August/September white water is said to flow in which Hindu’s take a sacred bath to ritually purify the body. These caves are also associated with the Hindu God Mahadev, the popular form of Shiva, together with his female consort Seti Devi, the ‘White Goddess’ Parvati. Sailung is holy place, a spiritual ambiance with cultural significance of Tamang people.
More About Bon Po..
Bon is commonly considered to be the indigenous religious tradition of Tibet, a system of shamanistic and animistic practices performed by priests called shen (gshen) or bonpo (bon po). Although this is widely assumed by Buddhists, historical evidence indicates that the Bon tradition only developed as a self-conscious religious system under the influence of Buddhism.
When Buddhism entered the country practitioners of indigenous traditions recognized that there were clear differences between their own practices and those of the foreign faith, and in time people who perceived themselves as adherents of the old religion of Tibet developed a separate tradition, but one that incorporated many Buddhist elements. Although later historical works state that the introduction of Buddhism was initially opposed by “Bon,” this term is not even used in the early dynastic records to refer to indigenous traditions and practices. Instead, they are called cho (chos), the same term later used to translate the Sanskrit term dharma, which in Buddhist literature refers to Buddhist doctrine and practice.