Thursday, October 17, 2013

Dipankha Yatra in Nepal

This great march to be known as “Dipankha” (Dipankha Yatra) is undertaken when five auspicious astronomical and astrological features co-incide together on one day. The day must be the full moon day of the month of Aswin. The day must again be Sunday with Harshana Astronomical Sign. Hence this full moon day myst have a lunar eclipse. The legend behind this religious, cultural and social march tells a story of Lord Shakyamuni in one of his previous births when he was born as a Bull of spotless white colour which seemed to be bluish at sight with a sky like colour horn. The little bull is known in Newar language as “Neel Thusa” (Blue Bull Calf). Though born as a bull in its previous meritorious deeds made him very compassionate, friendly, joyous and always helpful to suffering creatures. As it grew up, it developed a sense of reverence to Lord Buddha for his compassionate teachings and as such, after days wandering in doing good to others he would come to pay homage to Lord Buddha. Once it so happened that while being engaged in helping suffering creatures, he was late to report to his duty of paying himage to the Buddha and when he was on his way to Lord Dipankara Buddha’s monastery, it was dawn and he hid himself in a nearby place by shining brightly all around the site and some people moving around saw the blue bell being turned into a stone bull but mysteriously there was a mandala where it was petrified. It was the auspicious day of the full moon of Aswin (September-October). There was a lunar eclipse and the astrological feature was Harshana. Then the local people thinking to be a very sacred religious and auspicious occasion came to worship the blue bull calf.
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