Hiking in a Nepali Army Camp

Trip Start Jul 05, 2005
Trip End Ongoing

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Monday, August 1, 2005

Near the 'Guesthouse at the End of the universe' I am now with a sleeping Mahesh on the night of his 21st birthday. We are staying in a little blip of a hotel surrounded by the Kali Temple and followers of KaliBaba who have been amicable enough to let us stay at 2/3rds the cost in a corner room with a view that could be renamed "God Land".
Remote little Nagarkot is where our destination was today. Truly the End of the western man's universe.

On a clear day, from the window i am now facing is the unfathomablew view that reveals Everest in all its glory. Too bad its the monsoon@! Well maybe no one will believe me by my photos but what i say is true. come here and see these holiest of sacred mountains for yourself!

Wet behind the ears, early this morning we set off from Bhaktapur. It was just an amazingly aligned day. The walk in the heat of and pounding sun scorched my face, neck and hands a firery rose red. Fortunately we hitched a ride from a local truck and my 2 new friends climbed on the roof with 10 others, while i hung on for dear life to the iron ladder on the tail gate all the 5 kms to this most ancient temple in an ancient land, Changu Narayan.

NOON. Blistering sun. Beautiful Kathmandu Valley below and REAL Nepal. It was a pleasant stroll through pine woods and light hike across the ridge to the humble abode of Babaji KaliBaba.
He was a shinning eyed, dark Bengali, Shiva Sadhu. Peace just wafted through the air like free smoke around his hut. After i had a great cup of fresh rosemary tea, babaji kindly serving us pilgrims, i presented the wise old hindu master with some questions:
ME > "What is the most important thing in life?"
KaliBaba > "Helping others persons."

I then began to ask some questions about meditation, his english was pretty good. He told me about the magic power around this mountain range. He also showed me many photos, newspapers and magazines about his friends. He is quite famous and well travelled. He has been a wandering monk in the Nicobar Islands, All OVER India, and has sat in hermitage in Nepal for the last 40 years. We also asked Babaji to help heal Suman's father, who was sick with fever. His family is very poor and do not have money for medicine. I gave them both 200 for showing me the way these 3 days by the way. I couldnt let them starve. Babaji gave me some Ayervedic medicine to taste for Suman's father. He called it Quinine. It made my mouth tingle.

The Kalibaba advised me to relax and meditate somewhere around his garden or hut. We spent some time there with the Guru. So i took a seat under a 500 year old tree just near a gigantic trident and a statue of Hanuman, folded my legs and rested my mind.
When i rose and returned to the hut so i could tell Babaji about the vision i saw, under the tree, Babaji smiled and stroked his long grey beard. "Kali is coming." was his explaination of my vision. Kali is the Hindu goddess of life and Destruction. In murals she is depicted giving birth in a cemetary. She is also the goddess of time, so sometimes she gives life in the universe, sometimes she takes it. Maybe you've heard of the Kaliyuga, in hindu calendar, a yuga is an age of 2000 years. Each yuga has a different name and god who blesses it. This present age is called the Kaliyuga and started at the time of Jesus. Odd eh?
So the great Kalibaba and i then went on talking like old friends, about my funny apearance which is similar to the leader of the Maoist rebels, Babaram. Just laughs there in the little hut and talk about the kaliyug and these ends of times. "A big time." Babaji says. We shared chillum. Kalibaba, an old master, dressed in black robes and very very long dreadlocks and beard, smiling surrounded by Shiva's protection.

He said: "Everyday, millions people on earth die but in 5 years much more than this. then after we have a time of great peace." He returns to crushing bark and preparing his dinner of only vegitable stems and bark. he eats no rice or bread. He is on a fast because of this age is almost over.
Then he said: "When peace time come, then i eat dhal bat!" its traditional nepali rice meal. We all laugh and the room is so powerful. We then talk deeper.
I ask about his Mantra. And we start going on how all mantras have the sound "OM" and then we talk about the illusion of opposites. "We have only mother languages, no father languages." Smiling, i agreed and quizzickly asked why. "Because father is like hard. Mother is like ... ... (he smiles)... soft." "Like water." i say. "yes, yeesssss, yeahhh."
"You are Buddha." i said smiling. Babaji replied, "No, I am Hindu. But Buddha, or Padmesambhava or some other incarnations are all the mind of God." he starts laughing, "One god, many names!."

We are both laughing at this point and i add, "God is everywhere!"
Feeling pretty inspired, peaceful and transformed, Mahesh, Suman and i prayed "Namaste" and payed our respects and made goodbye for Nagarkot. Suman returned to administer the medicine to his father.
Nagarkot is 10kms from KaliBaba's home. We walked part way then caught a public, crowded and ethnic bus to the one and only intersection 0f nagarkot and got off.

Nepali people are sustainence farmers. Most families from the countryside have a rice or some small animal farm. My 2 new friends come from this area. Mahesh's family have some rice paddies and 2 cows. Suman's family only has 1 cow. Their home is minimal but spiritual mud-brick, thatched roof building. Their families main source of daily income: selling milk from their cows in the market. They are of the Earth, browned and blessed by the Holy Himalayan landscape.

Time goes without worry beyond of rain. Sunrise approaches followed by Kali, the mother and the father as one, giving and taking. "Kali is coming!!" says Babaji to me. "Come then in peace time, we will share Dhal bat!"

- tjb
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