Today the Makalu 2017 expedition took a city tour of Kathmandu. Prob was our guide and first took us to he Monkey Temple, Swayambhunath. This is one of the most sacred places among Buddhist pilgrimage sites. There are two large eyes on each side representing wisdom and compassion and a third eye. The third eye represents cosmic rays emanating the teaches of Buddha to heavenly beings. The curlynsymbol represents the number one and represents the unity of all things in the world as well as the path to enlightenment. The monkeys were great to watch as they played. We also learned to use healing and singing bowls.
We then went to see a llama to bless our trip with safe passage. We presented Khata scarves to be blessed and received amulets for safe passage on the expedition. Next, we went to the Boudhanath stupa, the largest spherical stupa in Nepal. Prob was very helpful in explaining the meanings of the symbols. This is the holiest Tibetan Buddhist temple outside of Tibet.
Next stop was the Pashupatinath Temple, a sacred Hindu temple on the banks of the Bagmati River. There are hundreds of temples located here. We learned the Hindu ritual of open-air cremation and watched the procession and cremation of several death members. The five elements of Hindu are given back at the cremation; earth, wind, fire, air and space. It was interesting to hear Prob explain how he was taught about this ritual and how it is a part of living.