Nepal – the country of the Buddha and the Mt. Everest

Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without – Buddha

Posts Tagged ‘Mongolia’

Arniko, the Great Architect From Nepal

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on September 27, 2011

Nepal’s temples, stupas, and many more structures are examples of this nation being a former leader in architecture. 

Today’s generation sees Nepal as a poor country lacking high-tech and engineering skills. But Nepal’s past shows skilled manpower and a highly developed society. One example of this skilled manpower is Arniko, the greatest architect of Nepalese history.

Arniko was forced to live in China, where he drew great respect. He made lots of sculptural works which are still a great asset of China.

Nepalese author Satya Mohan Joshi who has researched Arniko said his works in China are really a great challenge to modern engineering. The works he did in the 13th century are unbelievable.

Nepalese history doesn’t have any proof of where in Nepal Arniko grew up. But Joshi claims Arniko was from Patan, a famous place for sculpture.

Many Nepali architects made statues of special historical importance. However, Arniko was the only one who became famous not only in Nepal but also in Tibet, China, Mongolia and as far as Indonesia.

During Arniko’s time, renowned Mongol emperor Kublai Khan was a great lover of art and architecture.

He wanted to build a golden stupa (a Buddhist shrine) in Lhasa for his teacher Pags-pa. In 1260, he decided to ask Nepal to send a skilled architect to supervise the work.  Read the rest of this entry »

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China’s Security Chief Goes on Tour—How Is Asia Reacting?

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on August 24, 2011

Posted by 

Over the past week, as I’ve traveled across Asia, I’ve discovered an unlikely partner in my continental peregrinations:

China's Politburo Standing Committee Member Zhou Yongkang arrives for a meeting in Kathmandu, Nepal, August 17, 2011. (Photo: Navesh Chitrakar / Reuters)

China’s security chief Zhou Yongkang. The senior Chinese envoy’s travels have taken him to Nepal, Laos, Cambodia and Tajikistan. The final stop is Mongolia, where Zhou is expected to head on Tuesday.

In Zhou’s wake, the narrative has tended to follow the same plot-line: first, China’s state media proclaims “mutually beneficial cooperation” and “longstanding friendship” between Beijing and the local government. Then a raft of trade deals or bequeathing of military goodies is announced. Finally, an undercurrent of unease follows, with regional analysts wondering about China’s growing economic and security might.

Last Saturday, Zhou was in Cambodia, where he met with Prime Minister Hun Sen. In addition to various mining, road-construction and farming deals, China has agreed to supply nearly $200 million in helicopters to Cambodia. Beijing is already the Southeast Asian nation’s largest foreign investor, and Hun Sen, who has quietly evolved into one of Asia’s longest-serving strongmen, has been vociferous in his support of China. His enthusiasm for Chinese largesse stands in marked contrast to his feelings toward Western donors who tend to attach pesky strings like human-rights commitments to their aid. The Phnom Penh Post quoted a local researcher worrying that “Cambodia will become subservient to China.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Opinion: China rules the rare earth

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on August 20, 2011

By Pepe Escobar

Asia is at the centre of an inevitable development of our digital world: the coming mineral wars.

The computer you are using to read this article is already involved in a global war.

Oil wars? Water wars? Sure – they will continue to define the geopolitics of the early 21st century. But in high-technology terms, nothing compares with the coming mineral wars. And the name of the game is rare earth.

Asia is the land of rare earth – the minerals that allowed the digital revolution to happen, and that are making green technology a reality. China controls no less than 95 per cent of the global production of rare earth.

The key player in this high-stakes game is Baotou Steel Rare Earth (Group) Hi-tech Co., from Inner Mongolia – the world’s largest producer of rare earth elements. Read the rest of this entry »

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The world’s top ten most desolate countries

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on August 13, 2011

by Justin Delaney (RSS feed)

most desolate


According to a Harvard study
, the earth’s population will hit seven billion humans in a few months. Earlier this summer, Gadling labs profiled the effects of increasing populations on finite land resources by showcasing the world’s most crowded islands. The earth is, in its own way, an island, and 21st century humanity will be presented with the challenge of adapting to rising population levels and static resources.

While countries like India have wrestled with the conundrum of feeding and housing booming population levels in Delhi, Kolkata, and Mumbai, the countries on this list bear no similarities to the billion strong Indian subcontinent. These countries are the ones with open space – lots of it. Countries like Greenland and Mongolia may someday be utilized for their vast expanses of open terrain, but today they are simply great places to go when you have tired of other human beings.

So while this extraordinarily hot summer may have included elbowing your way through thronged midtown Manhattan in 100 degree heat or hesitantly inhaling the stink rising off the sweaty crowd at Bonnaroo, this list is intended to take you way away from the crowds. From riding a horse through the empty steppes of Mongolia to exploring the glacial highlands ofIceland, each of these countries offers exercises in sweet sweet solitude. None of these countries have more than ten people per square mile.

10 Mauritania
Location: Northwest Africa
Population: 3,069,000
Population density: 8.2 humans per square mile
Primary Airport: Nouakchott International Airport
Primer: Mauritania is a sand swept country offering desolation and one of the lowest GDPs on the African continent. Even the well-traveled must consult an atlas to correctly place the country on their mental map. Heavily mined in the east with empty beaches in the West, the country is one of the least visited locations on the planet. Credit cards are not readily acceptable, rain is scarce, and desert covers over half of this one time French occupation. Throw in strained African/Arab relations and you get a very challenging country to visit.

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Buddhist Teachings

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on May 16, 2011

Buddhism is a philosophy of life expounded by Gautama Buddha (“Buddha” means “enlightened one”), who born in Lumbini, Nepal in the 6th Century B.C. The Buddha was not a god and the philosophy of Buddhism does not entail any theistic world-view. The teachings of the Buddha are aimed solely to liberate sentient beings from suffering.

The Basic Teachings of Buddha which are core of Buddhism are-

The Three Universal Truth
The Four Noble Truth
The Noble Eightfold Path

In Buddhism, the law of karma, says “for every event that occurs, there will follow another event whose existence was caused by the first, and this second event will be pleasant or unpleasant according as its cause was skillful or unskillful.” Therefore, the law of Karma teaches that responsibility for unskillful actions is born by the person who commits them.

After his enlightenment, he went to the Deer Park near the holy city of Benares and shared his new understanding with five holy men. They understood immediately and became his disciples. This marked the beginning of the Buddhist community. For the next forty-five years, the Buddha and his disciples went from place to place in India spreading the Dharma, his teachings. Their compassion knew no bounds, they helped everyone along the way, beggars, kings and slave girls. At night, they would sleep where they were; when hungry they would ask for a little food.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Images and sacred texts Buddhism across Asia

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on February 26, 2011

14 October 2010 –

Figure of the Buddha Amida seated on a lotus pedestal, made of lacquered and gilded wood. From Dairenji Temple, Osaka, Japan, mid 18th century.

3 April 2011

Free
Room 91

Through sacred texts, painted scrolls and sculptures from Sri Lanka to Japan, discover the shared traditions of Buddhism – the ‘three gems’.

The exhibition features depictions of the ‘three gems’ from across Asia. The ‘three gems’ consist of the Buddha himself, his teachings (dharma), and the Buddhist community (sangha). Despite regional variations, the ‘three gems’ show remarkable similarities, sometimes across hundreds of years.

Objects featured in the exhibition include exquisite gold sculptures and paintings of the Buddha, beautiful Buddhist texts on palm leaf and paper, and a selection of images of Buddhist monks.

The objects come from across the whole of Asia, including India, China, Mongolia, Tibet, Thailand, Cambodia, Korea and Japan. The earliest objects are from the 1st–2nd century AD, and the latest date to the 20th century.

Many of these objects have never been on display before, making this is a unique opportunity to view rarely-seen items from the British Museum’s collection. Due to the fragility of the paintings and texts, some items in the display will be changed after three months, halfway through the exhibition run.

This exhibition provides an insight into the key elements which hold the Buddhist world together in Asia and, now that Buddhism is a worldwide faith, across the world as a whole. Read the rest of this entry »

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