Ok folks, the one y’all been waiting for.
Mary Ann and I were touring the Hanuman-dhoka Durbar Square. That is a mouthful, but everything in Nepal is.
Our guide walked us up to a shrine. I noticed a nice lady making an offering. Photo 1 in the slide show. Then I looked at the shrine. Photo 2.
He explained this was a shrine to the Hindu god that brought the Kama Sutra to Nepal, from where it spread to India. India might think it went the other way, but I prefer to think I was at the source!
I found myself wondering what the offering was for. Thanks for a good night or a prayer for good nights to come. Far be it from me to inquire.
Then the guide pointed at a temple which was dedicated to the practice of the Kama Sutra. He said there were “erotic” carvings all around it. Well, I left Mary Ann to hear more history and legends, and made an immediate trip over to the shrine to get these photos to share with my faithful readers.
This is not pornography, this is religion. At least some of the people in the carvings look like they are having a religious experience.
To make my point about the practices of Hinduism and Buddhism still being practiced, I have another story to relate. I was in a bookstore looking for postcards to send the Luddite friends I have, when I noticed a rather beautiful girl, maybe 20 wander in. She was wearing a bright red sari. She went straight for a section of books near me. She picked a couple up and was studying them pretty closely. I checked out what she was looking at, and behold…she was studying Kama Sutra positions in the books. If I was not so happily married I would have offered to help her with her research. When she left I wandered over and found Kama Sutra books with paintings, line drawings, B/W photos and full color depictions. I also found a deck of playing cards with the positions on them. I started imagining a poker game.
“I’ll see your _______position and raise you one ______ position”.
Then I noticed the most amazing and fun book of all. It was a cut out book of Origami worksheets, so you can fold your characters into the positions and play with them.
This was not the only temple in Kathmandu that had Kama Sutra stuff. You will notice photos from a couple others, one at Bhaktapur and another at Patan. These were competing cities in ancient history, and I guess they all needed to remind their people how to reproduce.
I have officially become a temple free zone. As I said in a previous post, our guide claims there are 1.3 billion gods in Hinduism. I think I have seen a temple for every one of them. They are all different, in a way, but after about a billion of them you really have to look hard to see the differences. They are all quite old. Most of them are very big and substantially built. By quite old I mean built in the 13th 14th, 16th centuries. Old.
I could spend hours of my time and bore you silly with explanations of these temples, but I won’t. You can thank me later.
My favorite temple so far? Easy. The temple dedicated to the practice of the Kama Sutra. I keep teasing you that I will share my photos of all the “erotic” carvings carved into this temple. I just might hold out on you unless you ask me for it by commenting on this post.
The most impressive thing about each and every temple we have visited is that they are still in use. All the god statues have offerings around them. Everything from butter candles, to colored rice, to flowers rubbed onto them.
I’ll give you one more teaser for the next post. The god that started Kama Sutra has his own statue, and of course he is naked, and his impressive groin region is worshipped by rubbing flowers on it. I actually have a photo of a woman doing just that. So read my next post.
This country is about evenly split between Buddhists and Hindu. Always has been. Some of the temples have Buddhist stuff on top and Hindu on the bottom and some vice-versa. Because living in peace and harmony and accepting that things are just the way they are, they live together nicely.
Over 100 thousand Tibetan Buddhists escaped Tibet when the Chinese decided Tibet was really China. They destroyed temples and monasteries in an attempt to destroy the religion. Many came here, and many went to India. The one’s here have survived and thrived.
The only people causing trouble here are the Maoists. They have actually gone to war with the government and are still in the hills. You even see the hammer and sickle painted as graffiti and I took this shot in a city. I guess the phrase “godless commies” should be used here, eh?
The government of Nepal practically does not exist right now. They had an election a while back, but no one got a majority and they cannot name a President. No one seems to care. It is what it is.