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Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Cloud Lakes, Circle of Bliss and Creatures of the Rain Rivers

Cloud lakes, circle of bliss and creatures of the rain rivers all sound mystical, and remind one of Shangri-La. Well, across the world from the mysterious East and the possible location of Shangri-La, Dr. Gautama Vajracharya of Madison, Wisconsin is an expert on those topics.
Dr. Vajracharya has taught Buddhist art and iconography for many years at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. His latest works published in internet journal include "Elements of Newar Buddhist Art : Circle of Bliss - a Review Article" and "The Creatures of the Rain Rivers, Cloud Lakes: Newars Saw Them, So Did Ancient India." Due to the sheer length of those articles, it is not possible to replicate them here, so please click on the links above to go to them directly.

Though physically very distant from Janabahaa, Dr. Vajracharya is not very far removed in spirit from the place he was born and brought up in. He has recently retraced his steps back to his roots via our blog. Here is an email received from him over the weekend:

From: Gautama Vajracharya
Sent: Saturday, December 05, 2009 9:41 AM
Subject: Janabaha

Dear Alok,

Almost certainly, you don't know me because I left Nepal thirty five years ago and most of my works are published in the west. I taught Buddhist art and iconography for many years at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, USA. I am deeply interested in your Janabaha project not only because I am from Janabaha but also because there are plenty of materials, both manuscripts and artistic works, some of them in the inner room, /garbhagriha/, at the second floor of digi, others in the main temple. I am quite familiar with the objects, particularly the manuscripts because I worked on them thirty years ago when my father Divyavajra Vajracharya and my uncles were alive. They need to be well preserved and photographed in detail before renovation begins. Please be extra careful with these valuable objects.

I will be in Nepal for a week at the beginning of February 2010. I may be able to help you to protect the heritage both intellectually and financially (few hundred dollars from my personal saving).

Gautama Vajracharya

Two of the many interesting illustrations included in Dr. Vajracharya's articles mentioned above.

1 comment:

Manoj Manandhar said...


its good to hear that your "janabaha blog" is getting such good response and that too from people as professional and concerned like Gautam ji. the fact that he cares for these mauscripts and artifacts so dearly and has volunteered to contribute intellectually and financially shows how concerned he is. appreciate people who really realize how much value our culture and heritage holds. i would also like to commit myself a small financial help of
Rs.1000 for the works of preservation of these valuable scripts. i know its a small amount but just thought i should set an example that makes the saying in nepali "thopa thopa milera samundra bancha" come true. i would like to see all commit themselves to the cause and help preserve what our ancestors worked so hard to document.

take care and keep the good works going.