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September 15, 2009

The temple of Muktinath in Mustang District...

Muktinath-Chumig Gyatsa is a sacred place for both Hindus and Tibetan Buddhists at 3750 meters (12,300 feet) at the Annapurna Circuit in the Himalayas of Nepal. It is a great example of how two religions can share the same holy spot with mutual respect and support. 
In Muktinath-Chumig Gyatsa all the elements are represented, not only earth, air and holy water, but also fire. Beside trees are growing at an unusual altitude. For this and reasons unseen yogis from both religions do their meditation at Muktinath.  

Padmasambhava & Dakinis
The local name for Muktinath is Chumig Gyatsa (Hundred Waters). The tradional caretakers of Muktinath-Chumig Gyatsa are the Tibetan Buddhist Chumig Gyatsa ('Muktinath') nuns with the head of the Gye Lhaki Dung as their abbot. This family is popularly know as the Lama Domar family, an unbroken lineage of Tibetan Buddhist Nyingma lamas from Muktinath Valley, which has Chumig Gyatsa as its religious seat for centuries

The current abbot of Chumig Gyatsa is Muktinath Lama Wangyal.

For Tibetan Buddhists Muktinath-Chumig Gyatsa is a place of Dakinis, goddesses known as Sky Dancers. It is of great importance for Buddhists that Chumig Gyatsa is one of the 24 Tantric places. Padmasambhava plus the Mahasiddhas blessed it with their visit. The famous Tibetan yogi Shabkar visted Muktinath in 1818 and stayed for several days to 'connect to the place', as his autobiography tells us. The Padmasambhava Statue in Narsingh Gompa can be considered the most holy object together with the Chenrezig statue.

This is a very brief enumeration. More information on Buddhist backgrounds - for instance on the natural fire - can be found in the pilgrimage guide "The Clear Mirror", written down by the late abbot of Chumig Gyatsa, Muktinath Lama Jampal Rabgyé Rinpoche.

Lord Vishnu & Shalagramas
For Hindus, beside the natural fire representing Brahma and the holy waters, the central meaning of the Muktinath area is the veneration of the god Vishnu in the form of ammonites (shilas) called Salagrama-Shilas.
There are many stories which tell of Vishnu turning into stone and all of them are closely connected to the holy Kali Gandaki River. This river, also known as the Salagrami, is a few hours walking from Muktinath-Chumig Gyatsa. 

The building in 1815 of the Buddhist-Hindu temple of Vishnu and Chenrezig at Muktinath-Chumig Gyatsa was initiated by the Nepali Queen Subarna Prabha who considered Muktinath-Chumig Gyatsa Salagrama.

The Purana legends (300-1000 AD) mention Salagrama being the most holy spot connected to the Gandaki River. Salagrama is one of The 108 Temples & Celestial Abodes of Vishnu referred by the Tamil hymns of the Alwars of the 1st millennium CE. Although the veneration of Vishnu is central nowadays, there is also a connection with Krishna as well as with Shiva.

1 Responses to Muktinath

  1. Nice information. Visit Nepal Beauty to get more information about Muktinath and other Nepal natural beauty.


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