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By Gaurav Sharma
Known for its religious value, cultural significance, and physical beauty, the Kailash Mansarovar lies near the foothills of the mighty Mount Kailash.
What sets the beauty of Kailash Mansarover apart from other natural spots is the mystical status of being the spiritual center of the world. Revered by Hindus, Buddhists, Bonpos and Jains alike, Mount Kailash has been inextricably associated with each religion through a distinct spiritual bond.
Every year, scores of pilgrims throng the epic landscape of Kailash Mansarover, circumambulating Mount Kailash and meditating on the shores of Lake Mansarover, in order to accrue good fortune.
The multitude of religious beliefs
The Hindus believe that Shiva, the lord of destruction, resides eternally in the wondrous peak, in a deep state of meditation.
The great Tibetan poet and saint Malarepa chose Kailash as the place to pen down a mind-boggling hundred thousand verses on Buddhism.
Known as Mount Meru in Jainism, the splendid mountain has also been witness to the enlightenment of the first Jain tirthankar or teacher, Rishabhdeva.
Bon, a lesser known religion which predates Buddhism but is closely associated with it, also holds the mystical region as the seat of all spiritual power.
It is not for any paltry reason that the Tibetans call the magnificent snow shrouded rock of Kailash as ‘The precious jewel of snow’.
The ancient folk lore
An ironical and baffling belief centred around the Mount Kailash is that setting foot on it is a dire sin, even though it serves as a stairway to heaven.
The mystic lore of the mountain are echoed in the pristine aura of Lake Mansarover.
The word “Mansarover” is derived from a combination of Sanskrit words Manas and Sarover, meaning the mind and lake respectively. Therefore, the complete meaning of Mansarover amounts to ‘the lake of mind’.
It is due to the belief in Hinduism, that the lake was created in the mind of Brahma, the first living being and the creator of the material world.
When the Hamsa or Swan establishes Mansarover as its summer abode, it holds apt the symbolic meaning of the value of the lake. This is because in Hinduism, Swan is considered as the epitome of beauty and wisdom.
The annals of Buddhism also mention Mansarover quite profusely. It is said that Buddha stayed and meditated near the lake on several occasions.
Also called the Jeweled Tree of Tibet by the followers of Tibetan Buddhism, Mansarover houses a few monasteries on its shores, the most notable one being the Chiu Monastery, appearing as if carved out of a rock.
The unparalleled beauty of the lake can be fathomed by merely eyeing its contrasting yet inextricably merging of the emerald green and sacred blue waters.
With the kind of cultural history associated with Mansarovar, it is difficult to imagine it being used for commercial purposes. But in today’s day and age, strong commercialism has become a signifier of all human activity.
Usage of religious sentiments for commercial gains
Today, however, the rich history that embellishes the resplendent Kailash Mansarover region is under great threat.
Even after being aware of the dangers that plastic bottles pose to the health of the environment, Vaishali Midha, wife of a high level Dell employee in the Asia-Pacific region, has started bottling Mansarover water, marketing the idea with a dash of religion.
At a press conference, Midha announced excitedly that bottles of Mansarover water would be sold from October 2015 onwards.
“When we got the opportunity to open up a bottling plant, we took it with both hands. We will be launching bottled Mansarover water during the Diwali festivities”, said an unabashed Midha..
As an additional selling point, she has decided to enshrine the cap of the bottle with Raudraksha beads, a religious accessory associated with Lord Shiva.
The ethical question of utilizing people’s sentiments for making profit by Midha is completely justified in today’s crude age of crass consumerism.
How just is this commercial exploitation?
However, the more pertinent and questionable dimension of the bottling tactic, is related to the fragile ecosystem of Tibet.
Should a freshwater lake holding so much religious and environment significance, be subjected to such commercial exploitation?
The 12th Five Year Plan, forecast Tibet as becoming a mining center and a hydro-power engine.
While the effects of mining have already been seen in the form of fatal landslides that struck Tibet in 2012, the consequence of up and coming hydropower plants, along with bottling units are yet to be seen.
They say experience is a great teacher; but have we learnt from it, yet?
The commercial expeditions in such sacred surroundings make a mockery out of the devotional sensibilities of the religious people.
If such reckless invasion continues uninhibited, the time may not be far when “The Roof of the World” may require a roof to be built for itself.
By Nimerta C Sharan
Your monthly round up of the latest lifestyle launches, from luxury indulgences to artisanal creations, here's what you can look forward to :
Exciting news for all handbag lovers, luxury fashion house Louis Vuitton recently launched their limited edition handbags 'Artycapucines - Chapter 3'. Six internationally -- acclaimed artists have transformed the black canvas of the timeless Capucines bag into beautiful art pieces. Each bag will be available in a limited edition of 200 and will be released worldwide at the end of October 2021.
Exciting news for all handbag lovers, luxury fashion house Louis Vuitton recently launched their limited edition handbags. | Photo by Erik Mclean on Unsplash
Add To Cart
Looking for a quick festive fashion fix for you and your loved ones? E-commerce giant AJIO has announced it's hottest fashion sale starting September 30, 2021. The shopping platform has roped in stylista Sonam Kapoor as the face of the sale that will offer more than 2500 brands at discounted prices.
E-commerce giant AJIO has announced it's hottest fashion sale starting September 30, 2021. | Photo by Mitchell Luo on Unsplash
The country's leading design house, Good Earth, in collaboration with textile designer Madeline Weinrib will present its collection of 'butah' motif dinnerware and home textiles at the Metropolitan Museum of Arts, New York. The 'Heirloom Project' that honours diverse Islamic design techniques will display curated products from across the globe.
The 'Heirloom Project' that honours diverse Islamic design techniques will display curated products from across the globe. | Photo by Jean Vella on Unsplash
Sweet dreams are made of this! Iconic French patisserie Laduree has opened its first Indian outpost at Delhi's upscale Khan Market. Spread over three floors, the bakery currently has twelve macaron flavours, their signature pastries and tea cakes and other brunch and high-tea items on the menu. Bon appetit.
Iconic French patisserie Laduree has opened its first Indian outpost at Delhi's upscale Khan Market. | Pixabay
Bright And Beautiful
Raw Mango's latest festive edit 'Moomal' goes live on their website on September 26, 2021. Inspired by the richness and diversity of Rajasthan, the collection consists of organza and silk saris and shararas, gota lehengas and kurtas and embroidered odhnis. The colours and silhouettes are just right for the upcoming festive season. (IANS/ MBI)
Raw Mango's latest festive edit 'Moomal' goes live on their website on September 26, 2021. | Photo by Souravi Sinha on Unsplash
Keywords: Lifestle, AJIO, sale, Deepika PAdukone, saris, Motifs, artisan, art
Actress Kangana Ranaut has talked about how her weight adjustments for her latest 'Thalaivii' that "messed up many things" in her body and left her with "permanent stretch marks". For her role in the film, based on the life of late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and former actress J. Jayalalithaa, Kangana had to gain 20kg and undergo major physical transformation several times.
She took to Instagram to share her experience, detailing that doing all that over the six months period left her with "permanent stretch marks". "Gaining 20 kgs in 6 months and loosing it all within 6 months that too in my thirties messed up many things in my bodya I also have permanent stretch marks as well but art comes to life with a price and more often than not price is the artist him/herself," she wrote.
"Thalaivii" showcases the varied aspects of Jayalalithaa's life, tracing her journey as an actress at a young age to becoming the face of Tamil cinema, as well as the rise of the revolutionary leader who changed the course of the state's politics. Talking about her upcoming works, Kangana currently has 'Dhaakad'.
She is also shooting for her next 'Tejas', where she plays a fighter pilot. The Indian Air Force was the first of the country's defence forces to induct women into combat roles in 2016. The film takes inspiration from the landmark event. 'Tejas' is directed by debutant Sarvesh Mewara. The film will be RSVP's second film which pays a tribute to the Indian military after the immensely successful film "Uri: The Surgical Strike" which was released in January 2019. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Kangana Ranaut, Thalaivii, bollywood, stretc marks, actress, tamil cinema
Signal's encrypted messaging app continues to be down on Monday after facing global outage on Sunday. The firm said it is working to fix it. "Hold tight, folks! Signal is currently down, due to a hosting outage affecting parts of our service. We're working on bringing it back up," the firm said in a tweet on Sunday.
The status website says the encrypted messaging app is "experiencing technical difficulties" and many people are also getting an in-app error message that says the same thing. Signal allows for secure and encrypted video, voice and text communication, but users are unable to send any messages.
According to Downdetector.com, users started reporting outages around 11:05 PM Eastern Standard Time and it appears to be affecting people around the world. Comments shared on Downdetector.com indicates that Signal was down for users from India, US, Germany, New Zealand, Netherlands, Australia, Brazil and many other countries.
"Down in Midwest USA. Signal was started by people connected to which secret 3-letter organization? (Look it up) Yep, that's right! An app disguised a privacy app to trick you into sharing more private information than you would with another messaging app," a user said. "I think Signal is having a rough day. Good luck, Team Signal. I'm sure you'll have it sorted out in a snap," said another. The encrypted messaging service has climbed to the top spot in the free apps category of the App Store in multiple countries, including India. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Signal, app, encrypted, messages, outage, down