Friday, July 5, 2013

Shamanic Flight: Vimāna, Lung-gom, and the Flight of Rigden Suchandra


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The Buddha is said to have taught the Kalachakra Tantra at Dhanyakataka in South India. His main disciple, King Suchandra, subsequently took the teachings back to Shambhala where he built a magnificent Kalachakra mansion....In Dhannyakataka stupa, when Buddha proclaimed " Kalachakra", ninety seven kings headed by Sucandra, flew from Shambala under magical powers......In the Indo-Tibetan Vajrayana Buddhist tradition, there are thirty-two Kings of Shambhala, a mythical kingdom.....The first notable king of Shambhala, King Suchandra (sometimes Sanskritized as "Chandrabhadra," Tib. Dawa Sangpo), was the one who requested teaching from the Buddha. In response to his request, the Buddha gave the first Kalachakra root tantra. By practicing the Kalachakra the whole of Shambhala became an enlightened society, with Suchandra as the ruler.

"The Tamangs have incorporated many of the concepts of Hindu and Buddhist Tantra into their shamanic belief system. Tamangs believe in three souls: the lower soul (the power of anger, used in sorcery) the heart soul (the soul of compassion and speech) and the soul of light, or consciousness, which the shaman learns to master, thereby gaining supernatural powers, including magical flight."......Peters, Larry G. "The Tamang Shamanism of Nepal" in Shamanism, compiled by Shirley Nicholson. Wheaton, Illinois, The Theosophical Publishing House, 1987.

Tibetans speak of a power of fast-walking known as lung-gom....Milarepa boasted of having "crossed in a few days, a distance which, before his training in magic, had taken him more than a month. He ascribes his gift to the clever control of 'internal air'." David-Néel comments "that at the house of the lama who taught him magic there lived a trapa [monk] who was fleeter than a horse" using the same skill. After witnessing such a monk David-Néel described how: "He seemed to lift himself from the ground.. His steps had the regularity of a pendulum.. ..the traveller seemed to be in a trance.".....This esoteric skill, which is known as Lung-gom-pa ("Wind Meditation", lung = "wind", gom-pa = "meditation") in Tibet, allows a practitioner to run at an extraordinary speed for days without stopping. This technique could be compared to that practised by the Kaihigyo Monks of Mt. Hiei in Kyoto, and of Shugendō, Japan."......

An account of Lung-Gom was provided by Alexandra David-Neel, an early 20th-century explorer, journalist, and Buddhist. While in northern Tibet, she saw a man approaching with an ‘unusual gait’ and ‘extraordinary swiftness’. "I could clearly see his perfectly calm impassive face and wide-open eyes with their gaze fixed on some invisible far-distant object situated somewhere high up in space. The man did not run. He seemed to lift himself from the ground, proceeding by leaps. It looked as if he had been endowed with the elasticity of a ball and rebounded each time his feet touched the ground. His steps had the regularity of a pendulum."......Alexandra David-Neel, With Mystics and Magicians in Tibet, London: Penguin Books, 1937, p. 186.

"The native American Indians apparently knew of a similar method of magical running. In the 1920s anthropologist Carobeth Laird reported on one of the last men to travel ‘the old way’: the tracks left by his feet were very faint and far apart, as if his feet had barely touched the ground.".....Rodney Charles and Anna Jordan, Lighter than Air: Miracles of human flight from Christian saints to native American spirits, Fairfield, IO: Sunstar Publishing, 1995, pp. 155-180....Carobeth (Tucker) Laird (July 20, 1895 - August 5, 1983) is known for her ethnographic studies of the Chemehuevi people of southeastern California and western Arizona. Her book, The Chemehuevi, was characterized by ethnographer Lowell John Bean (1985:5) as "one of the finest, most detailed ethnographies ever written".

"Vimāna is a word with several meanings ranging from temple or palace to mythological flying machines described in Sanskrit epics......a chariot of the gods, any mythical self-moving aerial car (sometimes serving as a seat or throne, sometimes self-moving and carrying its occupant through the air; other descriptions make the Vimana more like a house or palace, and one kind is said to be seven stories high)....... flying chariots employed by various gods in the Vedas: the Sun (see Sun chariot) and Indra and several other Vedic deities are transported by flying wheeled chariots depicted to be pulled by animals, usually horses.".....

"For Mongol shamans, metal hung about their persons was essential, and some of them wore up to forty pounds of it; they wore a kaftan which closed up the back (not the sides, as is normal for an ordinary Mongol kaftan) ornamented with small pieces of metal and bells, each of which is trimmed with little strips (of cloth or leather) in snake form - which may represent a bird's feathers, ie spirit flight. The name of this formal shaman's dress is quyay, "armor" or else eriyen debel, "spotted dress"....The Religions of Mongolia by Walther Heissi

"The so-called 'Rama Empire' of Northern India and Pakistan developed at least fifteen thousand years ago on the Indian sub- continent and was a nation of many large, sophisticated cities, many of which are still to be found in the deserts of Pakistan, northern, and western India. Rama...was ruled by 'enlightened Priest-Kings' who governed the cities. "The seven greatest capital cities of Rama were known in classical Hindu texts as 'The Seven Rishi Cities'. According to ancient Indian texts, the people had flying machines which were called 'vimanas'.".......

"An aerial chariot, the Pushpaka, conveys many people to the capital of Ayodhya. The sky is full of stupendous flying-machines, dark as night,but picked out by lights with a yellowish glare."....In the Ramayana, the pushpaka ("flowery") vimana of Ravana is described as follows: "The Pushpaka chariot that resembles the Sun and belongs to my brother was brought by the powerful Ravana; that aerial and excellent chariot going everywhere at will .... that chariot resembling a bright cloud in the sky ... and the King [Rama] got in, and the excellent chariot at the command of the Raghira, rose up into the higher atmosphere.'" It is the first flying vimana mentioned in Hindu mythology (as distinct from the gods' flying horse-drawn chariots). Pushpaka was originally made by Vishwakarma for Brahma the Hindu god of creation, later Brahma gifted it to Kubera, the God of wealth...".....

"Feitan......Taoist tales often tell of adepts or immortals flying through the air. The xian were immortals capable of flight under their own divine power. They were said to be feathered, and a term that has been used for Taoist priests is yu ke, meaning 'feathered guest'. The fei tian, which might be translated as 'flying immortals', also appear in early tales, adding to the numbers of airborne beings in the Chinese mythological corpus.....The Chinese tales of fei che, flying vehicles, exhibit the first understanding, perhaps, that humans would fly only with some kind of technological apparatus. A hymn written in the second century B.C. speaks of deity appearing in chariots drawn by flying dragons.".....The Feitian the characteristics of the times....Flying in the Dunhuang Cave murals is quite prolific. Flying apsaras, or celestial beings may be depicted in the ceiling or above the Buddhas....."......

"Apsaras are often depicted as flying figures in the mural paintings and sculptures of Buddhist cave sites in China such as in the Mogao Caves, Yulin Caves, and the Yungang and Longmen Grottoes. They may also be depicted as dancers or musicians. They are referred to as feitian (飞天) in Chinese"......

"Nicholas Roerich in 1929..... In a valley in between Mongolia and Tibet, a team of Norwegians and sherpas had just completed building a shrine dedicated to Shambhala.....On August fifth - something remarkable! We were in our camp in the Kukunor district not far from the Humboldt Chain. In the morning about half-past nine some of our caravaneers noticed a remarkably big black eagle flying over us. Seven of us began to watch this unusual bird. At this same moment another of our caravaneers remarked, 'There is something far above the bird'. And he shouted in his astonishment. We all saw, in a direction from north to south, something big and shiny reflecting the sun, like a huge oval moving at great speed. Crossing our camp the thing changed in its direction from south to southwest. And we saw how it disappeared in the intense blue sky. We even had time to take our field glasses and saw quite distinctly an oval form with shiny surface, one side of which was brilliant from the sun....According to the lama, the shiny oval was a "Radiant form of Matter" from Shambhala. It was, he said, a protecting force that was always near but could not always be perceived. In Tibetan Buddhist belief "matter is a development of thought, crystallized mental energy".".....- Nicholas Roerich, Altai-Himalaya

"Plasma (from Greek πλάσμα, "anything formed") is one of the four fundamental states of matter (the others being solid, liquid, and gas). ......The Sun, and all the stars are made of plasma, much of interstellar space is filled with a plasma..... In our solar system, interplanetary space is filled with the plasma of the Solar Wind that extends from the Sun out to the heliopause. Even black holes, which are not directly visible, are fuelled by accreting ionising matter (i.e. plasma), and they are associated with astrophysical jets of luminous ejected plasma, such as M87's jet that extends 5,000 light-years.....Plasma was first identified in a Crookes tube, and so described by Sir William Crookes in 1879 (he called it "radiant matter")..."....


John Hopkins.....Northern New Mexico….July 2013


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