Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Sandalwood, Cedar & the Sacred Trees of Shambhala


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"Kalapa, according to Buddhist legend, is the capital city of the Kingdom of Shambhala, where the Kulika King is said to reign on a lion throne. It is said to be an exceeding beautiful city, with a sandalwood pleasure grove containing a huge three-dimensional Kalachakra mandala made by King Suchandra."......https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kalapa

"The Awesome Creator of the Turquoise Wind, arose garbed in leaves and flowers and wearing a crown of crystal ornamented with cedar twigs.....The great warrior danced in the eight directions. He created God's tree, the cedar...then the peoples tree. the rhododendron...then the tree of the sea-gods, the tamarisk....then the tree of the firece gods, the neem....then the demon's tree, the pines... The cosmic world of trees presented so many virtues."....Golden Drop...Page 13

"On Shambhala Day and at other auspicious times, we often gather outdoors around a fire, or indoors around a brazier of glowing charcoal. Chanting verses to the dralas, or nonvisible wakeful energies, we offer juniper and other substances, creating a column of smoke through which the dralas can descend. Chanting KI KI, SO SO ASHE LHA GYE LO TAK SENG KHUNG DRUK DI YAR KYE!, we circumambulate the fire, carrying banners and smiling in the bright air. This ceremony is called the lhasang, the divine purification. It is a ceremony of meeting and joining the magic of the warrior’s world.".......http://shambhalatimes.org/2014/02/24/the-magic-of-lhasang/

Cedar...Juniper, the tree of lha.....Deodar cedar, Cedrus deodara, (Sanskrit देवदारु devadāru) is a species of cedar native to the western Himalayas in eastern Afghanistan, northern Pakistan (especially in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Azad Jammu and Kashmir), north Republic of India (Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand states), southwesternmost Tibet in (China) and western Nepal....The botanical name, which is also the English common name, derives from the Sanskrit term devadāru, which means "wood of the gods", a compound of deva "god" and dāru "wood, tree".....Forests full of Deodar or Devadāru trees were the favorite living place of ancient Indian sages and their families who were devoted to the Hindu god Shiva. To please Lord Shiva, the sages used to perform very difficult tapasya (meditation) practices in deodar forests. Also the ancient Hindu epics and Shaivite texts regularly mention Darukavana, meaning a forest of deodars, as a sacred place."
Rhododendron...tree of nyen...Rhododendron (from Ancient Greek ῥόδον rhódon "rose" and δένδρον déndron "tree") is a genus of 1,024 species of woody plants in the heath family (Ericaceae), either evergreen or deciduous, and found mainly in Asia.....
Tamarisk...tree of lu....The genus Tamarix (tamarisk, salt cedar) is composed of about 50–60 species of flowering plants in the family Tamaricaceae, native to drier areas of Eurasia ...In the Epic of Gilgamesh, Gilgamesh's mother, the goddess Ninsun, ceremoniously bathes in a bath of "tamarisk" and soapwort before allowing Gilgamesh and Enkidu to begin their conquest."
Neem...Margosa, tree of tsen.....Margosa or neem is a most favourite and very common tree and is grown and found all Over India. ...Neem (Azadirachta indica) is a tree in the mahogany family Meliaceae.
Pine....tree of dut...The modern English name pine derives from Latin pinus which some have traced to the Indo-European base *pīt- ‘resin’ (source of English pituitary)......Amrita (Tibetan: dut tsi) A blessed substance, which can cause spiritual and physical healing....The legend is that at a very remote period when the gods felt their powers weakened and were desirous of obtaining Dut Tsi (Tibetan for amrita the beverage of immortality), Vishnu directed them to churn, together with the demons, the ocean of milk. For this purpose they took the mountain Mandara as the churning stick. But they could succeed only when Vishnu himself consented to support the mountain on his back; after having assumed the shape of a gigantic tortoise: the milk became butter and Dut Tsi was pulled up from the bottom of the World Sea.."

"Sandalwood is a tree with a highly aromatic wood. It is economically and culturally important to many countries around the Pacific and Eastern Indian Ocean regions where it grows or is traded. There are 16 species of sandalwood (Santalum) that grow naturally throughout the Pacific and Eastern Indian Ocean regions. Sandalwoods are evergreens ranging in size from tall shrubs up to large trees. They grow in a variety of climates--from the Australian desert to subtropical New Caledonia--and at elevations from sea level to over 8000 feet.".....https://www.auracacia.com/auracacia/aclearn/features/sandalwood.html

"Zoroastrians offer sandalwood twigs to the sacred fire.....priests who offer the sandalwood to the fire to keep the fire burning. Sandalwood is offered to all of the three grades of fire in the fire temple, including the Atash Dadgahs. Sandalwood is not offered to the divo, a homemade lamp. Often, money is offered to the mobad (for religious expenditures) along with the sandalwood. Sandalwood is called sukhar in the Zoroastrian community. The sandalwood in the fire temple is often more expensive to buy than at a Zoroastrian store. It is often a source of income for the fire temple."....https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sandalwood


"Cedrus deodara (deodar cedar, Himalayan cedar, or deodar/devdar/devadar/devadaru; Sanskrit देवदारु devadāru, Hindi: देवदार devadār, दारूक dāruk; Urdu: ديودار/ دیار deodār; Chinese: 雪松 xuě sōng) is a species of cedar native to the western Himalayas in eastern Afghanistan, northern Pakistan (especially in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Azad Jammu and Kashmir), north Republic of India (Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand states), southwesternmost Tibet in (China) and western Nepal, occurring at 1,500–3,200 m (4,921–10,499 ft) altitude."

"Sandalwood.......Osyris wightiana, native to Nepal........one of the genuine types of aromatic sandalwood and is native to Nepal. Reportedly, it is difficult to tell any difference in grain or color between this sandalwood and East Indian sandalwood, which is generally illegal for export from India in wood form. The scent of the two woods seem slightly different. Nepal sandalwood aroma is a little less earthy but more ethereal than Indian sandalwood.".....http://www.exoticwood.biz/sandalwood.htm

"Parsis have had a long association with sandalwood, which goes back many thousands of years. There are several references in the Shah Nameh where specific mention is made of sandalwood which was imported from India and Ceylon for the use of the Royal families. The existence of these ancient trade routes was one of the reasons why Parsis came to India after the end of the Sassanian dynasty and the Arab invasion of Iran....These trees grow in great abundance in the lower Himalayan regions and in the north-central regions like Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand. Two products derived from these trees, namely, cedar wood oil and camphor, are being used extensively throughout the country. Moreover, ample reforestation practices are being followed in these regions, which ensure that the sustainability of the forests is maintained. In addition, these sweet scented woods are much cheaper, compared to sandalwood.......I have been fortunate to have obtained samples of cedar wood (locally called Deodar, ‘wood of the Gods’; Cedrus deodara) and camphor wood (local name Kapur Chandan; Cinnamomum camphora). After cleaning and making small pieces, much like our Sukhad peria, I have burned them on the embers and they have emitted a beautiful smell... The five types of wood mentioned in the Vandidad are of the Burjis (Jupiterian) or Khur (Sun) or Mah (Moon) Jiram, which all correspond to our religion. Hence their use is especially beneficial for our own and the deceased’s spiritual progress.......Having examined our scriptures, we can safely conclude that it is not necessary that only sandalwood be used for our religious purposes. Given the current situation, it is therefore time to look at emerging alternatives. Our country is blessed not only with Sandalwood (which is now on the verge of extinction) but many other fragrant woods, including Camphor wood, Cedar wood and Pine......http://www.frashogard.com/emerging-alternatives-to-the-use-of-sandalwood/

"Most hall furniture of Imperial era China was made of mahogany, though Chinese pear wood and its later substitutes, red sandalwood (zitan) – a form of rosewood – and blackwood (hongmu – sometimes referred to as wu mu), were used to some extent. Chinese red sandalwood, initially in abundance, eventually became a very rare wood by the middle of the Qing Dynasty, therefore Ming or Qing Dynasty furniture made of these two wood types fetch a very high price at international auctions. "......http://www.chinahighlights.com/travelguide/culture/ancient-chinese-furniture.htm

"South of the main palace is a grove of Sandalwood trees (not depicted on all thangkas) and in the middle of the grove is a huge three-dimensional Kalachakra Mandala constructed by the first King of Shambhala of gold, silver, torquoise, coral, and pearl. Nearby are also other mandalas built by later kings of Shambhala. To the east of the Sandalwood Grove is a body of water known as Near Lake and to the west is White Lotus Lake. In both of these lakes gods, nagas, and humans comport themselves on boats made of jewels.......Each of the eight petals in the outer part of Shambhala contain 120 million villages. These 960 million villages are divided into kingdoms numbering ten mlllion villages each, with each kingdom ruled by a satrap, or local governor, making a total of ninety-six satraps....The villages of Shambhala are made up mostly of two stories houses ....Men wear white or red cotton robes; woman white or blue dresses decorated with pleats and various designs.."......http://worldwidewanders1.blogspot.com

".....The innermost division made up of Nine Stacked Svâstika Mountain and the surrounding groves......spoken by the Teacher Gshen-rab-mi-po (i.e., Lord Shenrab) at a ‘perfection of Place’ (gnas phun-sum-tshogs-pa),......’Ol-mo-lung-ring is, as many later sources say, in some way identical with Stag-gzig, we see that Stag-gzig is to the west of Tibet, and is bordered by the smaller areas of Gilgit and Yavana (Bactria). ......At the center is Nine Stacked Svâstika Mountain, surrounded by four groves: Happiness Grove [Dga’-ba’i Tshal], Jewel Grove [Rin-chen Tshal], Lotus Grove [Padma’i Tshal], and Man-made Grove [Skyed-mo Tshal]. It was apparently the central mountain surrounded by groves (or parks or formal gardens) that initially inspired Kuznetsov to identify the map with the Persian Empire, since he believed that the mountain (which appears on the woodblock printed map as nine stepped levels, each composed of seven or five svâstikas; on the drawn map, it looks rather like a beehive) surrounded by gardens was reminiscent of the tomb of Cyrus the Great at Pasargadae........’Ol-mo-lung-ring, it could very well encapsulate cultural memories of the area to the west of Tibet and on the fringes of Persia, a place where Buddhism was long known and practiced..... Although its explicit identification with Shambhala, more correctly Sambhala, appears only rather late in Bon literature (see the appendix), there are a few general and specific features, even in the earlier texts, that would suggest their similarity. ’Ol-mo-lung-ring was and is all these things, but at the same time it was a place on the ground that we can indeed roughly locate, through text-based historical geography, in the area between Ladakh/Kashmir and the Oxus River. ....’Ol-mo-lung-ring, the Original Holy Place...by Dan Martin

"Mount Yungdrung Gutseg (gYung-drung dgu-brtsegs), the 'Pyramid of Nine Swastikas'. .....At the base of Mount Yungdrung Gutseg spring four rivers, flowing towards the four cardinal directions. The mountain is surrounded by temples, cities and parks. To the south is Barpo Sogye (Bar-po so-brgyad) palace, where Tonpa Shenrab was born. To the west and north are the palaces where Tonpa Shenrab's wives and children lived. To the east is Shampo Lhatse (Sham-po lha-rtse) temple. The complex of palaces, rivers and parks with Mount Yungdrung Gutseg in the centre constitutes the inner region (Nang-gling) of Olmo Lungring. The intermediate region (Bar-gling) consists of twelve cities, four of which lie in the four cardinal directions. The third region includes the outer land (mTha'-gling)."......Wonders of the Natural Mind: The Essence of Dzogchen in the Native Bon Tradition...Page 43 ...By Tenzin Wangyal

"The Cedar Forest is the glorious realm of the gods of Mesopotamian mythology. It is guarded by the demigod Humbaba and was once entered by the hero Gilgamesh who dared cut down trees from its virgin stands during his quest for fame. The Cedar Forest is described in Tablets 4-6 of the great Epic of Gilgamesh......Tablet four tells the story of the journey to the cedar forest. On each day of the six-day journey, Gilgamesh prays to Shamash...... (Sham ... Akkadian: Šamaš, "Sun")...... in response to these prayers, Shamash sends Gilgamesh oracular dreams during the night......Šamaš, "Sun" was a native Mesopotamian deity and the Sun god in the Akkadian, Assyrian, Babylonian, and Hebrew pantheons. Shamash was the god of justice in Babylonia and Assyria, corresponding to Sumerian Utu. Akkadian šamaš is cognate to Syriac ܫܡܫܐ šemša or šimšu Hebrew שֶׁמֶשׁ šemeš and Arabic شمس šams......Sham:Sun......Bala:Elevated

The lofty Cedars of Chitral Gol National Park, Hindukush.....North Western Pakistan

"The Epic of Gilgamesh, which can be dated to c. 2000 BC, making it one of the earliest known works of literary writing. In the epic poem, in tablet nine, Gilgamesh sets out on a quest for the Water of Life to seek immortality. Gilgamesh travels far to the east, to the mountain passes at the ends of the earth where he grapples and slays monstrous mountain lions, bears and others. Eventually he comes to the twin peaks of Mount Mashu at the end of the earth, from where the sun rises from the other world, the gate of which is guarded by two terrible scorpion-beings......

"Sumerians appeared in Southern Mesopotamia around five and half thousand years ago carrying with them the seeds of civilization. It was also suggested that they migrated from the west coast of India or Pakistan.....we have absolutely no idea where the Sumerians acquired their language, or what they might have looked like. Their language, which we call Sumerian, was a linguistic isolate—it’s the oldest known written language on Earth, and any languages it might have derived from or developed alongside have been lost to time. The Sumerian people were also, it can be reasoned, ethnically isolated; referring to themselves as the sag gigga (“black-headed people”).....

"Deodar cedar is native to the Himalayas and is the national tree of Pakistan. I would identify the Evergreen School cedar as a deodar because of its long, flexible needles. The name deodar is Hindi and comes from Sanskrit devadaru "divine wood", another link between cedars and the gods....

" Between 1700 and 1500 BC widescale collapse and transformation occurred throughout the entire Middle East........BMAC/Oxus Civilization collapsed and all of its Qala-like settlements were abandoned in the century or so in the century 1700-1600 BC but concurrently BMAC/ Oxus materials occur throughout Iran and parts of the Indus Valley regions........- In Mesopotamia the period leading up to 1600 BC saw the final end of the dominance of southern Mesopotamia with the destruction of the Old Babylonian Dynasty by Hittites from the north and Kassites who were originally nomadic peoples from the Zagros Mountains and western Iran."......http://www.unm.edu/~gbawden/328-coll/328-coll.ht_

"...... bought at around Rs 500 a kg in India, the item can fetch even Rs 3000 a kg in China. "Beside usages in alternative medicines, newly identified other possible usage avenues are quite disturbing. As discussed in Wildlife Crime Control Bureau platform, availability of radioactive elements like Thorium and Uranium in Red Sandalwood could be a major attraction. "......http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/



July 2015

John Hopkins....Northern New Mexico


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