Monthly Archives: July 2016

Reasons Behind Celebrating Bhoto Jatra

Rato Machhindranath is the Buddhist deity of rain and water known as the God of rain.The name Rato Machhindranath means ‘Red Fish God’. Rato as in red, Machhindra or Matsyendra means fish and Nath means god, even the statue of the deity is red in color.

The legends behind Rato Machhindranath (also known by the names of Karunamaya and Bunga Dyah) are so many that is hard for us to say which one is the real one. Maybe that’s why they are called legends. All legends are not contradicting to each other. It’s just that they are like different versions of the same story told by different people in their own set of values and beliefs. Most of the time the names and characters differ but the story is the same of a drought in the valley for which to end people seek out the help of Rato Machhindranath.

The legend states that when Guru Gorakhnath came to Patan, no one knew his true identity. When he wasn’t given any meals from the locals he found the Nags (serpents) responsible for the rain in the valley and he captured them, then he went on to mediate. While the nags were in captivity they could not make rain bringing in severe drought in the valley. So, the advisors to the King Narendra Dev then asked the King to bring Machhindranath, teacher of Gorakhnath from Assam in India in hopes to end the drought. And when Gorakhnath heard his teacher is in Patan he decided to visit him setting the serpents free. The valley then had plenty of rain, being thankful to Machhindranath the local started to worship him for saving them from drought and King Narendra Dev started the festival of Rato Machhindranath in 879 A.D.

The legend behind Bhoto Jatra comes from the story in which a farmer was gifted the bhoto in gratitude by the Karkotaka Nag (snake) for curing the eye aliment of his Queen. One day the farmer lost the bhoto when he took it off to go work in the field. Later he saw a man wearing the same vest among the crowd in the festival of Rato Machhindranath, which resulted in a quarrel between the man and the farmer. At the festival, the Karkotaka Nag was also present in human form. He then proceeded to settle the dispute between them and offered the vest to Rato Machhindranath saying whoever brings the proof of ownership of the bhoto shall have it, till then it will remain in the custody of the deity.So every year, on the last day of Rato Machhindranath Jatra, the bhoto is shown to the public in presence of Patan’s Kumari (living goddess) and the president, the head of state (previously it used to be the King before abolition of monarch system in Nepal) in hope that the owner will come forward with the evidence to claim it.

After Bhota Jatra, the statue of the deity is transferred to the shikhar-style temple in Bungamati where it will stay for six months before the jatra next year. The chariot is then taken apart. Once in every 12 years, the festival of Rato Machhindranath starts and ends in Bungamati, a small Newar village, believed to be the birth place of Machhindranath, 6 km to the south of Patan.

Bhoto Jatra, another separate ritual and an addition to festival which has now become a part of Rato Machhindranath Jatra marks the end to this month long lively festivities. On the fourth day after the chariot reachesJawalakhel, Bhota Jatra is held.

The legend behind Bhoto Jatra comes from the story in which a farmer was gifted the bhoto in gratitude by the Karkotaka Nag (snake) for curing the eye aliment of his Queen. One day the farmer lost the bhoto when he took it off to go work in the field. Later he saw a man wearing the same vest among the crowd in the festival of Rato Machhindranath, which resulted in a quarrel between the man and the farmer. At the festival, the Karkotaka Nag was also present in human form. He then proceeded to settle the dispute between them and offered the vest to Rato Machhindranath saying whoever brings the proof of ownership of the bhoto shall have it, till then it will remain in the custody of the deity.So every year, on the last day of Rato Machhindranath Jatra, the bhoto is shown to the public in presence of Patan’s Kumari (living goddess) and the president, the head of state (previously it used to be the King before abolition of monarch system in Nepal) in hope that the owner will come forward with the evidence to claim it.

After Bhota Jatra, the statue of the deity is transferred to the shikhar-style temple in Bungamati where it will stay for six months before the jatra next year. The chariot is then taken apart. Once in every 12 years, the festival of Rato Machhindranath starts and ends in Bungamati, a small Newar village, believed to be the birth place of Machhindranath, 6 km to the south of Patan.

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Warning: You Will Suddenly Want Your Kids to Color on the Walls After Reading This Sweet Story

On a damp, dreary, stay-in-the-house kind of day, I was a 4-year-old artist armed with a new treasure: my own big box of crayons. Somehow, the usual paper borrowed from Mom’s typewriter wasn’t special enough for these 64 perfect, waxy, sweet-smelling sticks of vivid color. I looked around for a bigger canvas. The walls presented an inviting yet forbidden landscape. If only there were hidden walls, walls that people could sometimes see and sometimes not. Walls like the ones in Mom and Dad’s closet.

Slipping quietly down the hall to the bedroom, I stood on tiptoe to reach the string for the closet light. Using my whole body, I pushed aside the heavy clothes and shut the door behind me. Words and images filled my mind faster than my hands could make them. Bright reds, sky blues, greens, purples, bright explosive yellows and oranges, fuchsia and lime — all became pictures, numbers and letters.

A brilliant rainbow arched across one wall, with a cheery golden sun peeking out from above. Below, a giant shade tree supported a rope and tire swing for stick-figure children. Around them, flowers bloomed everywhere. Then I drew my reddish-brown cat with its slanted green eyes and long black whiskers.

My masterpiece! All my very own magic! I took in the walls, the colors, the brightness, and joy swelled inside me. But as my creativity wound down, a thought popped up: I’ve got to show Mom! Suddenly I was still. I looked around with new eyes. What had I done?

Mom called out, “Dinner’s ready.” After a short time, her footsteps approached, and then finally, the closet door opened. I stood nervously in the corner, still clutching the canary yellow crayon in a sweaty fist. Oh, please don’t be mad, I thought. Please, please.

Mom inhaled sharply, then stood frozen. Only her eyes moved as she slowly looked over my masterpiece. She was quiet for a long, long time. I didn’t dare breathe.

Finally, she turned to me.

“I like it,” she said. “No, I love it! It’s you! It’s happy! I feel like I have a new closet!”

Forty-five years later, my childhood artwork is still there. And in my own house, the closet walls are masterpieces, too, created by my own daughters when they were little girls.

Every time I open a closet door, I remember that, as big as that box of crayons and white walls seemed when I was little, my mother’s love was the biggest thing of all.

Story by Betty Smith

Source: Reader’s Digest

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Eating Avocados During Pregnancy – Study Finds Huge Benefits

Avocados are full of good fats, high in dietary fibre and a great source of folate. Folate is especially important during early pregnancy, because it can reduce the risk of birth defects.

According to the study: “Avocados are unique among fruits and vegetables in that, by weight, they contain much higher amounts of the key nutrients folate and potassium, which are normally under-consumed in maternal diets. “Avocados also contain higher amounts of several non-essential compounds, such as fiber, mono-unsaturated fats, and lipid-soluble antioxidants, which have all been linked to improvements in maternal health, birth outcomes and/or breast milk quality“. Currently, US dietary advice applies only to those aged two years and above. However, it is known that maternal diet during pregnancy and breastfeeding can have a huge impact on the health of both mother and baby

How Many Avocados Should I Eat Per Day?

Reproductive specialist and nutritionist Doctor Andrew Orr says, “You actually can’t eat too many of them! They are full of good fats (omega oils), protein, enzymes, amino acids, vitamins and more. They’re great as a meal on their own, in green smoothies, desserts, dips… I love using them for breakfast!” He adds, “On a traditional Chinese medicine level, avocado is nourishing to both the womb and the baby. Avocado should definitely be eaten during pregnancy – and it’s a great food for fertility too“.

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