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Eestikeelsed artiklid

EDITORIAL

EPIFANIO RECOMMENDS

MY RECORD COLLECTION
Mark Young

IN MUNTINLUPA PRISON
August Künnapu

A FEW WORDS ABOUT THE LATEST DEVELOPMENTS IN LATVIAN PAINTING
Maija Rudovska

IMPRESSIONS OF NEPAL
Vilen Künnapu

THE TWO TOWNS: A TRANSFORMATION OF TOWNSCAPE IN MODERN CHINA
Peteris Ratas

HARRY PYE'S POSTCARD FROM LEEDS
Harry Pye

LEO GIDON'S WANDERING MIND
Mehis Heinsaar

ANTONIO MACHADO
Lauri Sommer

TEAM

Impressions of Nepal

You like the pre-deluge monuments. Sphinxes, pyramids, stone circles, dolmens and stupas. First of all stupas, because they are more alive and breathing than others.

You are sitting on a plane again, on your way to the east. Your destination is the beautifully ringing Nepal and a musical-box Kathmandu. Primarily, you wish to experience the energy of the huge stupas Swayambhunath and Bouddhanath. You wish to feel the breath of the Himalayas. Does the centre of the world, Mount Kailash, radiate its rays everywhere? Do you perceive the existence of Shambala and the City of Gods?
After a sleepless night in Delhi the plane lands in Kathmandu at some point in the morning, and you are delighted to find out that your hotel room has a view of the mysterious Swayambhunath or the Temple of the Monkeys, and of Kathmandu in the background. You take a taxi to the foot of the stupa and start climbing the steps with a slight headache and pounding heart.

The main stupa is surrounded by a large number of smaller stupas. The energy of the whole complex is warm, peaceful and deep. The night’s exhaustion and headache suddenly vanish. You perceive the cube above the main temple and the eyes of the Lemurians on it. The complex is alive and active. You bless yourself with the smoke of the sacrificial fire and your eyes meet the sparkling eyes of the master of ceremonies, an elderly nun. The powerful radiation of these jewels fully opens the mystery of the temple to you. You transcend matter, enter the divine circle and become part of the big secret. Your eyes fill with tears and you feel the nearness of the Creator.

Prayer mills, prayer flags, music of OUM MANI PADME HUM, monkeys, monks and hippies form the inner cosmos between the stupas, and through the sunny mist you can see the sacred city in the distance. You feel as if you have entered the instrument of energy of the inhabitants of previous civilisations. A stupa gains a special might from the fact that it is used as an object or rite and operates full steam.

You travel towards the mountains and stay a week in the town called Pokhara. You hire a guide and have several walks in the mountains with him. The sixteen year old guide is called Sūrya, which means sun in Nepalese. He deserves your trust and warm friendship. You give the boy a drawing. In return you get a pencil drawing of Christ’s portrait, which is surprisingly expressive.
You notice that the whole town is singing and dancing. The festival of the Opening of the Third Eye has arrived. Despite their poverty people are sparkling and happy. In a fortnight, another festival is due, and the dancing starts again.

 

Drawings: Vilen Künnapu

   

Slideshow

One early morning you and Sūrya travel to the mountains to see the sunrise. People from many countries have gathered on a small circular platform. And then it rises. The red ball emits its low rays that caress the snowy pyramids of the highest peaks of the Himalaya. You perceive that the planet is alive and is part of the clockwork of the universe. You, too, are part of that entirety.
You then descend together with your guide across the mountain paths back towards the town. You pass through small mountain villages, rocky riverbeds, you see stupas and bright-eyed local people, hanging gardens, clouds and lakes.

The journey takes you westward into the jungle. Your travelling companions are about a dozen Estonian citizens fascinated with travel. Most have sensitive powers. It seems that normal people hardly ever come to Nepal. The vibration is too high for them.

The diverse jungle vegetation presents itself as energetic structures. A bodyguard with a stick explains to you that if you meet a tiger, you have to look it bravely in the eye, if you happen to meet a rhinoceros, it would be better to run away zigzagging, and should a bear turn up you must put your backs together and clap your hands. These measures might save your life. All this is said perfectly seriously. Luckily you do not meet any beasts, except a ten-metre python and a small rhinoceros. Only the elephant on whom you ride seems to go berserk and races through the trees. You manage to avoid bumping into crocodiles when you swim.

You are in a tiny airport of Chitwan. This reminds you of a Kyrgyz collective farm office, hospital or another public building from the Soviet past. A beauty in a police uniform handles your suitcase and then notices your talisman in the shape of an American Indian cactus blossom. The girl gets all excited and invites other uniformed people to see it.
A small local plane flies you across the Himalayan foothills back to Kathmandu. You hail a taxi and set out to find the Centre of Family Planning designed by Louis Kahn. After getting lost a few times you finally arrive when it is already getting dark. The house has been drastically rebuilt. It is now called the Ministry of Health. Despite reconstruction the house still exudes Kahn’s mystical energy. This makes you happy and you plunge into the old town called Tamel. It has many restaurants, bars and cafes. It also has excellent bookshops, with their endless shelves full of English-language esoteric literature. You buy a few books about stupas, a book about Yantra and another titled MANDALA. Thousands of tiny shops offer splendid Hindu and Tibetan handicrafts. Ex-hippies and new age characters of varying ages crowd the streets of Tamel. There is Nepalese and British music. A carefree and light atmosphere prevails. Even the taxi-drivers are merry. Their favourite topic is faith, religions and gods. Local people do not actually seem to care about anything else. There is no modern architecture or art here either. All architecture is stupas and temples; art is the figures of divinities, mandala paintings, Buddha portraits and paintings of the snow-covered peaks of the Himalayans. It has been like this from ancient times, and that’s good. At the same time it is possible to understand the Maoists who came to power and wish to innovate society in the spirit of the Chinese model. In the universe, one energy is always balanced with another.

The next day is for Bouddhanath. The huge stupa is located in the middle of a square so that a circular street lies between the houses and the temple. Shops, cafes and art galleries on the one side, the white walls of the stupa pediment and steps on the other side. A huge cupola rests on a three-layered base and on top of that is a cube with the eyes of a Lemurian. From the cube starts a copper pyramid with thirteen steps, which ends with a cylindrical antennae. From the antennae hang strings with prayer flags. There are altogether five main levels which symbolise earth, water, fire, air and ether. You have always pondered about the essence of the basic elements and you realise only now that the Fifth Element, ether, is actually you. The brightness of your eyes, your connection with the Higher Power and your own Higher Self. Together with the circular square, the stupa forms a brilliant spatial composition, its energy is rotating, cool and precise. Between the white cubes meditate young monks, almost children. Together with prayer flags and prayer mills they constitute the stupa’s details and attributes. You cross several circles around the cupola and feel an immense inner peace. This differs slightly from what you perceived on the first day near the Temple of the Monkeys, but is almost equally strong and stimulating. You have received another significant stupa experience. Now you know that stupas are alive. They are energy centres that convey to us high-frequency energy and their essence streches across Atlantis to Lemuria. The sacral architecture of the entire world derives from stupa, or at least this is how you feel. You make a few quick pencil drawings of the stupa and put some essence of the sacred place into them.

In the remaining few days you visit Kathmandu and temple-filled squares in town nearby. Mysterious patterns, figures and proportions of buildings are so different from what you have ever seen before that you start thinking about the inhabitants of Atlantis and Lemurians. You feel as if you had been in these places long ago and taken part in creating them, either as a temple master, sculptor or priest.

You come across a temple by a river where burial by burning is organised. It transpires that two hours after a man’s death his sons burn his body on the steps facing the river. The ashes are swept into the sacred river. It is rumoured that the bodies of the poor whose family has no money for the burial, are thrown into the river where big fish eat them.

You also find yourself in a very comfortable monastery. It is in Kathmandu, on a hilltop, not far from Bouddhanath. This Buddhist monastery organises a monthly meditation courses. In addition to Tibetans and the Nepalese, you see the pale faces of the people from the Occident. You buy a few prayer beads, bronze sculptures and vadjras* as gifts and fly to Delhi. The next day you start the long journey back home. The airplanes are full of wise men, witches, spiritual teachers and priests. You establish good contacts with them, because you are one of them. You take your drawing pad from the rucksack and note down the impressions of the recent days. You realise that god lives in yourself. First of all you must build a temple inside yourself and only then you can start constructing the great temple of the world.

*vadjra – instrument of ancient peoples for telekinesis.

Vilen Künnapu
is an architect, artist and university professor living in Tallinn. See also his texts in previous Epifanios.