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русская версия

THE LEGEND OF GANDAKI

The Journey To Nepal (November, 2000)

…Our way now lies along the sacred river Kali Gandaki which flows here on a wide valley. The valley meets us with a gusty wind. A climate really is getting more inclement. The landscape also gradually reminds the Tibetan plateau — more and more barren and deserted. The wind, as our guide Nabin has told, will accompany us now all the time on our way along the river that is almost up to Kagbeni.

But we get an exclusively attracting pastime — a search for fossilized ammonites, which according to Nabin, in this valley of the river are not a rarity. And confirming his words in a little while he showed us the black stone found by him with pattern in the form of a volumetric spiral of dashes. This is what a practiced eye means! Nepaleses name the ammonites as Shalagrams and consider them with awe since it is one of the attributes connected with Vishnu. There are many legends of how Vishnu has turned into a stone, but all of them are inseparably linked with the river Kali-Gandaki, also named river Shalagrami.

The legend about Gandaki is connected with an universal theme that the true faith in divine justifies sinners and transforms them into completely new form and substance. The other central element of the legend — that transformation is connected with an union of opposite elements — male and female. It also the story about those who, despite of the humiliated social status, aspires to search for the divine truth. All these themes are present at many other world religions.

The Legend Of Gandaki

One prostitute had a daughter named Gandaki. According to the law the daughter should do the same work as mother, and it meant that she should also become the prostitute. She felt like involved in rigid social norms and in each admirer searched for a personification of a celestial man. Once a young beautiful man visited her and has paid her a huge sum, not even having looked at her, quickly leaving. Full of belief, she indefatigably has been waiting for his return, and one night the young man has returned. She served him and has generously presented him with the art of love. When she has washed him she suddenly noticed, that all his body is covered with ulcers, however unhesitatingly she devoted herself to him entirely. Everyone was surprised, how she can stand it, but she has answered, that even till dawn he becomes her husband.

At dawn the young man died. As a token of boundless devotion to the husband she has ordered to cremate herself together with him. When she has press herself close to him on a funeral pedestal suddenly she revealed that the body of the young man became entirely gold and he had four hands. Then he has started talking to her and has told: "I am Vishnu Narayana, I have come to test you. You have passed the trial and now you can ask me to fulfil three wishes". She has answered, that she has only one wish: "That you have never left me".

He has told to her a story about how the witch has damned him, and he should change into a stone. However he has continued, "you, Gandaki, can turn into a river, and me — into a stone. Then I shall be in your embraces forever". She agreed, therefore one of names of the river — "Shalagrami", that is containing stones — Shalagrams…

 

© Evgueny Faydysh. 2003.
© International Noosphere Institute. Alexey Ivanov, translation, web-design. 2005.