Manasarovar is the holy lake for Hindus, Bons,
Buddhists, and Jains. Hindu claim the holy lake
is a creation of Brahman: the creator of perfection. Buddhists believe the holy lake is dwelling of Je Tsun Dorjee Dorjee Naljor
Ma: the mother of tantric teachings of Buddhism. Bon religion believe that Kailash and Manasarovar are two sides of a
coin: the crystal stupa, Kailash, attracts devotees and the turquoise
morrow, Manasarovar, fulfils their wishes. It is a common belief
that the water of Manasarovar has the power to cleanse negativities
deeds and enrich virtue and happiness on the continuous journey
The lake is called the merrow because it crystal
clear water reflects the beautiful surrounding environment and the
snow-capped sacred Mount Kailash. The lake covers 412 square kilometers
at an altitude of 4588 meters.
Tibetan believe that Je
Tsun Dorjee Dorjee Naljor Ma has established Manasarovar
lake as the palace of the four tantra sections. These are Je Grud
(action tantra), Chod Grud (performance tantra), Naljor Grud (yoga
tantra) and Naljor La Na Med Pe Grud (unsurpassed yoga tantra).
Tantra and Sutra are the two paths, which are practiced by Buddhists
to seek for liberation from the circle of birth and death.
Manasarovar is called
Tso Rinpoche, which means "the holy lake" in
Tibetan. There are a number of books about the preciousness of
the lake. In the 5th century, according to the Kagyu Pa Order,
the historical Buddha Shakyamuni appeared miraculously at Manasarovar
and Mount Kailash with five hundred warriors against evil (Gra-chom
pa or Arhat). The buddha consecrated Manasarovar and gave teachings
to the King of Naga, known as Ga-O, and the living beings in the
lake. The collection, Book of Superiors' Speeches, also asks,
"if the King of Naga is not in Manasarovar, how do rivers
flow in this world? If there are no rivers, there would be no
vegetation". Manasarovar River is regarded as the source
of the four great rivers - Senge Khabab (Indus), Tachog Khabab
(Brahmaputra), Langchen Khabab (Sutlej) and Maja Khabab (Karnali)
- which cover half of the world. It is believed that, before the
continents separated, these rivers flowed over all the world.
The World of Nagas
Nagas are a type of living
being who occupy one of the three worlds: Me Yul, "the human
world", is situated in the middle; Lha Yul, "the god
or celestial world", is above; whereas Klu Yul, "the
Nagas world", is below. In the biography of the legendary
King Norsang, Manasarovar Lake is called the Lotus Lake of Naga,
so-called because its shape is similar to a lotus flower which
has a hundred petals. From each petal flows a river and at the
source of each river is a Naga residence. The King of Naga is
known as Kyi Wa Natsog and rules over several states of Naga.
Every month his subjects burn incense and make Torma offerings
at the river sources, burying a vase of Torma offering every year.
The prosperity and happiness of the northern King, Norsang, and
his subjects depends on the lake and the King of Naga.
Zambu Krita Tree
Zambu Krita is a species of
tree which is believed to grow in the lake. The great Buddhist
masters, including Guru Rinpoche, said they could see a live tree
in the perception of those who have gained higher stages of spiritual
realization. Its root is in the world of Naga, the branches are
in the human world and the top of the tree appears in the world
of gods or celestial beings. The branches are occupied by the
lineage masters of the Kagyu Pa Order: in the centre is the Dharma
protector, Dorjee Pegmo and her attendants; at the root is the
compassionate King of the Nagas, who gives teachings to the Naga
beings. Once upon a time, a seed of Zambu Krita fell in the lake
where it created a sound, "Zam". This world is therefore
called Zam Bu Ling.
In the 12th century, a Buddhist
practitioner, Drikung Cha Nga Ling pa, went to wash himself in
Manasarover and he hung his robe up on the tree. Since his followers
were unable to see the tree, it appeared as if his robe was hanging
in the air. On another occasion, Cha Nga Ling Pa received an invitation
from the king of Naga who asked for his teachings. He sat in the
lotus position on the water at the lake's shore and was taken
to the centre of the lake as if he was still on the same spot.
Then he was offered an image of Buddha Shakyamuni, known as Thupa
Chu Nyir Ma. The size of the image is twelve-fingers broad and
it is believed to have been blessed by Buddha Shakyamuni himself.
Currently, the image is kept in Ayang monastery in Southern India.
Finally, the fourth Panchen Lama, Losang Choekyi Gyal Tsen, offered
a Kateg (a white scarf) to Manasarovar with his prayers and admiration.
The Kateg hung on the Zambu Krita tree for a week but, since no
ordinary person can see the tree, everyone thought the Kateg was
hanging in the air.
The Undefeated Turquoise
Ma Pem Yu Tso is another name
for Manasarovar. It means "the undefeated turquoise lake".
It is called undefeated because the water possesses eight qualities
that no other water can compete with. These qualities are: it
is clean (it does not smell or contain any toxic substances);
it is clear (with no mud or dirt); it is cool (free from heat);
smooth (has no flavour of aching and uneasiness); secure (has
protective powers to secure health); delicious (not salty or bitter),
quenching (fully satisfies thirst) and good (causes no sickness
Manasarovar is also called
Ma Droe Tso, which means "the unwarmed lake". Originally,
there was no lake there. The land was ruled by King Nyugbam, a
Bodhisattva. One day, as he walked in his garden, he saw an elderly
man who was suffering grievously from a disease. The king summoned
all the spiritual teachers, practitioners and Brahmans and asked
for their answer as to whether birth, old age, sickness and death
would only befall the old man or would they affect all living
beings? They answered that all sentient beings would be affected.
After careful consideration, the king posed a second question,
what can be done to help? The members of the gathering suggested
practising generosity. For the following twelve years, the king
gave food, clothing and other riches to all beings. Manasarovar
is believed to have been created from all the water which was
emptied out after rice had been cooked. The lake became bigger
everyday but, because of the cool climate, it never became warm.
Where the lake overflowed, the river was called Das Khu in Tibetan
(which means "the light of rice") and River Ganges in