Wednesday, 27 June 2007

Galungan: the real meaning of Victory

So, today is the Galungan Day in Bali, where the Hindu believers on the Island of Paradise celebrate the victory of good over evil. I am, of course, not in Bali, hence I could not absorb the enjoyment of Galungan typically experienced by Balinese and other inhabitants of the island.

I don't regret it, though. I mean, I have to be here, in the sunny day of Townsville (an atypical day, considering the pouring down rainfall for the last two weeks), trying to write my thesis (oops!). But I actually miss the fragrance of incense mixed with frangipani and other offerings... the sound of the gamelan... and the crowds. Yes, the godawful crowds that sometimes think more of the suckling pigs than the meaning of victory. Yes... that's the truth. Sometimes, like many people might forget what Christmas really means beyond the glittering trees and presents... the Balinese sometimes forget the real meaning of victory.

Okay, for a student like me, victory might mean achieving scholarship and research funding (!), submitting my review in-time and with considerable quality... not procrastinating with blogs and fanfictions when you're supposed to write a chapter (oops! - seems I am still defeated here...)... conducting your research in timely manner, etc.

But the true meaning of victory for me is the victory over oneself. Over one's greediness, laziness (ahem!), anger, jealousy, prejudice... those negative things that makes you unhappy. That makes the world unhappy. For, as Buddha, Krishna, Dalai Lama, Anand Krishna, Mother Theresa, etc say (yes, 'say', present tense), peace and happiness is found within. And it can only be found by overcoming those negative feelings and walking the journey within.

That is the true personal victory for me.

Well, if I can submit my translation this afternoon to my friend, that is yet another victory to be celebrated!

Pic: Galungan Penjor in Bali. I miss that sight...

Sunday, 17 June 2007

STOP PRESS! John Howard finally met Dalai Lama!

It seemed that John Howard (and opposition leader Kevin Rudd) listened to all the rants and complaints of the Australians and non-Australians (like myself) who love Dalai Lama upon the leaders' indecisiveness of meeting His Holiness.

Thus, after Rudd finally met Dalai Lama on June 12, John Howard followed the very wise step to meet His Holiness on June 15. No news was out on the result of the meeting, but both leaders did a cute doorway dance together. The meetings were of course applauded by Dalai Lama fans in Australia, for His Holiness is an important figure for the Australians.

New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark also 'had the opportunity' to talk with Dalai Lama in the lounge of Brisbane airport on June 14. Miss Clark was on her way to Sydney, and the officials said that the meeting was unplanned. However, to me it was delicately arranged to avoid China's anger but also to pay tribute to one of the greatest spiritual leaders of the 21st century. Works for me!

Saturday, 9 June 2007

A blessed afternoon with Dalai Lama

I still could not believe my luck today as I saw His Holiness Dalai Lama crossing the stage to the microphone and greeting the audience. I mean, last January I was watching a video about Tibet and Dalai Lama and was thinking of how lucky I would be if I could meet him.
And this afternoon in the chilly Melbourne afternoon I saw him. A beautiful soul who becomes the very symbol of peace and hope for this planet. A great leader of a great nation that is not officially recognized by the United Nations (heh…) but continues to strive for a better fate and life of Tibet and the Tibetans. Not only that; he also relentlessly works for a better world by spreading messages of love and peace. A beacon of hope and love that always reminds us that peace and happiness is found within, and you cannot make a peaceful world unless you are in peace with yourself.

Topic of the day in the MC Labour Park, Princess Park Stadium was ‘Universal Responsibility’. Now, as my blog space is limited, I can only spoil myself with a summary of His Holiness’ point of thoughts in this very blessed public speech attended by at least 10,000 people, which I believe were not only local Melbournians. I should first say that Dalai Lama asked us to see him as a human being, not as Dalai Lama. For him, we are also fellow human beings, not people from different cultural, religious, or geographical backgrounds. Then, and only then we can begin our dialogs and understanding.
I think it’s rather impossible for me to see him ‘just’ as a human being; but I understand what he meant. And that only made me love him more.

Monday, 4 June 2007

My icon

I think I will use this picture as my icon now. It's the picture of Goddess Gangga, the caretaker of the Great Gangga River in India. I love her so much, as well as many other goddesses. But because I could not find the picture of Parvati, Tara, Durga, Diana, Gaea or other goddesses that suits the purpose, I will 'use' this one.

As a second thought, I think I will use this 'eye' instead. Clearer. But really, I love Goddess Gangga, so I will just let her be here. The 'eye' is actually a colour-composite of a nebula called 'Helix Nebula'.