Tag Archive for 'oral history'

The Bamian Buddhas, Ali’s Dragon & Kohr-I-Baba Pass

On an Autumn morning of 1968 in Afghanistan two friends and I set out from Kabul in a Land Rover to spend a few days visiting the statues of Buddha at the valley of Bamian in the Hindu Kush Mountains.

Bamian Buddha destroyed by the Taliban in 2001.

Destroyed Bamian Buddha

Old Bamian Buddha Statue before destruction.

Old Bamian Buddha

The road out of Kabul is the same road leading over the Salang Pass and on to the town of Tashkarghan where it forks left to Mazar i Sharif and Uzbekistan, right to the towns of Faizabad, Kunduz, and up into Tajikistan and China. Traveling north from Kabul and some kilometres before the Salang Pass there is a dirt track leading off west from the village of Pul-i-Matak, it leads to Bamian Valley, up to the Band-i-Mir lakes and Maimana in the region of the Hazarat. This dirt track is strictly for animal caravans and four-wheel drive vehicles; it is the only route stretching across the centre of Afghanistan and only open from April to October. The drive from Pul-i-Matak to Bamian is some 150 kilometres through gorges and valleys and takes several hours to negotiate. Continue reading ‘The Bamian Buddhas, Ali’s Dragon & Kohr-I-Baba Pass’

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Jasper on Video – Kumbha Mela 2001

Jasper Newsome, aka Ram Giri Baba –  his last recorded exposition of what being a Baba meant to him; told at the heart of it, the Prayag Raj Kumbha Mela 2001.

Recorded at the Maha Maha Kumbha Mela 2001, held every 144 years, at Prayag, Allahabad, India.  Sixty million people took part, the largest spiritual gathering in the world. Celebrated at the confluence of three great rivers, only two of which are of this world; the third, the mythical Saraswati, joins the Ganga & the Yamuna at the confluence, Triveni Sangam, a sacred place, at a sacred time.

Continue reading ‘Jasper on Video – Kumbha Mela 2001’

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Precursors – Alastair Morrison – Part I

NOTE ED: If you can not view the Quicktime video above, CLICK HERE.

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

In memoriam Alastair Morrison, born Peking, 25th August 1915, died Canberra, 4th August 2009.

(video courtesy Powerhouse Museum, Sydney, thanks to Dr Claire Roberts)
(poem copyright the estate of Dylan Thomas).

If you cannot view the video – please install Apple Quicktime Here.

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