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Himalayan Mountains Religion Facts And Yeti Tibetan Mystery


The hidden face of the Yeti monster

The yeti (term derived from the Tibetan words, ye and teh meaning respectively “rock” and “animal”), in other words the mythical snowman, appeared in the chronicles during the 1950s, following the great western mountaineering expeditions. This furry beast living in the eternal snows often appears in Himalayan iconography, because the creature deeply marked the mythology of the region, often referred to as Roof of the World. Here is one example among others: the mountain range between Everest and Lhotse is called Mahalangur Himal or “mountain of the great apes”.

There are vestiges to say the least extraordinary, such as the skull and the hand of a mummified yeti preserved in the Pangboche monastery in Nepal. These remains have fueled more than one debate regarding their authenticity. But beyond the controversies, they especially testify to the capital importance of this creature in the local culture. The sherpa - that is to say the members of the Himalayan tribe established along the southern slopes of Mount Everest - assure that there would be on the mountains thelma (beings of small size, which do not climb more than 3000 meters above sea level), Dzu-Teh (a kind of giants entirely covered with hair, vegetarians and which hardly ever attack humans) and Mi-Teh (carnivorous, aggressive and dangerous creatures). Even if the testimonies of those who have seen this strange animal remain elusive and unsatisfactory for Western science, the animal is no less “real” in the Himalayas, a clear sign of the influence that nature exerts on each cultural creation. In harmony with the balance established between man and the rest of the universe, the yeti is the emblematic image, relatively clear, of a world so distant and so unrecognized by the western observer that, from the Roof of the World, the latter often sees only the most obvious aspects. He only partially perceives the heritage of a symbolic and ritual tradition as old as humanity.

According to a Nepalese legend, the yeti comes from Shangri-la, mythical locality lost on the Himalayan mountains. It is considered a promised land, the subject of many accounts. And yet, we have little or no indication of its existence and rare are those who have really seen it (if they exist ...).

Sacred mountains

Let us not forget that the Himalayas, the “home of snow”, with its summits among the highest in the world, is a place of the sacred par excellence. In this wild environment, where life takes on another dimension, men strongly sense the authority of the divine, they perceive its breath, its unlimited strength.

Nepal and Tibet are in a way the citadels of a particularly fascinating, and in many ways syncretistic, religious tradition. In this religion, the mechanism of the symbol acts with force, suggesting often extremely special occasions to penetrate inside the universe of worship.

The area of Tibet exceeds 1.2 million square km - more than 2.5 times that of France -; the country is bounded to the south by the Kunlun Moutains and to the east by a series of parallel chains corresponding to the watershed of major Asian rivers. Already mentioned in the sixth century by Arab writers, Tibet entered history as a political power in the following century: since this period the country, surrounded by the highest mountains in the world, has preserved its mystical image and many see it as the last pure destination, as the path to authentic spirituality.

Facts about Himalayan religion

The Himalayan religion is often distorted in the minds of Westerners by limited knowledge, most often based on commonplaces and basic concepts. It is actually much more complex, since it is a heterogeneous universe composed of cults that are still very much alive, mixing archaic rites with others more modern.

Indeed, in this geographical area persists a cultural tradition born from the meeting between the indigenous religion, the Bon, an older and pre-Buddhist religion, and Buddhism which come from India and which gave place to different currents. Bon is defined as lha-chos, “sacred doctrine”, and is presented as the spiritual response to mi-chos, which means “human doctrine”. The founder of this religion, Tonpa Shenrab (the supreme being, the greatest man) - died at more than 80 years after having 10 women and fathered 8 boys and 2 girls - is considered and venerated by the faithful like a deity. From the 7th century, the Bo tribe established the first Tibetan kingdom south of Lhasa, but the spread of Buddhism created a conflict with the indigenous religion. Both traditions have benefited and suffered from this phenomenon; the original characteristics of the two religions have undergone some modifications: Buddhism acquires the specificities of Lamaism, while the Bon religion sees disappear some of its oldest particularities when it accepts the reformed elements which are, since then, the basis of worship.

According to the tradition of the Bon religion, the first seven kings of Tibet were deities descended from the sky by means of a system which could not be more human, that is to say by a rope which allowed them to descend on Earth and give birth to a culture strongly imbued with the sacred and deeply respectful of celestial wills. In the local religion, the dum-thag play a preponderant role: it is the spirits of nature which accompany the men, guide them, and often play the intermediaries with the universe of the gods. Could it be that the yeti is a final descendant of these mysterious nature spirits?

An american Yeti ?

The Himalayan Yeti is said to have close relatives in North America, on the Rocky Mountains. Seen by many witnesses and protagonist of a film, the mysterious being of the forests is called in these regions Sasquatch or Bigfoot: there are many casts of its prints (some 40 centimeters long) but doubts concerning its authenticity persist. We are talking about a creature of about 2 meters weighing more than 300 kilos, but this is only a sketch profile based solely on the statements of a few witnesses, which are not corroborated by any tangible evidence found in the field.

Less known than the famous “snowman”, the mountain creatures of the United States have a lot in common in terms of appearance with their Asian parent: they are generally described as being covered in thick reddish fur and feeding on plants and small animals. All of the witnesses agreed that they had an unpleasant odor. Like the yeti, they emit sounds similar to whistling and live in small groups. In general, the first appearances are reported at the beginning of the last century. But if they were real creatures, they would likely have been observed by the American Indians and may already be part of their pantheon.