Saturday, October 10, 2009

Scandanavia | Nobel Booby Prize

Update: Obama Wins Heisman Trophy!

Has the Nobel Prize Committee gone completely nuts? The Daily Beast seems to think so. Commenting on the Noble Prize for Literature going to Herta Muller (who the hell . . . ?) and the Noble Peace Prize going to Obama, Lee Siegel unloads:

Never mind the handwringing over whether Muller’s husband, a novelist named Richard Wagner, was related to Richard Wagner [yes, that Richard Wagner], which, combined with the fact that her father had been an officer in Hitler’s SS, was just asking for trouble. The important thing was to confirm, absolutely, that Obama himself was not related to Hitler—despite the resemblance in a certain type of poster that had been in circulation over the summer—and that his plan for overhauling health care was not derived from the Nazi euthanasia program, which Muller’s father probably supported, and which Muller, and Wagner, most certainly—we hope!—are opposed to. Wagner the husband, that is.

What a mess! But then the Nobel Peace Prize, especially in the last decades, has been mostly a self-satirizing disaster.

Need we add that Nicholas Roerich was once nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize . . . ?

Mongolia | Baljinnyam and Dashnyam | Oyu Tolgoi Copper Mine

In my earlier post about an Ovoo Offering I mentioned that October 6, the 17th day of month according to the Lunar calendar, was an extremely auspicious day in Mongolia, although I myself could not say why. An explanation is now forthcoming. It has to do with, as you probably guessed, the Mongolian deities Baljinnyam and Dashnyam:
In Mongolian Buddhism several deities are worshipped and regarded as divine beings. Each one is in charge of specific issues relevant to human beings. According to the Mongolian Buddhist mythology, two of these deities, the god of "wealth and prosperity" (Baljinnyam), and his partner the god of "cheerfulness and energy" (Dashnyam), meet twelve times a year on specific dates. Each meeting has its agenda of subjects which they will discuss.

Their discussion topics are wide-ranging, related to all aspects of life. Some of these issues are good for mankind and some are bad. The agendas are usually a mixture of good and bad issues. This means that the days when Baljinnaym and Dashnyam meet together are not necessarily good days.

Only one specific meeting date once a year, has an agenda which is completely favorable to humanity. The subjects they will discuss on this date are happiness, prosperity, good health and the wealth of humanity. This year the lucky date is the 17th day of the middle month of Autumn according to the Mongolian Buddhist calendar (October 6, 2009) and it is therefore a very special day for Mongolian Buddhism and for the Mongolian people.
Not by coincidence the Mongolian Government choose October 6 to sign its long-awaited agreement to open the Huge Oyu Tolgoi Copper Mine in the South Gobi. Presumably the government hopes Baljinnaym and Dashnyam will give their blessings to This Endeavor.

This wasn’t just a Buddhist thing. Shamans were also called in:
On that same day [Oct. 6] at the time of the ceremony a group of old Shamans climbed the Bogd Mountain south of Ulaanbaatar, performing a Shaman ritual asking the mountains to bless the agreement. [This quote is apparently incorrect; see comments section. Actually, I thought it inappropriate that shamans would be blessing a mining venture.]