Page:Picturesque Nepal.djvu/228

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140
THE ARTS OF THE NEWARS

from a local outbreak at Katmandu a few meadows away fleeing to the Bodhnāth cells for sanctuary, and all the events which have thrilled and stirred the seething bazaars of the neighbouring capital. At the present time, in peace and security, the husbandman tills his fields under the watch and ward of this silent sentinel, while mothers point to the great gold face, and restrain their children with stories of the god who is looking down day and night at their doings, good or bad. To us, from the outside world of the twentieth century, the calm eyes seem to regard our advent with a mild stare of supercilious contempt, a mere incident in the passage of time, while we, on our part, endeavour to read some story in this inscrutable metal mask of the Buddhist Sphynx.

According to Waddell, this building is one of the most celebrated places of Lamaist pilgrimage outside Tibet. Immense numbers of Tibetans, both Lamas and laity, visit the stupa every winter, and encamp in the surrounding field for making their worship and offerings, and circumambulating the sacred