Naga Raksha is the mirror of the soul

On the southwest coast of Sri Lanka, only eighty miles south of the metropolis Colombo, is a small place Ambalangoda. In him are hidden demons of all kinds just looking for demons of the struggle in vain - after the end of the Civil War are the peacemakers instead at a premium. Centuries-old traditions and the spirit of Buddha here in the old-established families Maskenschnitzerei their expression. The workshop of Wijesuriya clan, which is now owned and run by the fifth generation, looks like a larger garage. Before her stands Shashika Perera. The petite lady is solely responsible for the permanent exhibition in Ambalangoda mask, which is sponsored by the Museum of Ethnology in Berlin and the Foreign Office.

Shashika speaks softly, and, more to herself: "If a traveler from very far away from America or Europe, only to wave or riding elephants coming to our small country that is Buddha, who is Sri Lanka, who will understand the Sinhalese and Tamils never . This applies also and especially for the Maskenschnitzen. Selecting the bright, fast growing and very easy to work kaduru-wood was for the people here, like the drying of the material in the sun, smoking against pests and editing with a saw, hammer and chisel natural routine. "But there is a secret behind it," says Perera Shashika. "I observe daily how our artists are buried in each mask again her own soul."

Beauty and Philosophy

Shashika Perera explains what she means by this: If the face mask wear an angry expression, then the artist will also be up to the angry intolerable. He cut about a vengeful eye in the head of Prince Maha Kola, take on the traits of the carver, the expression of blood thirst. Shashika reiterated her words once again when she could not even quite believe what she says: "No, it's not the technology, it is the special spirit that the highly complex philosophy of Buddha, which separates the bungler, the dilettantes from the true artist . The great genius of the family Wijesuriya are of course not just any mask carver. They are as dancers, musicians and teachers. you love and cherish their philosophy and they pass on from one generation to the next. " 
In the exhibition space for the masks, it is pleasantly cool. Among other things, are on the walls of the eighteen-issued Sanni demons. Pride Shashika Perera posing in front of the gorgeous carvings. The viewer can not escape the beauty of the masks. For a brief moment the plight of thousands of Tamils recedes into the background. Beginning of the year was the civil war in the north of the island, only a few hundred kilometers from Ambalangoda finally ended. Yet there is silence, people have not always found in Sri Lanka: Tamils, Sinhalese still harassed, they say. And of course the hatred of the oppressed Tamils has not disappeared overnight. A communication of understanding between the two ethnic groups is hardly possible.

Transformed into poisonous snakes 
Demon of peace are needed in these times. But the masks in the museum in Ambalangoda radiate not only joy and gentleness. There is Maru Raksha, the death mask of the demon, and there is Naga Raksha, the brutal Cobra mask. Legend has it that Rakshasas transformed into poisonous snakes, which captured their enemies and made them slaves. Only the mighty bird of prey Gurulu finally succeeded in driving the Nagas too bad.

Anyone who can inspire not only from the masks, but also by the ancient dances of the Sinhalese, who will realize very quickly that this is about much more than just about the representation of the rice harvest by graceful girl. He suffered through the death and the masked devil dances emerge. And who, after having admired the fifty feet high, and thus the country's largest Buddha statue in the temple of Dikwella, strolling through the "Schaudergang" the annex, to convey an impression of the mural, which is capable of torture, phantasies, man.

Dancing around the patient 
The stranger to meet the inhabitants of Sri Lanka as an exception, smiling, friendly and helpful people. But when people cook the soul you think is better than foreigners out, saying we get from the German Embassy in Colombo. The many soldiers and roadblocks in the city to be built even a few months after the war again and again, speak their own language.

In Sri Lanka there are demons specialists for almost all situations. They are called around to the bed of a fever patient, and then ask the competent demon Ginijala Sanniya to himself. The demon is sacrificed, so he quickly leaves the patient's body. After the demon must dance before the assembled family, he was released with a lot of great debt of gratitude in all honor and all courtesy. But what triggered this terrible disease demons Ayurveda, celebrated on the island of the doctrine of salvation? In the Ayurvedic physician Dr. Danister L. Perera, they are far cheaper voodoo magic. Rather, the expression of a demon viewing and mode of treatment are sick people is fundamentally different from Western medicine. "Many Westerners define the body as a purely mechanical machine. By contrast, we see in each patient an individual being, the family is placed in the society. Every person is unique even in his illness," he says.

The theory of harmony 
For Dr. Perera is the heart of any "vile mechanical pump but the center of the mind and energy booster." Ayurvedic medicine is a very personal healing, as might be quite different despite the same symptoms, the actual cause of disease in each patient. This reason applies to discover it and the medication on it, and adjust to exactly this and no other patients. For Dr. Perera, who has studied his craft at a prestigious university in Sri Lanka, Ayurveda is a doctrine of harmony, which is always in harmony with nature. It is a medicine of physical and mental-touch: "Ayurveda is basically karma, the absolute belief in a holistic spiritual approach," he says.

According to this philosophy, all work Ayurvedic physicians in Sri Lanka. The choice of food, the healing oils, cleaning powders and pills, special herbal baths, massage is to bring the individual in conjunction with meditation and yoga body and soul to unity and hence to harmony and accord. The Europeans often mysterious looking for Ayurvedic medicine, it is as well, which contributes to the moment that Western tourism to the poverty-stricken Sri Lanka has once again become a top prospect.

Memories of war 
In Muthumuni Ayurveda spa in Moragalla where Danister L. Perera has been working, dangling especially foreign visitors, the female soul. Four or five times a day they are treated by a therapist. During breaks, you can rest under umbrellas or bathe in the sea. Whoever thinks of the just ended war? Only on the way home, on the way to the airport Bandaranaike, he will present again for the visitor. We see checkpoints, where long queues form of Tamils. Heavily armed soldiers are everywhere. With "Ayubowan" - "A healthy, happy and long life" - welcomes you to Sri Lanka but still.


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