Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Gandharva City

I came across a video on YouTube of the floating city phenomenon that occurred October 20, 2015 somewhere in China. It was covered by CNN as well, which explained the phenomenon as fata morgana, i.e., as a projection of light rays bent by extremely dense air. 



There are two schools of thought in general with regard to this phenomenon — and the October 20 apparition was nothing new — viz. the “it’s a mirage” school and the Project Blue Beam school.

Project Blue Beam is the idea that the so-called New World Order with the aid of NASA is planning to project a hologram extravaganza of the Rapture and the second coming of Christ for the purpose of initiating totalitarian control of the planet. Okay.

Unfortunately for the Project Blue Beam enthusiasts, the “floating city” phenomenon witnessed here and there around the globe, it is a completely natural trick of the light. Granted it is a fascinating phenomenon and open to philosophical interpretations, but Project Blue Beam it is not.

When I was around six or seven years old in the early 60’s I witnessed a fata morgana at a harbor in Lisbon, Portugal; I remember the event vividly as people gathered from everywhere to gawk at an eerie manifestation of a white ship like the Flying Dutchman floating above the surface of the sea, very close to the port, which slowly ascended and disappeared. Everyone including me was utterly befuddled and spooked by what we had seen; the event lasted a few minutes.

Now I doubt that Project Blue Beam was around in the early 60’s, so the interpretation would not hold water, retrojectively speaking. Ancient Buddhist scriptures mention a phenomenon called the “Gandharva castle” or “Gandharva fortress” or “Gandharva city” which is an illusion or mirage of a city that appears like castles in the sky. So the “floating city” mirage has been around since ancient times.



I have been rereading Tono monogatari ("Tono Stories"), a compendium of strange and haunting stories from the country town of Tono of the Iwate Prefecture in Japan. The book was originally published in 1910, the 43rd year of the Meiji period, the author was the folklorist Yanagita Kunio (1875 - 1962). I came across this passage:

一〇六。海岸の山田にて蜃気楼年々見ゆ。常に外国の景色なりという。見馴れぬ都のさまにして、路上の車馬しげく人の往来眼ざましきばかりなり。年ごとに家の形などいささかも違うことなしといえり。

Translation (by me): 106. A mirage is seen year after year near mountain paddies by the seashore. It is said to be of a foreign landscape of an unfamiliar city with carriages running on its streets, people coming and going, milling about everywhere. It is said this phenomenon occurs year after year, and that every time it does, the shapes of the houses, etc. which are seen are never different [from those seen in previous times].

Since the account was entered sometime circa 1910 of a much older story, the Project Blue Beam interpretation would be out of the question. Indeed the Gandharva castle illusion is a marvelous natural phenomenon that occurs from time to time, and humidity seems to play a key role in facilitating phantom projections of actual places to distant lands.