According to Buddhist scriptures, the Kathmandu Valley was once a snake-infested lake – and geologists agree about the lake (see History). Ninety-one aeons ago, a perfect, radiant lotus flower appeared on the surface of the lake, which the gods proclaimed to be Swayambhu (“self-created”), the abstract essence of Buddhahood. Manjushri, the bodhisattva of knowledge, drew his sword and cut a gorge at Chobar, south of Kathmandu, to drain the lake and allow humans to worship Swayambhu. As the water receded, the lotus settled on top of a hill and Manjushri established a shrine to it, before turning his attention to ridding the valley of snakes and establishing its first civilization. Another legend tells how, when Manjushri cut his hair at Swayambhu, the strands that fell on the ground grew into trees, and the lice turned into monkeys.