My thoughts and activities in Dharamsala

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Gone to Kalachakra

With Christmas just passed, many houses on Christmas day placed lights in front. I was thinking that they were for the holidays. They were, but not for Christmas. It turns out that yesterday was the day that Je Tsongkapa born and died. Who is Je Tsongkapa you ask? Well is the founder of the Geluk order of Tibetan Buddhism, to which HHDL's is also a part of. Geluk is the largest sect in Tibetan Buddhism and their highest ideal is the scholar. Je Tsongkapa was a great scholar and yogi, and is held in the highest esteem for followers of the Geluk tradition known as Gelukpa. So the lights in McLeod Ganj, were not for Jesus but for Je Tsongkapa. Yesterday morning HHDL conducted a puja, and also that night at the main temple there was another puja by the monks of Kirti monastery. It was quite a site since all around the temple butter lamps were lit. Thousands of them, plus many people circumambulating the temple. After a while monks from the Namgyal Monastery came chanting a beautiful prayer. Afterwards the monks of Kirti showed up wearing the Yellow hats that are typical of the Geluk sect. They marched from their monastery to the main temple. We could see them as we circumambulated and they chanting a different song, but eventually everything turned in one group of motion. With the walking, butter lamp lighting, chanting, prayer spinning, and incense burning I had a feeling of churning. Kind of like butter but not tangible. The monks of Kirti Monastery circumambulated once and then they sat in the Buddha temple to chant about Je Tsongkapa. I enjoyed being churned, carried away by the multiple events that surrounded me at the moment. This is going to be it from me for a while. Next Sunday I travel down to Amaravati for the Kalachakra empowerment which last for two weeks. So I won't have internet access for a weeks. I will post as soon as I can about the event. The pictures seen here are of Je Tsongkapa and the Kalachakra deity with consort Vishwamata. Catch ya later, dude.


Nephi said...

Thank you for your blog. It looks like I'm heading to Dharamsala on field study for four months, from May to August of 2006, and I feel like telling people about my experience will be valuable. I just finished my first post @ Would love to hear from you.

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Nephi said...

Can't wait to read your entries when you return from the Kalachakra! Please let us all know what you liked best - we're anxious to hear!