Monday, July 16, 2012

A sacred cave

 high in these hills is a cave which they consider sacred. Supposedly this cave has a tunnel that stretches to the next province of Qinghai but who knows. The entrance to the cave is under lock and key and a group of monks are the custodians. So our Hui friend brought us here and we paid an entry fee to get in. It was a beautiful mountain with prayer flags flapping in the wind and wool hanging from the thorny bushes. The sheep are sometimes driven into these hills and their hair gets caught in the thorny bushes and that is sacred too.
 Inside the cave is an altar and the monks comes in to say prayers.
 Here is memorialised the footprint of a panchen lama. There is one dalai lama and he is the political head of Tibet. There is no Tibet anymore, it is now called TAR or the Tibetan Autonomous Region, the dalai lama, lives in exile in Dharamsala, India. He is the 14th in line. There are panchen lamas who are the spiritual head of the Tibetan Buddhists and is regarded in high esteem.
Inside is also a chorten. The monk who brought us here spoke mandarin. Every family is supposed to have a son join the church.

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