Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The very faithful

Labrang is a collection of temple and other buildings. Some are more sacred than others and people prostrate here to have their wishes granted.

Circumambulating the perimeter of the monastery complex means doing 'the outer kora'. Here folks are performing 'an inner kora.' by walking round a temple. They just walk, sometimes fingering some prayer beads, or twirlling a prayer wheel and chanting,' om mani padme hum.' It translates into 'oh hail the jewel in the lotus.' No one really knows what that means. The whole idea in Buddhism is to achieve 'nirwana.' which only means to disappear into nothingness or the alternative is to keep coming back into this earth by reincarnation into something. Reincarnation is not a good thing, you don't want to come back at all. There's too much suffering in this life and if you achieved 'nirwana'. you'll never need to do it again. So they do 'koras', go on pilgrimages and other good things to gain merit and the more merit the higher the chance of 'nirwana.'

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