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Tibet Jokhang Monastery

Lhasa Jokhang Monastery
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The Second impressive one is Dazhao Temple (Jokhang Monastery) located in downtown of Lhasa and close to Bajiao Business Street(八角街, Eight Corners Street), which is the CBD (Center of Business District) of Lhasa. Dazhao Temple (Jokhang Monastery) is one of World Heritage Sites; it is surrounded by many business shops and residential buildings. The Buddhist believers’ loyal and sincere activities to worship the Buddha are quite unforgettable. The Buddhists arrive in the square of Dazhao Temple (Jokhang Monastery) from different directions at dawn. From then on, they keep their pure-hearted acts to the Buddha for more than 12 hours. The local people say this act could relieve the evil and bring the auspiciousness. They burn the cypress leaf as the incense in the pagoda-style burner all day long, and show body worshipping and face the gate of Dazhao Temple on the square. This is the most sincere respect to the Buddha I have ever seen. The charge of entrance is absolutely different between the Tibetan Buddhism believers and travelers.

The believers’ entry is free but they need to enter in a queue via a special and narrow byway. The visitors have to pay 80 Yuan or so. The believers visiting the inside for worshipping, and the visitors for experiencing, so different intentions at the different cost, Dazhao Temple actually is not so large as imagined. It is so small that just equates a corner of Tashilhunpo Monastery. But each step of inside is a legend. The former site of Dazhao Temple is a wild lake named Wotang Lake (it was said to be the most evil lake and the heart of evil), and during Tang Dynasty, Princess Wencheng married Tibetan King Songtsan Gampo(he was the thirty-third king of Yarlung Dynasty of Tibet and get married to three princesses, Princess Wencheng from Han, Princess Bhrikuti Devi from Nepal and a local princess of Tibet) and brought with a Buddha statue from central China. How to set this statue became a problem. King and princesses thought about deeply, and eventually, Princess Wencheng came up with an idea – Let the finger ring decide where to settle this Han people’s Buddha statue. She threw the ring optionally, and the ring fell in Wotang Lake, meanwhile, a white pagoda suddenly rose from the heart of lake. The king and princesses thought it was the order of Buddha, and from then on, they begun to fill the lake. During the construction of temple, the sheep made a great contribution to transport the soil, so the murals or statues in temple were vividly themed with sheep. The main Buddha statues are three aspects of Buddha: the future Buddha, the present Buddha and the past Buddha, and the future Buddha is the main one, the present and the past are both featured of standing statues with intercrossed legs.

In the temple, the common statues of Buddhism are Kwan-yin Bodhisattva and Longevity Buddha (He had 21 aspects at the present life). In the legend, Dalai Lama and Panchen, two spiritual leaders of Tibetan Buddhism, are respectively the aspects of Kwan-yin and Longevity Buddha. Also, Songtsan Gampo had a superior influence in Tibetan Buddhism, and he was said to be the aspect of Kwan-yin as well. So the traditional statues of Songtsan Gampo were themed with double heads. The meditation room of Songtsan Gampo is the opposite to the main Buddha statue of temple. In the room, there is a magic and huge column. It is the must-see, and the Buddhist believers usually make a circuit of touching the column, which was said to be connected with the heart of the main Buddha statue. There is another interesting stone with a hole at the center, if the people (man use the left ear, and the woman use the right ear) hear the sound of wave (it is from Wotang Lake), they will be lucky all the year.

What should be mentioned, every Wednesday was the gala day, and lots of Buddhists gather in temples to pray for luck and auspiciousness, and the believers wearing the traditional Tibetan garments dance and sing in the traditional way. The visitors are welcomed to join in. They donate the highland-barley wine and buttered tea to the temple. The visitors can freely drink the tea. The roof is the best place to appreciate the beauty of temple and the whole city. Usually, the visitors may take photos over there. The last step of visiting is Zhuanjing(转经), which means walking around the whole temple. During Zhuanjing, visitors can see the Bajiao Street or Barkhor Street.

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