Friday, February 6, 2009

The Hemis Festival

Seeing as Hemis Monastery got several mentions in my posts on the 'Jesus lived in India' myth I thought I might share with you some photos I took there during the Himis Festival in 1988. It was a rare opportunity to witness some of the medieval splendor of Tibetan religious culture. Before the performance I was solemnly informed by one rimpoche, several senior monks and numerous lesser individuals, that anyone who gazes upon the huge thanka in the third picture will be reborn no more than seven times, in other words, they will become a sotapana. Therefore, I urge you all to stare at it intently. Given the quality of the picture and the possibility that broad-band connection may effect the spiritual vibrations I recommend at least five minutes, just to make sure. Also, if you look very carefully at the top left hand corner of the second last picture you will see Jesus discreetly watching the dancing.


Anonymous said...

Can't make out the thangka properly in the picture, I guess I'll just have to go back to meditating...:-)

Thanks for sharing, bhante!

Unknown said...

Although its tempting to believe that gazing at the thanka leads one to become a sotapana, surely it cannot be true. Given the context, I'm sure its a tongue-in-cheek comment, but there are people who choose to believe in things like this rather than to strive with effort.
I look forward to your posts everyday, much thanks for sharing your views daily, dear Venerable. Sadhu! Sadhu! Sadhu!

Cittamutta said...

Dear Ven. Dhammika,

I remember reading somewhere Buddha said that there is no secret in his teaching. He taught all he knew but how come nowadays we find so many 'secret teaching' only expounded 500 years ago?
Are these secret teaching not from Sakyamuni but from Amitabha and other 28 Buddhas? And these teaching or sutta must have approval before we can read or chant, why? Any idea?

Shravasti Dhammika said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shravasti Dhammika said...

Dear Chong,
I don’t know where these 'secret' teachings come from. It’s a secret and no one will tell it to me. But this I do think - that the Buddha taught, that people became enlightened on hearing and practicing it and so that’s all we need. These teachings can be further elaborated, deeper meaning can be teased out of them, they can be looked at from different angles, but they are sufficient for enlightenment. When I am told that merely looking at a thanks or at the Kamapa's Black Hat will have some powerful spiritual effect I have to tell you that I am very skeptical as I am of anything that departs too much from the Buddha's oldest teachings

Journeymart said...

The Hemis festival takes place in the rectangular courtyard in front of the main door of the monastery.