Filed by Tenzin Jigme, Social Media Journalist
Today I am writing a photo story on Lhakar celebration in the land where Buddha attained enlightenment, Bodh Gaya. Ofcourse, the day is Wednesday, an auspicious day for all Tibetans to celebrate His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s Lasa (བླ་གཟའ་ ) and a day of being Tibetan, of celebrating Tibetan identity.
At 6 o’clock in the morning, I left the room with a camera in my hand. While I was passing through Tibetan market in the vicinity, I was mesmerized to see jewellers and hawkers who had travelled from distant places.
I opened my camera lens and I was caught at the sight of prayer beads and the Tibetan horoscope locket. Chu-Tsab in Tibetan, it is used to tie around the beads to mark the counting. In Tibet Chu-Tsab are used with either Dorjee (vajra) or Deu (Bell).
“Thoepa (human skull) bead is most precious but since it is not available, the Bodhi bead is prominently used. Rudraksh (shiva’s third eye) is mainly used by tantric and yogi as it is considered impactful for spiritual realization. Lastly the sandal wood bead has two types-white and black and white is considered more expensive,” Palzom, the jeweller said.
As for Lo-khor, it is a Tibetan horoscope which has 12 months with the 12 animals sign. “Lo-khor (Tibetan lunar Calendar) locket is used in Tibet to tie around the waist to protect against the evils,” Chemi Dhondup said as I thanked them for the information.
And then I strolled into the Maha Bodhi Temple complex; I could see pilgrims circumambulating the temple, monk offering incense, filling water in the offering bowl and pilgrims spinning prayers wheels.
It is believed that Gautama Buddha achieved enlightenment under the Bodhi tree at this place. It is the most popular place for Buddhist pilgrimage around the world. I could see Lord Buddha’s followers from Tibet, India, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Burma, Thailand, Vietnam, China, Korea, Japan, Sri Lanka and many more from European and western countries altogether meditating and prostrating before this magnificent Maha Bhodi Temple.
Indeed, the temple’s architectural design is marvelous and the Buddha statue in meditative stage is gracefully watching over the pilgrims. The worshippers around the temple are seen doing meditation, chanting mantra and prostrating before this gigantic orbit of faith.
For awhile I disconnected from my camera and ventured into the spirituality around me. It was overwhelming to experience Lhakar in the land of blessings and Buddha.