Utmost bliss

Source:Global Times Published: 2015-11-8 18:28:01

Clouds cast shadows over Larung valley and the Larung Wuming Buddhist Institute on October 30. Photo: CFP

Tibetan parents use the occasion of the Utmost Bliss Dharma Assembly to show their children traditional Tibetan religion on Wednesday. Photo: CFP

An ethnic Tibetan woman wears traditional headwear.  Photo: CFP

Padma Tsering, a popular Tibetan Buddhist monk spins prayer wheels at a monastery above the institute. Photo: CFP

A Tibetan woman looks at fake human skulls placed inside a room at a site used for sky burials near the Larung valley on October 31. On a hill near the institute, relatives solemnly gather for sky burial ceremonies in which the bodies of the deceased are offered to vultures. Sky burials are one of the most sacred ceremonies in the Tibetan tradition. Photo: CFP

Tens of thousands of lamas, nomads and pilgrims gather in red huts that cling to the steep hillside to celebrate the Utmost Bliss Dharma Assembly - when they commemorate Buddha's descent from Tushita Heaven.

The sounds of lamas chanting echoes around the hills; their robes create a sea of color.

The Utmost Bliss Dharma Assembly is one of the four major Dharma assemblies in Tibetan Buddhism. Attendees believe that the more good works that one does during the assembly, the more good luck one will receive. 

The assembly is held at the Larung Wuming Buddhist Institute in Sertar county, Garze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province.

The eight-day gathering of people chanting mantras and listening to the teachings of senior lamas starts every year around the 22nd day of the ninth month of the Tibetan calendar.

The assembly is a chance for monks to hear lectures by prominent Buddhist teachers; for believers, it is a time to worship Buddha; for pilgrims, the  tough road here is proof of their faith; for tourists, it is an opportunity to witness one of the largest Dharma assemblies. Media reports estimated 50,000 people participated in this assembly.

The Larung Wuming Buddhist Institute, located 4 kilometers above sea level was founded in 1980 by influential lama Khenpo Jigme Phuntsok.

Thousands of Tibetan-style red brick cabins are built on the hillsides. These cabins are built by the institution's students themselves.

Because of the unique courses on offer here, many students save for years to study at this institution. During a normal day, peaceful chants and prayer lead  students towards their spiritual goals.

Global Times





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