Thor bu - Curiosia Indo-Tibetica

Textual and visual odds and ends from India, Tibet, and around.

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Location: Kolozsvár/Cluj, Budapest, Oxford, ibi ubi

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Forbidden photos

Taken with a shaky hand from the pungent smell of cheap Chinese liquor, these photos are from the chapel of the former state-oracle, Nechung (gNas chung). Just outside of Lhasa and 200m away from Drepung ('Bras spungs), this is a formidable temple with baffling murals around the courtyard. It is being restored at the moment and as far as I could tell they are not doing a good job.

But it is the chapel on the left side of the main temple that concerns us now. There was no sign that taking pictures is forbidden, but the officiating monk waved after the first move. He did not want me to erase them however, and thanks to him an interesting point can be illustrated here.

As you may or may not know the encased gentleman, Dorje Drakden (rDo rje Drag ldan) takes alcoholic offerings, and Tibetans are happy to give it to him - in barrels.

This is my clumsy attempt to show that the two bodhisattvas in the back (my guess from this distance would be Avalokiteśvara and Mañjuśrī) are not too happy about all this alcohol flowing freely and hence they are blindfolded. Specialists of Nepal could tell you that this practice is observed there as well.


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