Wednesday, December 08, 2004

December 7 was, as most of you probably know, the anniversary of the death of Tsongkhapa (or Zonkhov, as he is known in Mongolian), the founder of the Gelug sect of Tibetan Buddhism. In the afternoon I walked up to Gandan Monastery and was surprised to find what I think was the biggest crowd I have ever seen there, even bigger than Saga Dawa, last June, which I described here. There were thousands of people and a huge crush to get into the Janraisig Temple, which holds an immense 85 foot high statue of Janraisig. There was even a huge monk at the door trying to direct the flow of traffic, with hundreds of people pushing and shoving in the way only Mongolians are capable of. At the foot of the statute people had lit thousands and thousands of offering lamps. It made quite a sight, although unfortunately photos cannot be taken with the temple.

Janraisig Temple at Gandan

Also popped to into the Kalachakra Temple to take another look at the Kings of Shambhala. Also the famous Kalachakra Thangkas are still there, not been having been returned to Shankh.

Ms S (right)

Ms S, who I just saw in New York, was kind enough to send me this photo of herself looking especially alluring, along side a wrestler at Kharhorin, site of the ancient Mongol capital of Kharkhorum.