|July 21, 2016 -- Starting July 18th, which is May 14th in the Tibetan calendar, the Tashi Lhunpo Monastery in Shigatse will hold a three-day Buddha exhibition. Giant Thangka portraits of the Amitābha Buddha will be on display on the first day. In Tibetan Buddhism, the Amitābha Buddha is considered “Buddha of the past.” The Shakyamuni Buddha (Buddha of the present) and Maitreya Buddha (Buddha of the future) will be shown on July 19th and 20th.
Monks at the Tashi Lhunpo Monastery recite sutras under the Buddha podium, while worshippers from near and far line up to pay their respects. The worshippers walk around the smoke-shrouded incense burner holding the hada, praying while offering the hada, then place the hada in front of the Buddha with the hope of their prayers coming true.
Pianduo, who lives in Gyangze County of Shigatse, arrived a day earlier and is staying at a relative’s place. On the morning of the exhibition, he took his father and niece to stake out a good spot in the plaza across from the monastery. “My father can’t walk very well, he’ll be happy as long as he can see it from a distance.”
Tourist Gao Yongqing, who is on his third road trip to Tibet, said Tibet’s unique sights and people made him fall in love with the region. When he reached Shigatse on the 17th, he checked in and heard of the event by chance; he and his family were overjoyed. Early in the morning, they went to the monastery along with local residents to worship the Buddha.
During the Buddha exhibition, rain suddenly started to fall, but the worshippers stayed in orderly lines.
Tashi Lhunpo Monastery is the residence for many generations of Zen masters, and one of the six major monasteries of the Gelug tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. On March 4th, 1961, the monastery was recognized as a National Key Cultural Relic Protection Site by the State Council of China.