In the 15th century, Nyagma the “Red Hat” order was corrupted. This led to the birth of the founding of the “Yellow Hat” order by the Tsongkhapa in the 15th century. The roots of the Tibetan Buddhism comes from the Gelugpa order. Thus Tsongkhapa is a person of great importance for the Tibetans and those who follow Tibetan Buddhism.
While on the road to the Monastery, we encountered a great Rock, which was painted with a depiction of Tsongkhapa by it’s followers to pay their respects to him.
In the Nygma order, while the Buddhist monks can continue their daily lives inside the monastery such as eating and doing their daily works inside the monastery, this is forbidden in the Gelugpa order. The monks could marry and have children in the Nygma order, while this is not the case in the Gelugpa order. You are not allowed to eat meat, drink alcohol, talk about financial matters inside the monastery, you can only meditate and worship.
In the tibetan Buddhism, mass prayers are a very substantial phenomenon. The monks living inside this monastery gather at certain hours of the day to pray together in a very impressive ceremony.
There is a large area where the monks conduct their rituals. Before going inside this area we are asked to take off our shoes. Personally I thought most of the shoes at the entrance of the area, were belonged to the tourists, I never thought I’d see so many monks in one place.
When we walked inside the view was truly incredible. Hundreds of monks sitting in lines with purple apparel,on the wooden platforms. All the monks were sitting with crossed legs and reading their mantras outloud with a single mouth. The Grand Monk was sitting on a higher platform and leading the other monks.
There were about 300-400 monks inside. They all had a cup in front of them. These wooden cups were filled with butter-tea by a monk, and the praying monks would sip their cups from time to time.
Each time the bell rang the prayers changed with it. All the monks were in purple apparel. Although they have hoodie like clothing on their shoulders that are of yellow color. These symbolizes the Gelugpa order. Since gelugpa order is also known by the name “Yellow Hats”.
The Grand Monk rises from where he sits, and goes to the middle of the room,continuing leading the prayer from there. All the other monks are sitting around while he stands at the middle.
There are different luck symbols inscripted in this area, the symbols are painted with yak oile and are of different colors. All of these are made by the monks living here. They are kept here for 2 or 3 years and then are given to the public after being blessed.
There are butter-candles, donation boxes, and people praying everywhere. People who come here to pray start to tour around the monks, with money bills in their hands, giving them around to the monks. As far as we could see the tourists were mostly Japanese, it was a very interesting sight.
They do this for the sole reason of supporting the monks here. Since the temple itself is flowing with money.