JUSTIN CHEAH

10 May 2009 - 2:07am Comments Off

Justin works full time with the Kechara organisation as the main administrator to Kechara Soup Kitchen as well as a member of the Kechara House working committee. Though he has only joined the Kechara group recently, he has been an ardent volunteer at all our departments for many months.

A giant vajra found at Swayambunath. As one of the most important symbols of, the thunderbolt symbolises the destruction of all ignorance.

Prayer flags at Swayambunath, new and old, flutter in the breeze, sending their prayers heavenward on the wind and purifying the whole place.

The Swayambunath stupa is a breathtaking stupa sitting on top of a hill. Though it’s not too far away from the rush of Kathmandu city, there is a deep sense of peace prevailing over the site. At any time of any day, the temple will be bustling with activity: pilgrims circumambulating around the stupa reciting mantras, visitors turning the copper prayer wheels, colourful prayer flags waving high from the top of the stupa. This is definitely a place that will leave everyone awestruck.

Boudanath is one of the largest stupas in the world and an important Buddhist pilgrimage site. Today, Boudnath bustles with both Tibetans and Nepalese, busy with carpet manufacturing, trade, and prayers at the several surrounding Tibetan monasteries. Every day, pilgrims can be seen making prayers, doing prostrations and circumabulating around the holy stupa which contains one of Buddha Shakyamuni’s relic. It’s so different from Malaysia where we don’t see people doing this…

Dozens of copper prayer wheels can be round all around stupas and pilgrimage sites in Nepal, inside of which are thousands of mantras and prayers. We can gain a better understanding of Dharma teachings in our next life by saying as many prayers or mantras as possible, and it is believed that each spin of each prayer wheel is equivalent to reciting all the mantras inside.

Pilgrims also make butterlamp offerings for the people they love, people who have cared for them and also to the people who have hurt them, dedicating the merits from the offering to them. The whole environment at night is just so beautiful when butterlamps are lit all around the base of Boudhanath stupa.

I caught this while on our way back to the hotel in Thamel, Kathmandu. We were looking around the shops and bumped into these ladies from Mexico. Rinpoche gave a simple Dharma talk, answered questions from the Mexican ladies and even offered some Dharma gifts to them. This shows how sincere and hardworking Rinpoche always is to make the Dharma grow everywhere.

We came across this little girl and her sisters at the Naropa and Tilopa caves. She came out while we were there and said hello to me so I took a photograph of her. She was so cute and I thought she represented all the beautiful, friendly people in Nepal.

Comments are closed.