Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Travel TidBits: Butter Lamps

We enter into the temple, my eyes take some time to adjust to the dim light before I see the menacing faces of some of the gods looking down on me. In a whisper, my guide explains the meaning and inter-relationship of the deities so dear to the heart of the faithful. I admire the golden statue of Rinpoche and the colorful offerings at the altar. But most of all I am fascinated by the myriad of butter lamps that glow in the back. An overwhelming feeling of peace settles in, the outside world recedes and I am left alone with my thoughts.

Murmur around me comes from the reciting of prayers and mantras as the fingers follow the prayer beads. The faithful prostrate themselves when entering the temple – the ritual calls for 3 times kneeling and touching the ground with the forehead.

There are no seats in most temples and but you are invited to sit cross-legged on the old wooden floor, never pointing your feet to the gods. There is chanting in the back where some monks recite the religious text in a sing-song way. It is calming to the mind and but also helps focusing the mind on the stillness within. The scent of incense and butter lamps made of yak butter mix. It is a beautiful moment and something in me does not want to leave.

As evening falls over Bodhinath Stupa in Kathmandu, the setting sun turns the clouds into spectacular colors and I am transformed by the moment. All is quiet and all is peace.

If my travel TidBits sound intriguing to you,
come travel with Meggi to Bhutan:

In the Buddhist Tradition, Butter Lamps symbolize the clarity of wisdom. Offering Butter Lamps creates harmony, and generates merits while promoting success, prosperity, longevity, and world peace.

In the Tune of Brahma, Shakyamuni Buddha mentioned the 10 benefits of offering lights:

One becomes like the light of the worldOne achieves clairvoyance of the pure eye as a human
One receives the wisdom to discriminate virtue from non-virtue
One is able to eliminate the concept of inherent existence
One receives the illumination of wisdom
One is reborn as a human or deva
One receives great enjoyment wealth
One quickly becomes liberatedOne quickly attains enlightenment.
If my travel TidBits sound intriguing to you,
come travel with Meggi to Bhutan: