Author Topic: Gigantic Buddha tangka unfolds at Labrang Monastery  (Read 11410 times)

Ensapa

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Gigantic Buddha tangka unfolds at Labrang Monastery
« on: March 01, 2013, 05:27:10 AM »
Yay! more proof that Tibetan Buddhism is reviving in Tibet!

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Gigantic Buddha tangka unfolds at Labrang Monastery
Xinhua, Feb 24, 2013

Xiahe, China -- The Labrang Thangka Festival is an important festival at the old Labrang Monastery that was one of the six leading monasteries of the Geluk tradition of Tibet.


<< Lamas unveil a gigantic Buddha tangka alongside a hillside for disciples' worship in Labrang Monastery in Xiahe, northwest China's Gansu Province, Feb. 22, 2013.

Every year, warmly dressed people ascend to the high-elevation monastery to pray and get blessed. When the monks carry out the thangka, thousands of people assemble in front of the slope big and the vividly woven thangka is displayed. It is a major highlight of many a Tibetan Buddhists’ year.

Tibetan monks, pilgrims and nomads converge on the monastery to participate in the annual "Sunning of the Buddha" ritual, in which the world's largest Thangka of Buddha (90ft in length, 40ft in width) is unveiled at first light on the side of a mountain. The Monlam festival, or Great Prayer Festival, is the grandest religious festival in Tibet.

The Buddha tangka display or "the basking of Buddha" is a Tibetan tradition praying for a good year. As one of the six leading monasteries of Tibetan Buddhism, Labrang Monastery built in 1709 is home to more than 1,000 lamas and is another center of the Gelug Sect, also known as the Yellow Sect, of Tibetan Buddhism outside the Tibet Autonomous Region.

The monastery is about four hours south of Lanzhou. It is located in a high mountain valley at an elevation of about 3,000 meters or 10,000 feet.



Big Uncle

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Re: Gigantic Buddha tangka unfolds at Labrang Monastery
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2013, 08:35:40 AM »
Thanks, that would have been a spectacle for monks, laypeople, animals and supernatural beings of the area to be blessed by such a big image of the Buddha, well in the case of the picture is Manjushri. Wonderful way to start the prayer festival of implanting spiritual seeds into the mind stream of many beings.

This monlam festival is such an ingenious idea of Lama Tsongkhapa and he was probably inspired by our general attachment to holidays and celebrations that lead us nowhere. So, Lama Tsongkhapa ingeniously started of this tradition of a prayer festival so many would revel in the act of making merit and to start the new year on a good note with spiritual practice and making merit. What was started by Lama Tsongkhapa in the 15th century is now followed by all schools of Tibetan Buddhism.

Manjushri

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Re: Gigantic Buddha tangka unfolds at Labrang Monastery
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2013, 09:31:25 AM »
Wow what a lovely sight to experience. The unveiling of a big thangka, which would not only bless all those at the Monlam Festival but also all those the birds and animals in the surrounding. People can spot this thangka from a distance away, how wonderful!

Seems like they change it every year as last year was a thangka of Shakyamuni..I wonder how long it takes to make the thangka?

In addition to what Big Uncle stated below, here's what I got on Monlam from Wiki:

"Monlam also known as The Great Prayer Festival, falls on 4th -11th day of the 1st Tibetan month in Tibetan Buddhism. The event of Monlam in Tibet was established in 1409 by Tsong Khapa, the founder of the Geluk tradition. As the greatest religious festival in Tibet, thousands of monks (of the three main monasteries of Drepung, Sera and Ganden) gathered for chanting prayers and performing religious rituals at the Jokhang Temple in Lhasa.

In 1517, Gedun Gyatso became the abbot of Drepung monastery and in the following year, he revived the Monlam Chenmo, the Great Prayer Festival and presided over the events with monks from Sera, Drepung and Gaden, the three great monastic Universities of the Gelugpa Sect.

The celebration of Monlam in the Lhasa Jokhang was forbidden during the Cultural Revolution (1966–1976), although it had not been practiced there since 1959, and would not be hosted in Lhasa again until 1986. During the late 1980s, anti-Chinese organizers used Monlam and post-Monlam ceremonies for political demonstrations. During Monlam, monks stood on platforms to pray for the long life of the 14th Dalai Lama, boys threw rocks at observing police, and symbols advocating Tibetan independence and theocracy were displayed. When these demonstrations failed to produce results, monks even suggested boycotting Monlam to show their displeasure with the government. Since security forces were prohibited from breaking up the demonstrations as "they were ostensibly [purely] religious", the city government suspended the Monlam in 1990.

In the newly established Tibetan Buddhist monasteries in India, the monlam festival is also practiced."

And so, what's the main purpose of having and celebrating the Monlam?

"The main purpose of the Great Prayer Festival is to pray for the long life of all the holy Gurus of all traditions, for the survival and spreading of the Dharma in the minds of all sentient beings, and for world peace. The communal prayers, offered with strong faith and devotion, help to overcome obstacles to peace and generate conducive conditions for everyone to live in harmony."

What a lovely and noble purpose.


Q

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Re: Gigantic Buddha tangka unfolds at Labrang Monastery
« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2013, 05:57:49 PM »
Great news, thanks for sharing.

Good to see Tibetan Buddhism flourishing in China despite the political differences between Tibet and China... and on top of that, one from the Gelug tradition.

It is wonderful that China now have more freedom to express their preference of religion and more Chinese nowadays are inclined towards practicing the Dharma again... who knows, China would be a great Dharma country that produces many great masters in the near future. Hope something like that happens.

bambi

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Re: Gigantic Buddha tangka unfolds at Labrang Monastery
« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2013, 08:59:16 AM »
Magnificent! Such a lovely sight! How nice if such huge Tangkas can be displayed outside of China/Tibet/India, etc.
In most western countries, its hard to have such big tangkas or big statues coz some of the governments may not agree to it.

China have been very accommodating and outspoken in this case. And its very good for the people as I do believe it will benefit many and grow. Plus it is situated on top of a hill, imagine the great Blessings it has on so many levels!

I hope that China will continue to support and continue with what they are doing.

Positive Change

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Re: Gigantic Buddha tangka unfolds at Labrang Monastery
« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2013, 01:47:55 PM »
Oh WOW! Talk about large scale!!! Nice to see such displays of dedication and love for the Dharma which translates into such beautiful artworks for all to enjoy.

I rejoice in the hardwork and the coming together in creating such outward displays of faith.

It is said that the mere image of a Buddha blesses upon sight. Hence the need for large holy Buddha statues and the like to bless the land.

Aurore

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Re: Gigantic Buddha tangka unfolds at Labrang Monastery
« Reply #6 on: March 02, 2013, 08:22:01 PM »
Merely seeing a Buddha image plants the seeds of enlightenment for others. Hence, creating any Buddha images generates merits for the creator. The amount of molecules that exist in the Buddha image and how long it exists is the amount of merit one can collect.

So, the bigger the better! The bigger the Buddha image the more merit the people in the festival can accumulate when they pray or make offerings it. When they reap the benefit from viewing these Buddha images, the painters also collect great amounts of merit because they created the cause for others to collect merits.

Tenzin Malgyur

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Re: Gigantic Buddha tangka unfolds at Labrang Monastery
« Reply #7 on: March 03, 2013, 07:13:41 AM »
This is such a grand event. People from all walks of life are gathering at this monastery to make prayers for a good year. It is so good to know that there are many great monasteries of Tibetan Buddhism with more than 1000 holy monks situated in China. I am so glad the Chinese government are allowing the people freedom to practice the of their choice. May I be able to take part in this ceremony too.

apprenticehealer

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Re: Gigantic Buddha tangka unfolds at Labrang Monastery
« Reply #8 on: March 03, 2013, 08:46:14 AM »
What a wondrous sight to behold !

This must truly be the world's largest Thangka and what great merits are received by the artisans who created it, the people who organized the event and all who were involved in it.

How fortunate and what great blessings for all the monks, laymen, and all the animals, birds, insects and sentient beings of that area to see this huge Thangka.

I am so happy that China supports this annual festival, and what blessings China receives in returns.

pgdharma

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Re: Gigantic Buddha tangka unfolds at Labrang Monastery
« Reply #9 on: March 05, 2013, 01:41:37 PM »
Wow this is stunning.  The annual "sunning of the Buddha" is one of the most important ceremonies at Labrang, an 18th-century monastery in Xiahe, which is regarded as a top Tibetan Buddhism educational institution in China. This festival normally draws hordes of worshipers and visitors as enormous blessings are believed to be gained by viewing these holy image. The unfolding of the silk covering the thangka is supposed to coincide with the first rays of sunshine so the blessings of the Buddha can shine upon everyone.

Klein

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Re: Gigantic Buddha tangka unfolds at Labrang Monastery
« Reply #10 on: March 10, 2013, 05:12:16 PM »
It is very good news that the Chinese Government doesn't stop the Monlam festival. I'm not surprised that the Government may even promote it for tourism purposes. Whatever the reason is, it's great that they allow this huge thangka to be displayed out in the open area. Everyone including animals, insects and spirits who sees the image of Manjushri will receive blessings and have the seeds of Enlightenment planted in their mind stream. It is very meritorious.

The following is an article from chinawhisper.com showing how the Chinese Government is building huge Buddha statues for secular reasons. Regardless, the Buddha statues still bless those who look at them and the surrounding environment as well.

China`s new buddha-building campagin
Posted on June 13, 2012 by Peter   

Buddhism was introduced to China since the Han dynasty in the following thousands of years, it had experienced a number of rises and falls. In the last catastrophe of the Cultural Revolution, many religions such as Buddhism has been hit hard. In 1982, the central authorities issued a document and began to adjust to allow a variety of religious beliefs, government and religious field mutually respect each other and cooperate on the politics. Along with the decades-long surge of China’s economy in modern times, China has witnessed another rising trend, a Buddhism-building movement.


In ancient China, the process of building a giant Buddha needed a lot of hard work, only a few giant statues appeared in 1,000 years, but now building ??Buddha became an industrialized behavior mixed with political and commercial factors and far beyond the past  in both speed and scale . Tian Tan Buddha, also known as the Big Buddha,a large bronze statue of a Buddha Amoghasiddhi, was completed in 1993, and located at Ngong Ping, Lantau Island, in Hong Kong. The Buddha is 34 metres tall, weighs 250 metric tons and was the world’s tallest outdoor bronze seated Buddha at that time.


But soon it was surpassed by another giant buddha statue named Lingshan Giant Buddha, It is located at the south of the Lingshan Mountain, near Mashan, town of Wuxi, Jiangsu Province, China. It is one of the largest Buddha statues in China and also in the world. At more than 88 metres high, the Grand Buddha at Lingshan is a bronze Sakyamuni standing Buddha outdoor, weighing over 700 tons. It was completed in the end of 1996.


The picture shows in 2004, $ 360 million Yantai Nanshan Giant Buddha was completed, it is Sakyamuni statue, 38.66 meters high and weighs 380 tons, it was the world’s largest tin bronze seated Buddha.


2011, Another Giant Buddha located in Jilin Dun City was completed.the total cost is 380 million yuan, 48 meters high, it replaced the Yantai Nanshan Buddha, to become the world’s highest seated Buddha.


The Spring Temple Buddha (Lushan Giant Buddha) is a statue depicting Vairocana Buddha located in the Zhaocun township of Lushan County, Henan, China. At 128 m, which includes a 20 m lotus throne, it is the tallest statue in the world.The project as a whole was estimated to cost around $55m, $18m of which being spent on the statue.


In addition to metal material, some Buddha are made of special materials. In 1996, the  world’s first statue of Gold and Jade Buddha Statue was completed, it is about 2.56 m heigh,1.5 m wide and weighs about 670 kg, the main materials include gold, platinum, emeralds, diamonds and precious stones,the statue was listed in Guinness Book of World Records at that time.


Anshan Jade Buddha is the largest jade Buddha statue in the world. It is located in a large temple complex of 22,104 square metres situated beside Dongshan Scenic Reserve in Anshan City in Liaoning province, China. The statue was sculpted from a piece of jade 7.95 meters high, 6.88 meters wide, 4.10 meters thick, weighing 260.76 tons.


Guanyin of the South Sea was built on the southeast shores of Putuoshan in bronze, limestone, marble and gold in 1998. The statue of Guanyin is 33 meters high and together with the supporting base. The total weight is 70 tons.


Lotus Mountain Guanyin statue is 40.88 meters high, made of 120 ton bronze and gilded with 9 kilograms gold. It is the highest gilded bronze Guanyin Statue in the world. The statue is facing to southeast, overlooking the Lion Sea. Therefore, people also call the statue “Guanyin overlooking the sea.”


The Nanhai Guanyin in Foshan city, Guangdong is 66 metres high made of bronze.


The 108 metre Guanyin, in Sanya, Hainan Province is the biggest statue in the world, which is 15 metres taller than the Statue of Liberty.


In 2009, the Ningxiang in Hunan invested 260 million Yuan to build the world’s largest 1, 000 armed, 1, 000 eyed Guanyin statue. The Weishan Guanyin is 99.19 meters high.

http://www.chinawhisper.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Golden-Statue-of-Puxian-on-Emei-Mountain.jpg
Golden Statue of Puxian on Emei Mountain, in Sichuan province, was built in May 2006, t is  48 meters high. This 66-ton bronze likeness is endowed with 10 heads “to catch winds from 10 directions.”

fruven

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Re: Gigantic Buddha tangka unfolds at Labrang Monastery
« Reply #11 on: March 10, 2013, 06:37:28 PM »
It is amazing they created such a big thangka. Another one of the bigger the better. For China everything seems to be the bigger the better we are the best. On another level to create something bigger is no mean feat. The architects and builders have to break out of convention to achieve the purpose. In Buddhism breaking out is one of the thing when reach our parameter of our comfort zone. In one way we want to prove to others we can do it because of our big inflated egos but in another aspect it breaks our comfort zone to stay stagnant not to challenge to achieve our purpose.

Positive Change

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Re: Gigantic Buddha tangka unfolds at Labrang Monastery
« Reply #12 on: March 13, 2013, 04:55:10 PM »
Its brilliant to have such blessed images of Buddhas in such large scale to bless the area. Thank you Klien for sharing all those wonderful pictures. We in the west are not as privileged to have such wondrous images prevalent in our landscapes.

I do hope that this will change in the years to come as Buddhism gets a firmer understanding from the world populace as a peaceful way of life that can be embraced regardless of your faith. Such is the beauty of accepting similarities and not highlighting differences.

Hence the ban on Dorje Shugden HAS to end... I believe it serves its purpose in the bigger picture of helping to spread Our King in the 10 directions... Imagine larger than life images of Dorje Shugden blessing different parts of our planet!!!!

pgdharma

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Re: Gigantic Buddha tangka unfolds at Labrang Monastery
« Reply #13 on: March 14, 2013, 12:36:26 PM »
Thank you, Klien, for all these wonderful pictures of big Buddha statues all over China. It is very good news that the Chinese government  allowed big Buddha statues to be built to promote tourism.

Here is an interesting article about China's obsession to huge statues http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2012-05/16/content_15308298.htm

"Along with the decades-long surge of China's economy in modern times, China has witnessed another rising trend, that of building ever taller statues. Some local government or organizations are getting more fanatical about building giant staues. Except the Leshan Grand Buddha and Rongxian Buddha (both in Sichuan province), China's 27 statues taller than 16 meters were built in modern times. Ten of the world's 43 statues taller than 50 meters are in China. Nine of the 10 were built since the 1990s."

With this obsession, may we have big DS statues all over China and all over the world!

samayakeeper

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Re: Gigantic Buddha tangka unfolds at Labrang Monastery
« Reply #14 on: March 15, 2013, 03:49:00 AM »
Soon, a big thangka of Dorje Shugden may unfurl. After all, more and more lamas are conferring Dorje Shugden initiations and new monasteries being built and dedicated to Dorje Shugden. So why not a big thangka of Dorje Shugden? Why not, indeed.




Yay! more proof that Tibetan Buddhism is reviving in Tibet!

Quote
Gigantic Buddha tangka unfolds at Labrang Monastery
Xinhua, Feb 24, 2013

Xiahe, China -- The Labrang Thangka Festival is an important festival at the old Labrang Monastery that was one of the six leading monasteries of the Geluk tradition of Tibet.


<< Lamas unveil a gigantic Buddha tangka alongside a hillside for disciples' worship in Labrang Monastery in Xiahe, northwest China's Gansu Province, Feb. 22, 2013.

Every year, warmly dressed people ascend to the high-elevation monastery to pray and get blessed. When the monks carry out the thangka, thousands of people assemble in front of the slope big and the vividly woven thangka is displayed. It is a major highlight of many a Tibetan Buddhists’ year.

Tibetan monks, pilgrims and nomads converge on the monastery to participate in the annual "Sunning of the Buddha" ritual, in which the world's largest Thangka of Buddha (90ft in length, 40ft in width) is unveiled at first light on the side of a mountain. The Monlam festival, or Great Prayer Festival, is the grandest religious festival in Tibet.

The Buddha tangka display or "the basking of Buddha" is a Tibetan tradition praying for a good year. As one of the six leading monasteries of Tibetan Buddhism, Labrang Monastery built in 1709 is home to more than 1,000 lamas and is another center of the Gelug Sect, also known as the Yellow Sect, of Tibetan Buddhism outside the Tibet Autonomous Region.

The monastery is about four hours south of Lanzhou. It is located in a high mountain valley at an elevation of about 3,000 meters or 10,000 feet.