20th December, 2014 – Monlam Pavilion, Bodhgaya
The stage at the Monlam pavilion is set with exquisite attention to detail for the Muni Trisamaya Vyuhaempowerment of Buddha Shakyamuni. A gold leaf pagoda with wind chimes hanging in each corner, and golden auspicious symbols embossed on green panels, contains the mandala of the deity. Large ornate carved offering bowls sit on its rim. At centre stage is a floor to ceiling appliquéd Buddha Shakyamuni thangka. Behind that to the left is a smaller golden statue of Buddha Shakyamuni. A screen with the kings of the four directions painted in the Chinese style is placed at the forefront of the stage so that preliminaries for the empowerment can be conducted in private. From the ceiling inverted silken petals drape the overhead lights like chandeliers. Garlands of marigolds hang from horizontal ceiling banners. The assembly of more than four thousand monks and nuns in golden prayer shawls stretch out like an undulating sea. Behind them sit nearly four thousand laypeople.
While the gyalins Read the rest of this article