January 11, 2014
Monlam Pavilion, Bodhgaya
Arriving at the centre
In the pitch black of the early morning, as lines of people make their way to Tergar Monastery, a rare winter rain falls steadily over Bodhgaya. Arriving from all directions they converge at the centre of the Gyalwang Karmapa’s vast mandala, the Monlam Pavilion, where his Buddha activities are about to commence.
The wet, muddy paths mean the usual long queues are fast-tracked, and people pass relatively quickly down the slippery driveway. They enter through the Monlam welcome gate, adorned with fluttering prayer flags and rows of fairy lights glowing in the early morning darkness.
Inside the vast pavilion, clouds of fragrant incense permeate the space as the neatly laid out mats gradually fill with people. Rows of monks and nuns, heads freshly shaven, sit Read the rest of this article