As the world turns

By: Louk Vreeswijk

Feb 15 2015

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Category: Asia, China-Tibet

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Praying while you chat with friends on the square ….. for Tibetans this is possible thanks to their prayer-wheels. Sacred formulas like “om mani padme hum” can be written down repeatedly in great number on paper and put on a role inside the wheel. If turned around it is believed to have the same effect as when the mantra is uttered. Even more so, since with one turn of the wheel hundreds of copies of the mantra make their turn, while when you repeat the same text it’s only one utterance at the time.

Monastery on Dekyi Shar Lam, Lhasa Tibet 1996

Monastery on Dekyi Shar Lam, Lhasa, Tibet 1996

At the entrance of temples, big size prayer-wheels are put up which can be turned around by the visiting devotees.
The act of turning a prayer-wheel may be for each person’s individual benefit, but to me it somehow always calls up the comforting thought that all those turning wheels, big and small, in unison with the constant turning of everything in the Universe, are for the benefit of the whole world. Without them, the world may stop as well.

Barkhor, Lhasa, Tibet 1996

Barkhor, Lhasa, Tibet 1996

Photo of the week: Meru Nyingba Monastery, Barkhor, Lhasa, Tibet 1996

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