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Jokhang Monastery: Holy Hall
 

Jokhang Monastery: Holy Hall

The Jokhang Monastery, located in downtown Lhasa, is a Buddhist hall for Tibetan Jokhang  Monastery in winterBuddhists and a symbol of unity between the Tibetan and Han peoples. First built in the mid-7th century, the monastery was a temple in the shape of a two-story boat. After repeated expansion in the ensuing centuries, the monastery is now a combination of large buildings covering an area of 25,100 square meters.

The Hall of Sakyamuni is the most important in the monastery. It enshrines a statue of Sakyamuni, which Tang Dynasty Princess Wencheng brought to Lhasa. The city is called Lhasa, meaning “holy land,” because of the statue’s presence. The statue attracts an endless flow of worshippers every day. Around the Hall of Sakyamuni are eight low-lying, dark halls where butter lamps flicker in front of Buddha images. These halls were all built during the Tubo Kingdom. The golden urn, called Jinbenbaping, which Qing Emperor Qianlong had cast in the 57th year of his reign (1792) for the reincarnation of the Dalai Lama and the Panchen Erdeni, is enshrined in front of the statue of Zongkapa. The urn is 34 cm high, and is covered with patterns such as lotus flower petals and plant branches. Inside the urn are five ivory lots. When the soul boy of the Dalai Lama or the Panchen Erdeni has to be determined, names of the soul boy candidates are written on lots. The urn is then sealed andWorshipprs  in front of the Jokhang Monastery shaken repeatedly. After this, one lot is drawn out of the urn and the chosen boy houses the soul of the demised Living Buddha. The southern part of the second floor is the Hall of the Prince of Dharma, which enshrines the statues of Tubo King Songtsan Gambo, Tang Dynasty Princess Wencheng, Nepalese Princess Bhributi and Tubo Minister Gar Tongtsan_statues which were products of the ancient times. Between the second and third floors is the Hall of the Bandan Lhamo, a female deity who guards the Jokhang Monastery and Lhasa. On the top floor there tower four giant golden tops built during the mid-14th century and the 17th century. Located in the center of Lhasa City, like a holy bird spreading his wings, they glisten in the sunshine.

In front of the Jokhang Monastery is the Princess Willow Tree. Legend has it that when Tang Dynasty Princess Wencheng was married in Tubo, she planted this willow tree. There are also stories which say she planted three other willow trees, at the foot of the Potala Palace, in front of the Ramoche Monastery and at Balangxoi (Black Tent) in the eastern district of the city. Next to the Princess Willow Tree is the Uncle-Nephew Peace Pledge Monument, erected in 822 to mark the alliance between the Tang Dynasty and the Tubo Kingdom.

 

 

 

 
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