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Zhaibung Monastery: A Town for Lamas
 

Zhaibung Monastery: A Town for Lamas

Tibetan  opera performance during the Shoton (Sour Milk Drinking) Festival in the  Zhaibung Monastery

Gandain Monastery is the ancestral monastery of the Gelug Sect of Tibetan Buddhism, and Zhaibung Monastery also belongs to the Gelug Sect. It was stipulated in the past that the number of lamas at Gandain Monastery was to be 3,300, there were to be 5,500 at Sera Monastery, but 7,700-10,000 at Zhaibung Monastery. The majestic monastery was first constructed by Jamyang Qoigyai Buddha  Painting Displaying Festival at the Zhaibung MonasteryZhaxi Bedain, a disciple of Master Zongkapa, in 1416 with donations made mainly by Namge Sangbo, magistrate of Liuwo Zong County during the pagmo Zhuba Regime. Before the monastery was built, Zhaxi Beiba led his followers in mediation at the site. The mountain caves and a temple in which they meditated are still well preserved. Zhaibung Monastery is composed mainly of the Gormang. Lhoseling, Deyang and Ngaba Zhacang, the Gandain Phodrang Palace and Coqen Hall. Coqen Hall covers an area of 4,500 square meters. In front of the hall is a square area paved with stone slabs and covering 2,000 square meters. The Grand Sutra Hall covers 1,800 square meters, and is supported by 183 pillars. The hall is full of Buddhist statues, sutra books, sutra streamers hung on pillars, painted tangka scrolls and mysteriously flickering butter lamps. The hall houses the holy stupas for the remains of the 3rd and 4th Dalai Lamas, the white conch used by Master Zongkapa, and the statue of Miwang Qamba or Maitreya which was presented by the Tubo king Porlunei.

Northwest of the monastery is the Gandain Phodrang Palace, residence of the 2nd to the 5th Dalai Lamas. On top of the mountain stands Genpewoze Temple and at the foot is the Hall of the Neqoin Buddhist guardian. Both are closely related to the monastery. During the Shoton (Sour Milk Drinking) Festival held by Zhaibung Monastery on the 30th day of the 6th month in the Tibetan calendar, a huge portrait of Sakyamuni is hung from Genewoze Hill. Tens of thousands of Buddhist followers and visitors come to worship during the grandest event of the year at the monastery.

 

 

 

 
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